“We had the best time at Les Arcis – it is an ideal family get away! Beautiful setting, great food, swimming, and aperitifs on the terrace overlooking the garden. I will always remember our walk through the fields to a bakery in a barn to get fresh croissants. I can’t wait to go back!”
Chateau Les Arcis is an elegant country house set in extensive grounds comprising formal gardens and parkland with grand mature trees, an orchard, vegetable garden and small vineyard. The original building dates back to the 1700s and was the hunting lodge of Colbert, finance minister to Louis XIV.
There are many places to relax and enjoy the serenity of this magnificent property: long, lazy lunches in the shade of the great old yew tree; a barbecue by the pool, with views across fields of sunflowers and barley and over the park and beyond to the river Serein; evening drinks on the terrace and a game of boules before dinner under a starry sky.
Large study/TV room
Landing with sofa and baby grand piano
Large master bedroom and ensuite
Three double bedrooms (two with bath and basin)
Two twin rooms
Separate ‘wet room’ with walk in shower
1 Bathroom with WC
1 Separate WC
Large games room with TV
Log burning stove
Chateau Les Arcis is in the village of Hauterive in northern Burgundy (the Yonne Département) about 100 miles south of Paris. It borders the River Serein and is surrounded by farmland. It is a charming, friendly village with a church, small Mairie and Auberge.
From Paris: 1hr 45 (A6, junction 19 Auxerre)
From Calais: 4 hours (A16, A26, N77, D84)
Our nearest train station is Laroche-Migennes, approximately a 10 minute drive.
Direct trains from Paris Gare de Bercy every hour (journey time 1hr25)
Pick-up/drop-off can be arranged at the station as required.
Orly Airport, Paris
Seignelay (approx. 5 minute drive)
Auxerre (approx. 15 minute drive)
Chablis (approx. 20 minute drive)
Housekeeper to meet and greet guests
If desired, the housekeeper can pick up croissants etc and come in early to set up breakfast.
Gardener and pool cleaner
Cook, cleaner, babysitter available on request, at an extra price
Festins de Bourgogne is a Traiteurs down the road who supply people all over Burgundy. They offer a delivery service which is a great alternative to a live-in cook. (http://festins.fr/)
Tennis coaching can be arranged with enough prior notice. There is an excellent Parisian coach named Tibo who can come from Paris for a few days during the school holidays (and sleep in the Atelier or be put up locally). Local coaches are also available.
Chateau Les Arcis:
The house is extremely well-equipped for sports enthusiasts:
On-site all-weather tennis court
Table tennis and badminton
Bikes to enjoy the surrounding countryside.
Football – the lawn opposite the tennis court has two small goals and even a scoreboard.
A children’s climbing frame (with slide and swing) and Trampoline provide hours of entertainment for younger guests.
There are 3 sets of Boules. These are best used in the early evening on the gravel terrace, accompanied by a glass of Pernod…
A canopied outdoor dining table, together with a capacious gas-fired BBQ make this a great area for lunching and long afternoons in summer.
Games and indoor fun:
A variety of board games, jigsaw puzzles, etc are at your disposal in the Atelier, along with some arts & crafts, and a dressing up box.
Reading – we have a wide selection of books for you to enjoy during your stay.
TV / DVD / Wii – Sky TV, Apple TV, a large library of DVDs and Wii are available for those looking for a break from the rural idyll.
The country lanes around Les Arcis are quiet and offer some lovely walks. A couple of particular recommendations:
The River Serein
Just beyond the bottom of the garden is the pretty River Serein. There are some wonderful picnicking spots along the river. Turn right down the farm track (by the tennis court gate) that runs parallel to the river to find the best spots.
Cross the bridge opposite the bottom garden and keep heading straight across the fields. After 300 yards or so you’ll come to another section of the river, which requires some rather more intrepid crossing. For those who make it, turn right and ahead you will see the Moulin, an organic Boulangerie which is open to customers Thurs, Fri, and Sat 17:30 – 19:30). Their croissants and gougères are particularly good. There is another delightful picnic/aperitif spot by the river opposite the Moulin. It takes some finding (and involves crossing the little footbridge just by the entrance to the Moulin), but is well worth it.
Le Fôret d’Othe (approx. 10 minutes drive)
A vast forest, perfect for biking and long walks.
The Regional National park of Morvan (approx. 1h15 minutes drive)
A protected area of woodlands, lakes and traditional farmland located in the heart of Burgundy, stretching from Vezelay and Avallon in the north to Autun in the south. It’s an excellent place for outdoor activities, including cycling, mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, swimming, pedaloes, white water rafting, fishing and horse riding.
History and Culture:
Seignelay (approx. 5 minutes drive)
A pretty town with an 18th Century covered market.
Chablis (approx. 20 minutes drive)
Chablis is a beautiful medieval town, surrounded by the most famous vineyards of the region.
Wine tastings (degustations) are available in the town, as well as in the surrounding wineries
Great street market every Sunday.
Pontigny, (approx. 10 minutes drive)
The stunning 12th Century Abbey, steeped in history, is one of the great Cistercian monasteries of France. The monks from the Abbey de Pontigny were the first to plant Chardonnay vines on these slopes surrounding the River Serein. The Abbey is a stopping point on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.
Joigny, (approx. 15 minutes drive)
A pretty medieval town on the banks of the Yonne River
Bi-weekly street market
There are walks along the canals and barge and boat trips are available.
Auxerre, (approx. 15 minutes drive)
Protected Historic Town
Its lovely cobbled centre ville, on the hill that runs up from the west bank of the river, is towered over by the cathedral, abbey and several churches.
There are lovely walks along the river with a variety of restaurants and cafés.
Vezelay (approx. 60 minutes drive)
‘The most visited cultural site in Burgundy’
This medieval hilltop town, (only 500 inhabitants), overlooking the Cure valley, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Dominated by the impressive Basilique Sainte Marie Madeleine, it has been a great centre for pilgrims for centuries, and is another stopping point on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.
Noyers-sur-Serein (approx. 45 minutes drive)
A very attractive village with a well-preserved 15th century medieval centre.
No less than 78 classified historic monuments in the village!
Irancy (approx. 30 minutes drive)
Famous for its Pinot Noir, this lovely old village lies in the centre of a horse-shoe of hills covered in vines. There is a great walk along its edge and a wonderful picnic spot at the top of the horse-shoe with breath-taking views over the valley of Irancy.
Guedelon (approx. 60 minutes drive)
A medieval castle being built with only the techniques and materials used in the Middle Ages. Fascinating for all ages.
Avallon (approx. 57 minutes drive)
Ideally situated for forays into the Morvan, Avallon is a fortified town lying between two ravines. From the ramparts you can look across the rooftops to the Valley of the Cousin.
Beaune (approx. 1h40 minutes drive)
The beautiful Beaune is is the wine capital of Burgundy in the Côte d’Or department. Standing at its heart is the famous Hotel-Dieu, the town’s 15th-century hospital and symbol of the town’s history.
St Fargeau (approx. 55 minutes drive)
St Fargeau has a stunning 17th century chateau, with candlelit tours at night. In the summer, they put on a wonderful Son et Lumieres: the history of France presented by about 600 actors, horses, fireworks, etc.
Grottes d’Arcy-sur-Cure (approx. 40 minutes drive)
The Grottoes of Arcy-sur-Cure are several small limestone caves formed by the River Cure. In 1990, dozens of wall paintings from the middle and late Palaeolithic period were discovered including hand prints and depictions of bears, mammoths and ibexes believed to be the second-oldest in the world after those of the Chauvet Grotto.
Wining and Dining
Chablis (20-25 minutes drive)
There are some excellent restaurants in Chablis, and a variety of wine tasting options. Top recommendations include:
L’Hostellerie des Clos, Le Syracuse and Le Bistrot des Grand Crus
Auxerre (15-20 minutes drive)
Auxerre has a wide selection of places to eat, with some nice spots down by the river. Le Jardin Gourmand, is particularly recommended.
Joigny (20-25 minutes)
The famous La Cote Saint Jacques has 3 Michelin stars. A lovely alternative, down by the river is Le Rive Gauche.
Irancy (35-40 minutes)
Le Souffle in Irancy is a hidden gem.
Closer to home:
The Auberge (3 minute drive, 15 minute walk,)
Open for lunch every day except Mondays. It’s unlikely to win any culinary awards, but is good, honest (and cheap) fare and is an easy option if you’re looking for a quick fix. (Straight ahead from the front entrance, turn right at the main road and the Auberge is at the roundabout.)
Seignelay (5 minutes drive)
The Hotel du Commerce is a short walk from the medieval covered market and offers a set menu, roughly on par with the Auberge mentioned above.
Monetau (10-15 minutes drive)
The Terrace Gourmande in Moneteau, along the road to Auxerre is very good. The terrace, overlooking the river is lovely in the summer.