Holiday Homes With The Star Foodie Factor
Ten years ago ‘culinary holidays’ were viewed as a form of niche tourism, but today visitors and holiday home owners are increasingly attracted to a region by its local produce, restaurants and culinary delights.Château de la Cazine hotel at the heart of Halcyon Retreat Golf & Spa Resort in the Limousin, France opened in July 2012 and is fast becoming known as a food-lovers haven, particularly since it received a Michelin star in March 2014. This standard of quality in the restaurant is setting the bar for the entire resort to follow.
Head Chef David Boyer advocates making the most of ingredients available close to home which will in turn, tempt people to travel (and return) to the region for the unique food experience. He says:
“The Limousin region has some incredible local produce and we use as much of this as we can to give our guests a true authentic taste of the region and we’re delighted that the judges regard our dishes so highly atChâteau de la Cazine. It’s a great honour to receive a Michelin star and to do so after less than two years is fantastic.”
Holiday home owners at Halcyon Retreat have the enjoyable daily dilemma of either ‘going gourmet’ in the chateau restaurant, preparing locally sourced produce in the comfort of their own home or to eat in one of the restaurants in the nearby medieval village.
Château de la Cazine, located near the town of La Souterraine, dates back to the 19th Century and was built by the original Viscount as a wedding present for his wife.The interior of the luxury eighteen – suite hotel matches the period style of the exterior, with many original features such as an ornate marble staircase and oil paintings in the restaurant and breakfast room, coupled with luxury hotel rooms featuring Louis XIV style furnishings.
In Limousin, food is an art of living with an abundance of top quality produceand the region has always been symbolised by a chestnut tree, since chestnuts were the main food base here for centuries. The famous Limousin beef from the sturdy reddish cow has also become an emblem of Limousin and is the most popular dish in Château de la Cazine’s restaurant.
Other celebrated local produce includes;veal, lamb, pork and foisgras, apples (the only ones to have been awarded the prestigious AOP* label in France), berries and walnuts, which can all be found in the local markets of Limoges, Brive, Aubusson, Fymoutiers and Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche.
France is synonymous with good wine and Château de la Cazine is also home to a Sommelier’s wine bar, where wine-lovers can sample a vast array of French wines and also indulge in the Chateau’s own label champagne. In France, thegrape harvest or ‘vendange’ typically takes place in September through to early November, with thepicking of the last of the desert wine grapes. During these autumn months the vines and surrounding countryside turns from green to red and is a popular time to visit the region.
Home owners at Halcyon Retreat do not have to go far to enjoy nature’s colourful autumnal displays, since the resort has 220 acres of woodland and its own established arboretum and two large, well-stocked fishing lakes on the doorstep.The properties at Halcyon Retreat comprise of fractional ownership within the Château and fractional or full ownership in ‘Le Village’ and all fractions are deeded. Owners will benefit from independently verified rental income for 10 years, an assured exit strategy for peace of mind, with maintenance and closing costs are all included.
Within the Château grounds a range of new build luxury studios, suites and apartments are available in ‘Le Village’. These luxury studios, suites and apartments (138 in total) are a short walk from the Halcyon Retreat spa centre and have vistas across the manicured golf course down to the resort’s sparkling lakes. These homes are designed to complement the existing original buildings found in‘Le Village’and will be finished to an incredible standard. Prices start from £11,500 for a 1/13th fraction of a studio apartment and from £130,000 for full ownership of a studio apartment.
There are a limited number of fractional suites available within the Château itself on a different package; period in style and luxuriously furnished, with striking design and features including roll top baths and ornate desks. All suites have views across the grounds and a 1/13th fraction is priced at £30,000.
The plethora of facilities at Halcyon Retreat will include; a French spa (idyllically situated in a second sixteenth century turreted Château), 18-hole manicured golf course, indoor swimming dome, pools and flumes, children’s adventure zone, laser quest, mountain bike tracks, equestrian centre, two well-stocked fishing lakes, gym, fitness classes, wellness restaurant, boulangerie, delicatessen, boutiques, manicured gardens and grounds and expert culinary classes
Sales Enquiries: Barrasford and Bird Worldwide Web: www.bandbw.co.uk / Tel: 0800 1 303 101
* Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP): To conform to the new European regulations, all products bearings a French AOC are changing their labels to the new Pan-European French AOP. For these unique French food, wines and other products the AOP label has the same or stricter meanings, controls and inspections throughout the European Union’s 27 member states.
Barrasford and Bird Worldwide:
Industry professionals since 2003, Barrasford and Bird Worldwide has successfully handed over more than 2,500 completed properties to their customers in a wide variety of countries, from Bulgaria to the Caribbean. Barrasford and Bird Worldwide now builds and manages its own luxury ‘Halcyon’ resorts in a selection of destinations including the US and France. The company’s UK offices are in Tavistock (Devon) and in Bristol and visits are welcome.
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