Château La Thuilière
Mr & Mrs Smith have just returned from a stay at this Dordogne boutique hotel, and as soon as they've unpacked their truffles and foie gras, a full account of their French luxury country break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick snapshot of Château la Thuilière in Saint Front de Pradoux…
Château la Thuilière’s romantic beginnings could have been plucked from a Gothic tale. In the 19th century, a marquis bought the land and built the château for his fiancé as a wedding gift. The road that snakes around the estate forms a sweeping heart shape, with two towering trees as its centre. When the marquis’ wife died, one tree withered too, and the marquis decreed that half the grounds be left untouched, to honour her memory.
Thankfully, there’s nothing heart-breaking about Château la Thuilière these days. Instead, it’s full of light and life, with charismatic owners at its helm and gorgeous interiors that hint at Jordi’s background in Barcelona design retail. This house wears its history on its sleeve – the mock Tudor façade and stained glass windows that hint at the eccentric marquis; the patterned tiles, ornate tapis and the sweeping wooden staircase – but there are modern flourishes too.
French traditionalists (and Jordi’s mother) may be shocked by the deliberately exposed, unfinished walls in some stretches of the corridors, but there’s an artful muddle at work here. The hall and dining room are full of baroque gravitas, the drawing room is playfully grand, and the basement kitchen and accompanying rooms have a gritty, urban feel, without compromising on any cosiness. It’s also very much a family affair: black and white photographs of Jordi’s ancestors adorn the walls, and guests are welcomed with a chilled glass of cava from his grandfather’s estate. Put simply, this hotel is the sum of its parts: its history, its setting and its vibrant, charming owners.
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Smith extra at Château La Thuilière
A glass of champagne on arrival