Monday, September 23rd, 2019

Through France Towards Monaco

Our electric journey through France towards the Monaco Yacht Show continues on day 2. We leave the bustle of the city and head into the rural countryside. It is only when you sit behind the wheel of a car and look at the miles of empty roads that you truly understand how big France is and how tiny our own country is in reality.

Fences and hedges are a no no in this landscape. Fields are enormous and stretch as far as the eye can see. Having passed around the outskirts of Dijon our in-car mapping system warns us of our impending arrival and we turn off main roads and head into the hinterland passing slowly through one village after another.

Abbaye de la Bussière

Soon we arrive at The Abbaye de la Bussière. This former Cistercian Abbey dates back to the 12th century and in modern times has a heartwarming and sucessful back story. In 2005 Clive and Tanith Cummings, an English couple, found and fell in love with a rather dilapidated church owned property being run as a spiritual retreat. It was struggling financially and had been on the market for some time but no one had the same vision as did Clive and his wife and so it continued to survive…..Just.

It was they who came up with the idea of transforming the Abbaye into a hotel.  They bought it and have over the years magnificently restored it to create the exquisite and enchanting Relais and Chateaux hotel it is today. This luxury 20 bedroom boutique hotel is a perfect peaceful retreat from the madness of the world outside. It comes complete with its own rowing boat on a lake set amidst a botanical garden that positively exudes , peace, hospitality and tranquillity.

Everything from the wonderful greeting by the owners down to the superb linens of the wonderfully comfortable beds is done with style seldom seen anywhere except on board the most well run superyacht. The multi lingual crew simply cannot do enough to make sure the every need of every guest is meet.

Subtle architecture

The subtle architecture of the exterior of the Abbaye contrasts wonderfully with the spectacular interior design, which incorporates ancient frescoes discovered during the renovation of the building. Antique furniture and silken fabrics create an ambiance of subtle sophistication and pure elegance.

Our room a junior suite separated from the grounds and above the crypt was wonderfully decorated and supremely comfortable.

Take time to walk the grounds, explore the wine cellars and the wine press and admire the sculpture that are littered artistically throughout the 17 acres of parkland. Walk down to the canal or grab as we did the free to use bikes and Kyle for miles along the towpath beside the Canal du Bourgine.

We will be back

Work up an appetite, you are going to need it! Head Chef is the multi award winning Guillaume Royer, who presides over both the cathedral-like le 1131 a Michelin starred restaurant and the Bistrot des Moines with its Michelin Bib Gourmand.

And least you are worrying, yes there were two Tesla destination chargers where our hungry Model X got to satisfy its own hunger. Next morning , our batteries were full. Our electric journey continues, Monaco here we come but we will be back!

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