Roger and Sharon White share their discovery of a charming château-hotel in the heart of France. The 19th century Chateau du Bost has been lovingly refurbished and now offers a quality getaway for discerning visitors.
Finding somewhere, that offers quality, charm and something just a little different is one of the joys of travelling around La Belle France. Driving over 1000kms from Strasbourg, in the North-East, to Gascony, in the deep South-West, we wanted an overnight stop-over that offered more than the bland hotel chains and big out of town commercial centres.
We were fortunate to discover a hidden gem in the very heart of France. Le Chateau du Bost, in Bellerive-sur-Allier, not far from the picturesque spa town of Vichy, was everything we had hoped.
Stephane Roesch and Xavier Robert, two sons of the Auvergne, opened this delightful hotel and restaurant just two years ago. They have already earned themselves an enviable reputation among both discerning visitors and knowledgeable locals, reflected in their Booking.com score of 9/10 and a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence.
A member of the Chateaux & Hotels Collection, this 19th-century chateau, with a moat on two sides, has been lovingly refurbished. The modern design is fashionable but still in keeping with the original spirit of the building, and offers eight well-appointed bedrooms, ranging from simple doubles to luxury suites.
The restaurant caters for 50 covers but there is a real sense of space and relaxation in the elegant dining room. The two owner-chefs have designed a simple but high-quality menu, built around fresh local produce. They have reinvented many traditional dishes in unique style while delivering an enjoyable experience for the taste buds.
You can choose 2, 3, 4, or 5 courses, with the ultimate pleasure being the 5-course option with a different glass of wine, as recommended by their knowledgeable sommelier, with each course.
We started with a delightful poached egg with Puy lentils and a croustillant of duck, and both followed this with a new take on a traditional Blanquette de veau. The cheese course featured one of the finest boards of local (Auvergne) cheeses we had ever seen. And the desert again presented a novel presentation of a traditional dish, this time apple tart. Each course was a delight to the tongue, beautifully presented and, when accompanied by an excellent Beaune 1st Cru, gave us a meal to remember.
Our visit was all too brief. Would we stay there again? Most certainly and we are already planning a longer stay. Would we recommend it to you? Without hesitation, although we do not want too many people finding this treasure in the heart of France!
Chateau du Bost – where and how?
Chateau du Bost is situated at 27 rue de Beausejour, 03700 Bellerive-sur-Allier, France, near the Spa town of Vichy in central France. To make a reservation email [email protected] or call +33 (0)4 70 59 59 59
About Roger White