Fine streams of bubbles rise in your thin flute glass, the sun hits your face and the wind blows caressing your cheek; you raise your eyes to be swooned by the most beautiful gardens surrounding the 17th-century, towering Château. Is it the Champagne talking? Or is this the most romantic getaway destination in France?
I recently visited the awe-inspiring Domaine Château du Faucon, in the Donchery commune, just outside the picturesque and pastoral town of Charleville-Mézières, one hour north of Reims, Champagne’s birthplace.
I arrived at the estate with my boyfriend to celebrate his birthday last summer. We nearly didn’t leave the exquisitely decorated Annex suite, privately located on the outbuilding across the main Maison, it has a magnificent view to the castle and the blue lake. Still, there’s just so much to see and do in the landscaped estate, that we had to leave our love nest to explore this lesser-known part of Champagne.
The Ardennes’s Signature Hospitality
Let’s start from the beginning. We arrive at the Domaine Château du Faucon in the afternoon one warm summer day. The hotel staff had arranged a lovely picnic on one of the manicured gardens just beside the castle. We spent the evening snacking on artisan charcuterie, the best bread you’ve ever had and Champagne, of course.
After getting set up in our room, and acclimating to the fresh air, we headed to the estate’s restaurant for a five-course dinner we won’t forget soon. Chef Jonathan Pillier makes sure the menu changes with the seasons, so I won’t get into many details, just expect comforting Ardennaise specialities with hints of neighbouring Belgium’s cuisine.
Rest assured, this is fine dining at its best, especially for the professional, warm service — the restaurant runs with the precision of a clock.
Breakfast the next morning was equally charming. A lavish food display greets you while you get lost on the unmistakable scents of freshly baked bread and butter.
In the Countryside, You Travel in Time
With only thirty-three rooms, you feel you own the place. Walking the narrow paths that criss-cross through a 28-hectare park, visiting the stables for a romantic horse ride, exploring the neighbouring forest, or spending the morning at the Spa’s sauna makes you want to stay and never leave Domaine Château du Faucon.
The four-star hotel, owned by the local Famille Robin since 2007, is unique any way you see it. It’s the peaceful life at the Château, the vintage furniture, the gorgeous surroundings and world-class amenities.
Come experience Champagne’s less travelled regions. Disconnect yourself from your hectic lifestyle, at least for the weekend. Don’t worry, there’s high-speed internet in the rooms, satellite TV, and dry-cleaning service, so you get the best of both new and old.
I can’t wait to go back in winter and have a warm cup of chocolate by the numerous fireplaces and enjoy the equestrian environment under the snow. I can’t wait to go back, any time of year!
Book your stay directly with Chateau du Faucon.
Price Range: €109 – €500 per night
Location: Route de Vrigne aux Bois, 08350 Donchery, France
Tel: +33 3 24 41 87 83
All images are taken by Thitiphol Owen Charoensri.