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Fodor's France 2014
Château de La Ballue
At a Glance
- exceptional taste
- a superb example of the "art de vivre."
- noted restaurant here now closed
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Château de La Ballue Review
Nineteenth-century writers Alfred de Musset, Honoré de Balzac, and Victor Hugo were all once guests at this quintessential Normand château, famed for its sophisticated gardens that feature witty modern sculpture, mannerist leafy groves, impressive columns of yew, a fernery, a labyrinth, and a Temple of Diana. La Ballue dates from 1620 and has a rather forbidding, severe exterior. Inside, however, the dynamic English-speaking owners Alain and Marie-Françoise Mathiot-Mathon offer a warm welcome. Gleaming wood paneling and period antiques grace the main floor, from which a huge granite staircase leads up to the lovely guest rooms—four large, beautifully decorated, fabric-swathed salons (each with a four-poster bed).
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