Tuesday, October 1st, 2019
Château de Montcaud on Day Four
We arrive at Château de Montcaud on day four of our epic drive through France using electricity to power our car rather than diesel.
It was the day that saw us enter Provence Occidental or Western Provence on what will be our last overnight stop before Monaco.
Strictly speaking our fourth stop was just over the border in Langedoc-Roussillon but located close by Avignon and the Ardèche, it is only just five minutes away from official Provence.
Former home of an 18th century silk merchant
The castle occupies the former home of an 18th century silk merchant and has now been transformed a quiet and restful haven that is the perfect hideaway for gourmets and pleasure-seekers who appreciate sleek elegance and extraordinary gastronomy.
To make matters even more peachy for us the car park boats not one but two electric car charging points where we hooked up our Tesla Model X overnight in preparation for our long journey into Monaco the next day.
Château de Montcaud is situated in the heart of a large park which features a number of iconic trees. It even has its very own man made cave!
Built in 1848 as a private residence of a silk manufacturer, it rose to glory in the hands of his son and philanthropist Florentin Collain. His love for culture, nature and people left lasting traces throughout the region.
It became a hotel in the nineteen-nineties, but fell upon hard times and ceased trading.
After several years of slumber
After several years of slumber, Swiss hotelier Rolf Bertschi and his wife Andrea stumbled upon it and have through hard work and perseverance created a miniature version of a world-class hotel,
Having been completely renovated for a second time Château de Montcaud reopened in the summer of 2018 and has since become an oasis of tranquillity, style for those seeking relaxation.
Rolf and Andrea have created a miniature version of a world-class hotel, painting impeccably process-driven detail and standards onto a gorgeous Southern French canvas.
Rolf is obsessed with amazing produce, presentation and kitchen talent and he has hired Matthieu Hervé, a rising talent and former protégé of world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud, to head up the hotels kitchen that serves not one but two restaurants.
The first is al fresco fine-dining restaurant, the second, a low-key bistro with a village like atmosphere that has become very popular with the locals.
Andrea, whose family has connections with eminent perfumiers, has conceptualised an exclusive perfume project inspired by the chateau’s roots, with the fruits of her labours are available to buy exclusively on the premises. The couple have even invested in a modern day silk worm farm that nods at the Chateau’s former owners and is set to bring yet more fame to this wonderful part of France.
Rolf and Andrea have a great affection for this their adopted corner of France. “Life is still slower here,” says Rolf, while Andrea adds, “It’s more like France 20 years ago, with no other luxury hotel within a 20-kilometre radius.”