Simple Life

Slowing Down at Chateau Montfreville

As much as I love a European city break, camping is where it’s at for me right now. Longer term readers will know that I am fairly obsessed with camping at West Dean Chilli Fiesta (Summer round-up to follow). This year we extended our UK camping weekend into a French camping week and I don’t mean to sound dramatic but it FED MY SOUL.

Camping holidays have their own pace. You’re forced to follow the command of the seasons: wake up with the sun, feel the breeze on your face and the grass (or mud) between your toes. Showering is optional (but encouraged) and campfire food is earned. Fires bowls light up the evenings, the stars come out like never before and you sleep in total darkness. Are you sold yet?

Now I don’t want to mislead you. We were definitely not slumming it. Our beautiful campsite was Chateau Montfreville: a freakin’ castle. Not only a castle, but the ancestral home of Walt Disney no less. With a turret. I shall go on.

There were real inside showers (oooh, aaah) and proper toilets and washing up facilities in the base of the castle itself. Outhouses contained a small shop, a games room and a log store as well as a small kitchen for the food nights and a long fairy-lit hallway for dining. Whilst there we had a Moule Frites night (vegans read: ‘loads of chips’) and a pizza night with a real-life-outside-pizza-oven.

The whole place was beautifully styled by the wonderful hosts. Two pigs, two horses, a donkey, two cats, a dog and some chickens pottered around being idyllic (and cats sneaking into tents). Oh, and there was a pool and hot tub. But it was STILL camping, ok?


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