Love Is In The Air...

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“Christmas is a season not only for rejoicing but of reflection”

Winston Churchill

A lot can happen in a year. And so here I am now with a cup of warm winter tea, reflecting on the past 365 days which have flown by. Remembering all of the amazing things that have happened - memories to cherish for a lifetime.

And as the snowflakes begin to fall and the Holiday Season arrives, it’s a most wonderful time of the year to reflect upon the love that has been gifted to us and woven into our lives this year. Fitting, as we gather together with our loved ones in celebration at this time.

“Blessed is any season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love”

Hamilton Wright Mabie

And so what perfect a time to share with you the enchanting wedding of two of the most handsome Prince Charmings, Dan and Carl, which happened once upon a sweet summer’s day at the Château this year…

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“What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life?”

Mary Ann Evans

In short, the story of how this came to be began the year prior. Dan sent an email to enquire whether the Château would be able to host their wedding. As the Château is under restoration we have been hesitant to hold weddings given the work is still in progress. And because of the importance of such a day for two people so in love.

Nevertheless, Dan and Carl persevered and prepared to visit!

I remember the very first time that I saw them both walking up the old carriageway towards the Château. As they approached, it was clear that love was definitely in the air…

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“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…

I could walk through my garden forever”

Alfred Tennyson

They stayed with us for the weekend and from the time we spent together we could all tell that this was meant to be. Not only in the name of love, but also as we discovered that we shared some of our favourite things in common as we discoed and boogied on the dance floor all night long! Decades and decades of our favourite songs…

Naturally after, (and D&C promising to bring disco lights and a smoke machine) preparations for their union at the Château began…

It was decided that Dan and Carl would be joined in marriage over a four day fairytale affair, with the wedding day itself set to be the 2nd of June. 

For their wedding Dan and Carl imagined the Château dressed extravagantly in flowers of royal hues lit brilliantly aflame by candlelight.

Re-imagining the still life paintings of days long forgotten…

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And so like fairy godmothers the Château Team arrived from all around the world…

Chef de Cuisine, Tracy Valentina Wood arrived from Sydney, Australia to beautifully create with love the rich, warm and irresistible tastes of France. Tracy prepared everything in the most incredibly delicious way ever imaginable and set everything upon a mélange of royal 18th Century porcelain…

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Chefs Pâtissiers, Jenny, Mariana and Larissa excitedly arrived from Le Cordon Bleu Paris and Brazil to create sugar coated, caramelised and iced confectionary from the heavens above…

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And closer to home, Max, Jérémie, Florian and Alexis, young boys from our village who also helped throughout the summer. Not only did they assist with setting up all the rooms, but they also helped with silver service… and were exceptionally attentive to some of the female guests!

Our dear friend Marie-Andrée, the grandmother of Jérémie and Florian, also worked alongside Tracy in the kitchen. And in between, she dug up fresh asparagus from a friend’s ferme nearby for every one of the sixty guests for the wedding dinner! Moreover, Marie-Andrée also managed to prepare the most enormous paella for the evening before.

And Daniel, another dearest friend and supporter of the Château, who owns the local village bistro, helped too! He welcomed guests for dinner on the first evening and for breakfast each morning. And catching us by surprise, also arrived and held an impromptu concert with the village choir on Dan and Carl’s wedding day!

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Together, we whistled as we worked. And with the sprinkling of some fairy dust and a few bibbidi-bobbidi-boo’s the Château was soon dressed and ready!

And so, Dan and Carl’s four fairytale days filled with magic began… Their guests travelling by bus from Toulouse and winding their way up and down through the mountainous valleys of the Pyrenees to reach the Château. Unaware of exactly where they were headed, as the venue for Dan and Carl’s wedding had been kept a secret that only a few of their closest family and friends knew!

Until… they finally approached the Château’s grand iron gates… The hills were alive with the sound of music played from behind her doors in the distance and ready in waiting were trays and trays of Blanquette de Limoux for their arrival…

Blanquette de Limoux was the first sparkling white wine ever produced in France, long before the Champagne region became world-renowned, having been created by local monks before the 1530s…

It was within what seemed like the wave of a wand that sixty guests from all around the world arrived to celebrate this wondrous occasion. Shortly thereafter the local village was overflowing with life hosting forty of the guests, while twenty stayed within the Château walls.

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And from that day forth, over the following days the Château was transformed anew every day so that she was dressed befitting for each occasion - for 18th Century inspired banquets, to dinners en plain air amongst the mountains, to Medieval inspired afternoon aperitifs, to morning teas of French delights and forests of grand gâteaux

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Because love is in the details…

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Until finally the clock struck twelve noon, and without further ado family and friends gathered together for the union of Dan and Carl… 

“Two hearts in love need no words”

Anonymous

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It was a celebration of true and everlasting love… 

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“You are today and all of my tomorrows”

Leo Christopher

And as the Festive Season is upon us, we realise that love and friendship shared is the essence of what life is truly all about. Togetherness at this most blessed time of year affirms love is life’s greatest gift. And this is truly worth celebrating…

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“All I want for Christmas is you”

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Thank you dearly to Coline and Matthew of Essence de la Vie for capturing all the beautiful moments over the four fairytale days.

À Très Bientôt,

Karina x