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Dinner at Château Féret-Lambert with Château de Bel

by Nannette Eaton on February 5, 2012

“In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.” — Julia Child
“Most of my treasured memories of travel are recollections of sitting.” — Robert Thomas Allen

After a tour of the grounds and the cellar at Château Féret-Lambert, we settled in the kitchen. What’s more French than the love of food? Besides wine, the culinary arts is a national treasure. What better way to be immersed in the French way of life than cooking? And so we began our Cooking Class under the very capable hands of Valérie Féret, proprietor of the château. We donned aprons went to work. The Wine Harlot was assigned to chop vegetables for ratatouille, but as a sous chef, my knife skills were a little lacking. But no matter, it was all good fun. After our group caused enough havoc in the kitchen, we retired to the véranda for apéritifs and watched the sun set over the hills. Now this is where the Wine Harlot excels – drinking wine and having great conversations. The Wine Harlots most treasured memories of travel are the conversations. Sitting, talking, laughing over food and drink are the moments that I take with me wherever I roam.

The dinner with the lovely and delicious wines of Château Féret-Lambert with the proprietors, Valérie & Henri Féret and the owners of Château de Bel, Olivier & Anne Cazenave, was transcendent. We talked like we were old friends. After dinner, as we sipped Armagnac, we watched French filmmaker Luc Plissonneau’s short film Fil Rouge (The Red Thread), a haunting tale of how wine creates memories that can be summoned by the opening of a bottle. The added treat for me was that both the Cazenave’s and the Féret’s were actors in the movie, and Château Féret-Lambert was used as the shoot location.

Château de Bel is a small family run estate that borders the Dordogne. Anne is from a winemaking family and Olivier has worked for 20 years as a négociant. They bought the château a decade ago realizing Olivier dream of making wine. Château de Bel has two bed and breakfast studios and the estate often hosts events with live music and featuring local produce and products.

Château Féret-Lambert is lovely, exactly what you envision when you think of French Country life. Château Féret-Lambert has been in the family for four generations, and was lovingly restored. Its located six miles from Saint-Emilion with 32 acres under vine with amazing cellars in limestone quarries under the vineyards. In addition to organized cooking classes, the château has two guest rooms available.

These are two lovely château’s to stay at, perfect as a home base for other Bordeaux wine adventures, or just to relax and unwind and be immersed in genuine French life. The day we visited, young master Féret marked his first triumph as a marksmen with a quail kill, country living at it’s most authentic.

See the cooking class: French Cooking Class at Château Féret-Lambert in Pictures
Watch the movie: The Red Thread (Fil Rouge)

The Wine Harlots authentic French sojourn was part of a press tour sponsored by Planet Bordeaux.