Chateau Du Landel: A restful rural retreat with refined cooking

The Chateau du Landel

By Ian Blackshaw

If you are looking to escape to a delightful place for a weekend, I can certainly recommend the Chateau du Landel, which is a three star hotel and restaurant in the heart of the Normandy countryside, just a couple of hours’ drive from our region.

Situated in the Lyons’ forest, just outside the delightful village of Bezancourt, this eighteenth century chateau at one time was a staging post on the pilgrim’s route to Santiago da Compostella in North Western Spain. Until 1870, the chateau was owned by the Master Glassblowers (Maître Verriers), and since then has been in private hands. In fact, it is the family home of the Cardon’s and the hotel and restaurant are run by Monsieur Yves Cardon and his wife, Annick, who gave us a warm and friendly welcome on our arrival. We had a small but very nice room on the second floor, complete with exposed beams, overlooking the parkland at the back of the chateau, and we were struck by the peace and tranquillity of the place. It is, in fact, a ‘Relais du Silence’.

In the grounds, there is a very nice swimming pool, complete with showers and changing rooms and also a tennis court for the use of guests. In a vaulted cellar in the chateau, there is a billiards room, and the chateau also boats a large seminar room for private meetings. The public rooms of the chateau are furnished with period furniture, and the beamed restaurant has a large fireplace. In fact, we had a table near the fireplace, which was lit and added a certain warmth and ambiance to the dining room.

The “Bird Room”, one of the Chateau's two comfortable dining rooms

We enjoyed a refined three-course dinner, based on local fresh produce, which was well cooked and presented, and the service was attentive and friendly. The wine list was small, with a representative selection of French regional wines of good vintages, but quite pricey. Unfortunately, there was a distinct lack of half bottles on offer, which rather spiked our guns.

Next morning, a delightful continental buffet breakfast was served in a small dining room, overlooking the garden, accompanied by bird song, including the cuckoo – a sure sign that Spring had sprung and Summer was on the way!

There are some delightful country walks and bike rides to be enjoyed, as well as golf and horse riding on offer nearby. In fact, mountain bikes can be hired from the chateau. The historic city of Rouen is about twenty miles away, with its fine cathedral and other places of interest to visit.

WiFi Internet access is available gratis in each of the bedrooms, which also have satellite TV, including BBC World, and, although we no longer have a dog, we noticed that dogs are welcome at the chateau.

The chateau has 17 bedrooms, which range in price from 98 – 205€; dinner costs between 31.50 and 50€; and breakfast is €12.

More information is available from the chateau’s website at www.chateau-du-landel.fr.