4 Aug 2014

Diary From Provence: Chateau De La Motte Fenelon

ChChateau, France, Vicki Archer, Diary from Provence

Most years we drive from London to Provence for the summer.

A long journey, but there is a certain luxury to your own car and escaping the joys of airports and plane travel.

We usually stay somewhere different overnight… a chance to explore new areas of France and to break the journey.

This year we stopped in Cambrai at Chateau de la Motte Fenelon in northern France.

Cambrai is a popular stopping off point for those history buffs interested in exploring the French battlefields… the Western Front and memorials from World War I.

Cambrai is not the most scenic of French destinations that I have been too… yet the hotel that we stayed in was a true surprise.

Chateau de la Motte Fenelon is one of those beautiful buildings that has survived yet been encroached upon by modern life and progress.

The decor is lovely… a classic French beauty.

Downstairs the reception rooms were enfilade style…  The doors entering each room were aligned with the doors of the connecting rooms along a single axis, allowing a vista through the entire suite of rooms.

I do love that idea, that you can see through from one end to the other.

Upstairs, the bedrooms were large and extremely comfortable… old fashioned but charming.

Pretty commodes and Louis style desks… tall windows with billowing curtains and original shutters.

Chateau de la Motte Fenelon was a little like Fawlty Towers… sadly without Basil.

It was slightly chaotic, a little help yourself-ish but so friendly. I felt as if we were guests in a country home, not hotel residents.

If you happen to be in northern France and want to immerse yourself in a world gone by, Chateau de la Motte Fenelon is the destination.

Chateau de la Motte Fenelon

Résidence la Forêt

59403 Cambrai


+33 3 27 83 61 38

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Anita Rivera

Bonjour Vicki!

I will be in northern France next year and will look this up. You will be my source for places to visit!

This beautiful château reminds me a bit of the Swedish mansion I just visited here in my city of Minneapolis. For a “rare” glimpse of my own photography, I will be offering my readers a look into a gem of a castle and a bit of Anita on the dance floor….

Have a lovely day. Anita


“I felt as if we were guests in a country home” was almost identical to what we wrote before departing from Le Petit Bijou in June! C xx

Karen in Oxford

We love a road trip! Usually we make two stops on the way down if going over the top, in the vicinity of Epernay and perhaps Beaune for example, and then maybe round the other side up to Amboise on the way back. It’s a lovely way to extend the journey if you have the time and the chateaux dotted around the countryside are quaint stopovers for the night. The houses we have stayed in don’t typically have a restaurant so it’s out for a meal on the evening of arrival and then to an enormous dining room for a self-service breakfast before departure – very informal but always very welcoming. There is nothing quite like this in England is there, as the country house hotels are proper hotels but these chateaux allow you to imagine what it must have been like to live in a pre-Revolutionary world…..the clothes, the furniture and the architecture! It’s an adventurous and delightful way to travel I feel.


The room with the glorious antique rug and fuschia upholstered chairs…all a delight!

Featuring Artist John Matthew Moore
The Arts by Karena

D. A. Wolf

Oh, I haven’t been to Provence in nearly 10 years! (J’arrive à peine à le croire.)

I’ll just dream a little dream, I guess. Comme d’habitude.

Those fuchsia chairs are both surprising and GORGEOUS. Amazing what a striking color can accomplish .


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