During a recent trip to the town of Cognac in the French Department of Charente, I had the pleasure of staying at Hotel du Domaine du Breuil, “a hotel of charm and character.” I checked in at night after a very long flight and set about to plug in all of my various electronic devices (of which I admit, I have a lot). Well after blowing a fuse in this beautiful country chauteau, I called it a night and went to bed. The Cognac Gods were telling me it was time to unplug and relax.
This is a wonderful place to stay if you ever have the pleasure of staying in Cognac. It was built in the 19th century, in the Louis Philippe style, as the Headquarters for a large house of cognac. It is surrounded by acres of gorgeous grounds and parkland and overlooks the valley and the River Charente with vineyards in the distance. If you are lucky you may even see deer hiding among the trees. Even though it feels secluded and is quiet and serene, it is still just a short walk or bike ride into the town of Cognac were you can catch a boat trip along the Charente, purchase wine at the stores of the great cognac houses or visit the Musee des Arts de Cognac.
The owners were welcoming and helpful, the accommodations were comfortable, the views of the countryside were great, the bar had over 150 cognacs (and counting!), and the food in the main dining room of the hotel was fantastic! The appetizer was a plate of three large scallops wrapped in cucumber on a bed of potato with a nice layer of bacon, followed by a tureen of braised lamb in a tomato-based gravy. The sides included a beautifully presented plate of vegetable mouse and mashed potato. And of course the dessert was an amazing crème brûlée. The restaurant food was great, so I ate there two nights of my business trip.
We should all unplug and take the time to sip some fine cognac. This charmed and beautiful hotel is a wonderful place to do just that. A great restaurant too!