As you know, I go weak at the knees at the sight of a French château. I've visited many (and lived in one), but somehow we'd never stopped to visit the Cinderella castle that we often pass on our way to Beaune, Château de la Rochepot. I'd been longing to visit those sky-piercing turrets for a long time, and we finally got round to doing it. If you're planning on paying a visit to Burgundy and in particular to Beaune, you'll want to put it on your list, as it's very close by.
To get there, you wind through the sweet rural village of Rochepot, then walk up the steep hill to the drawbridge. This château has all the fun stuff: moats, draw bridges, beautiful grounds and position, and turrets galore. It has the colorful glazed tile roofs that are characteristic of the region.
And of course it has history. It was built in the 12th century, by a wealthy lord who was an advisor to the Dukes of Bourgogne. It is a rare example of French Gothic Revival architecture. But like many castles and other important buildings, it did not fare well during the French revolution. It was nearly destroyed and fell into ruin.
To the rescue came Madame Sadi Carnot, wife of a French president. She purchased it as a rather indulgent gift for her son in the late 1800's, who then embarked on a major restoration. The gallery of 'before and after' photos at the château was quite amazing. The renovation in the early 20th century was extensive, and brought what was a near total ruin back to its original state.
In researching this post I came across a big surprise: the château is for sale! For the price of a medium sized house in the Charleston historic district with a small garden, you can own this château, with it's 69 acres of grounds. Now that's a bargain. And if you buy it, will you pretty please invite me for a stay?
In the COMMENTS: We received a wealth of recipes this week, what a wonderful surprise! Beth sent two: a whole roasted cauliflower, and chicken cilantro burgers. Suzanne sends an unusual artichoke lasagna recipe that I want to try as well. Herm sent, by email, this quickie recipe for apple rolls (done in a funny video format) that's so easy. Both Dee and Natalia have more surprising ways to stretch meat, and I had never heard of either. Ally says 'putting an egg on top' is a hangover cure and Deborah thinks it might have Hawaiian origins. Ralphe is a kindred, spirit, a vegetarian in the land of la viande. As to where to get black beans in France--good luck with that! I once found dried black beans at the Carrefour, and I stocked up on them. But they are not typical in France.
Favorite Reads: Nature and photography lovers, you may want to check out our reader Deborah Zajac's blog, Circadian Rhythms, for some lovely images. Also by one of our readers, Suzanne Dunaway, a new cookbook for you called, Rome, At Home: The Spirit of La Cucina Romana in Your Own Kitchen, on cooking the Italian way, chez vous.