Sunday, May 25, 2014

Fête des Mères & Chateau Olivier

Today is Mother's Day in France!! Happy Mother's Day to everyone who is celebrating today.  In France it's called La Fête des Mères or La Fête des Mamans.  It's celebrated the same here, as it is in the States - Mothers get to be queens for the day!  I swear every flower or chocolate shop had huge lines yesterday! For us it's been a fairly quiet day.  

I had to work this morning...yes, you did read that correctly - I worked on Mother's Day.  It's one of those tourism situations, where I was scheduled to give the city tour of Bordeaux later this week and due to changes with the docking schedule of the river cruise, the tour got moved to this morning.  I love giving this tour - it's so fun to share about the history of the city, point out different monuments and buildings - so I figured for a few hours early this morning - it would start my day off well!

We will be officially celebrating tonight.  But to be honest, I felt like I already celebrated last night.  My expat group held our annual Spring dinner at the most stunning location - Chateau Olivier - A Grande Cru Classe des Graves vineyard located just on the outskirts of Bordeaux.
The Chateau itself - still a private home
Just look at that castle, who wouldn't feel like a king or queen while they were here? This beautiful chateau has a very long history, dating back to the 11th or 12th century.  There are written records as far back as 1273.  The Black Prince even lived in Chateau Olivier in the middle of the 14th century.  

Another important historical note is that this chateau also passed through the hands of the family of Montesquieu. (I think architecturally some of the buildings look similar to Chateau La Brede - Montesquieu's home -Take a look- HERE).  By the late 1800's the Bethmann family bought the chateau and they continue to run it today.  
One of the Cellar buildings
The moat around the Chateau
Château Olivier wines received official classification of Grande Cru Classe in 1953, for both red and white varieties. If you have a chance to visit this chateau located in Leognan, it's just so beautiful!
Loved all the ivy, vines and flowers all over the property
The Back entrance to the Chateau - over the moat
As you can tell from the photos, this is a stunning property - very peaceful & idyllic.  It was the perfect setting for a wonderful Spring dinner. We started outside with a tour of the Chateau and then had a tasting of some of their wines - while we stood in the gardens admiring our surroundings.   

We then moved inside to a banquet hall for our dinner.  The menu was excellent - a cold gazpacho soup with shrimp to start, then pintade (guinea fowl) served with a melody of delicious vegetables and finally ending with a chocolate fondant cake.

So after that scrumptious meal in such an enchanting setting - it's really hard to top.  I'm very appreciative of a quiet day today and a small family celebration!  I already feel spoiled!

So Happy Mother's Day  & I hope everyone had a wonderful day (and/or weekend) not matter how you celebrated!


  1. I am not kidding one of these days I will be on your door step waiting for a tour of all the great places to eat in France. What a beautiful home!

  2. I have a craving lately to visit France again soon. Thankfully our trip to Dordogne is next month! I love your photos- it captures it all so well. I know i't's blasphemy to say that Paris isn't my favorite (I know! The very idea!) so I love blogs with great photos that show the beauty of other sides of France.


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