Saint Emilion Chronicles #4: His French Heaven

FRANCE, Montagne: Château Saint Jacques Calon, Stephane Gabart's wonderful B&B

After presenting a little bit of Saint Emilion in general, one of its magnificent churches and Saint Emilion’s sweet treats on previous posts, time has come to unveil the little “secret” about where we stayed during our visit: but of course, we had no hesitation to email fellow food blogger, cook, photographer and aesthete Stephane Gabbart, who authors the sleek and elegant blog “My French Heaven” and operates a wonderful B&B in the vicinities of Saint Emilion!

FRANCE, Montagne: The common areas at Château Saint Jacques Calon

Stephane’s family have been Bordeaux wine merchants for generations, but he decided to follow his own call and study cooking and Hotel Management in Lyon under uber-famous French Chef Paul Bocuse. After completing his studies, Stephane worked for 10 years for Ritz-Carlton at several of their locations in the US. Then in 2005 he headed back to France, where he started operating a B&B in his beautiful family property near Saint Emilion and later on he founded his wonderful blog, My French Heaven.

FRANCE, Montagne: Details of the common areas at Château Saint Jacques Calon

In case you are not following Stephane’s blog yet, do yourself a favor and check it out as it really is exceptional, in terms of both learning authentic, delicious French recipes and soothing your eye with Stephane’s outstanding food photography.

FRANCE, Montagne: The pool area at Château Saint Jacques Calon

FRANCE, Montagne: Details of the common areas at Château Saint Jacques CalonBut back to Stephane’s B&B and our stay: the property is called Château Saint-Jacques Calon and is located in the town of Montagne, a short 5 minute drive from Saint Emilion (for driving directions or reservations, check out the B&B’s Website). Montagne is a beautiful small town in its own right, as I will show you on a future post. The B&B is nothing short of phenomenal, inside and out, as you can tell from my photographs that illustrate this post. The chateau is a large family house with a beautiful front yard and a neatly manicured inner yard with a large swimming pool, right by which the most delicious continental breakfast is served in the mornings of the warmer months of the year.

FRANCE, Montagne: The common areas at Château Saint Jacques Calon

FRANCE, Montagne: Details of the common areas at Château Saint Jacques CalonStephane is the most gracious host and goes out of his way to personally ensure that your stay is as satisfactory and pleasant as possible. He even takes care of selecting the freshest ingredients for breakfast himself: that baguette… those fruit preserves… that fresh seasonal fruit… hmmmm… Everything was so wonderfully exquisite!

Beside that, Stephane is more than willing to help as necessary, including by recommending great restaurants and the best wine store in Saint Emilion (more on that on later posts) and getting to the point of escorting us on a mini-trip to visit the nearby Libourne food market! Of course, Stephane’s English is flawless and, I have to say, so are his map-drawing skills: he charted out our route to a local restaurant in a nearby village with Google-Earth precision! 😉

FRANCE, Montagne: The common areas at Château Saint Jacques Calon

To top it all of, Stephane is a real pleasure to spend time with, very personable and incredibly kind to all his guests. A true French gentleman. Plus, he offers fellow bloggers a discount off the regular B&B rates and, for those who may be interested, guests may also sign up for French cooking classes with him.

Thank you, Stephane, for making our stay in Saint Emilion so pleasant and productive! 🙂

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About Stefano

I am a photographer and an ISA certified sommelier. I contribute to two blogs, Flora's Table (the fine cooking and wine blog - www.florastable.com) and Clicks & Corks (my photography and wine blog - www.clicksandcorks.com). My photography Web site is at www.LightQuill.com
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25 Responses to Saint Emilion Chronicles #4: His French Heaven

  1. Another blogging friend mentioned Stephane and his blog to me only a couple of days ago. Great to see these photos and know more. It’s very tempting to go!

  2. Fig & Quince says:

    Wow! I’m uncharacteristically speechless! So much pretty!

  3. Dina says:

    Gosh, I’d pack my bag and go tomorrow! What a lovely, inviting place, Francesca! It looks like a perfect place to unwind and charge the batteries. Stefano has captured the great charm and atmosphere of the place in his lovely photo-documentation.
    Klausbernd and myself are no good at cooking, by we enjoy it and world very much like to improve our skills in a place this. Great news that Stephane speaks flawless English! I’ll pay him a virtual visit and say hi from you.
    Big hug!
    Dina

    • Stefano says:

      Thank you, dear Dina: Saint Emilion is a beauty, and also a treasure-trove of photo opps, beside great food and wine. Plus, Stephane is a helpful and gracious host. I have a hunch you and Klausbernd would like it there! 🙂
      A big hug,
      Stefano

  4. I follow ‘My French Heaven’ and have put his beautiful house on my list to hopefully one day visit. Your lovely post as a guest has really high lighted what I hoped it would be like. Heaven.

  5. It looks really like heaven, doesn`t it?!

    • Stefano says:

      Dear Klausbernd, it really is a very nice place: I think that you and Dina would like it a lot and have a wonderful time there. Plenty of things to do, life to enjoy and also time to think and relax. 🙂

  6. Stefano, I felt like you are walking us through the premises while you are narrating for us. What a wonderful visit and memories you had with Stephane.

  7. Well you’ve got me wanting to pack my bags and spend a weekend at the bed and breakfast! Sounds like a luxurious experience 🙂

  8. This looks absolutely stunning, like a little paradise! If my summer months 2014 weren’t cramming up like crazy already, I would definitely investigate the blogger buddy discount rates further….boy, that looks nice.

    • Stefano says:

      Man, I am so behind with comments… Thank you, Oliver: it definitely is a nice place worth considering for when you decide time is right to head over to Merlot-land! 😉

  9. ChgoJohn says:

    Such a beautiful place to call home for a while and such a wonderful host. I cannot wait to hear more about your stay, Stefano.

  10. Hello Stefano, Stephane’s beautiful home sounds and looks like a wonderful place to stay made more perfect by its proximity to Saint Emilion and the fact that it has a swimming pool. It was especially nice, given it’s now cold here, to browse through your summer-evoking pictures. with best wishes from B. 😉

  11. chef mimi says:

    I’m so excited… my daughter and I are going there in April! I cannot wait to meet Stephane in person! Beautiful photos.

  12. Pingback: Saint Emilion Chronicles #5: Saint Emilion and its Wine Appellations | Clicks & Corks

  13. Pingback: Saint Emilion Chronicles #5: Saint Emilion and its Wine Appellations | Flora's Table

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