Just Divine

Trip Start Dec 10, 2012
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Trip End Jan 12, 2012


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Flag of France  , Rhone-Alpes,
Friday, December 28, 2012

Ahh, that's better. We've been in France and the French part of Switzerland for about 24 hours and already we're all wearing very happy grins.

Getting out of Geneva airport was a blast as we packed into our little Renault Clio and very quickly adapted to driving a left hand drive manual on the wrong side of the road. It was quite hilarious but thankfully we had Satnav which helped us navigate our way out of the city to our destination.

I chose Chateau de Divonne because of its proximity to Geneva (15 mins) and the fact that it seemed to be offering an authentic chateau experience at a price cheaper than a Geneva city hotel. Well it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

It was about 9pm when we arrived. The Chateau was lit up beautifully but we still had no idea of the beauty of our surrounds until morning. Our room was impeccable. High ceilings with rose chintz wallpaper and curtains. We very quickly made a mess of it. Our hostess advised us that the restaurant was closed but we could order room service. I asked for a charcuterie plate for Daniel and I and maybe a croque Monsieur (cheese and ham toasty) for the girls. Room service arrived 10 minutes later and we were presented with an exquisite cheese plate with home baked breads and a charcuterie plate - both of which would have been quite comfortable at Vue de monde. The bar fridge gave up two ice cold Kronenbourg 1664's and we were in heaven!

We all slept well and breakfast was held in the downstairs dining room with the most magnificent views overlooking Lake Geneva and the magnificent Swiss Alps.

After a delicious breakfast we went and explored the grounds (which were just gorgeous) and then headed out for a day trip to Lausanne, a quick 30km away, passing back into Switzerland. Lausanne was OK, some lovely buildings, but I think I prefer the small villages to the big cities. Still, we passed some magnificent scenery on the way; Alps and the lake to our right and the Jura and vineyards on our left. There was also some industry interspersed, particularly as we got closer to Lausanne.

We arrived back this afternoon and had a nap before slowly getting ready for dinner. As it was a Michelin starred restaurant, we all dressed for the occasion (to the extent that our limited clothes allowed). At dinner the girls said 'bonsoir' and 'merci' very politely. There were other families with children there all behaving impeccably, and I explained to Alexandra that this was the way children should behave in a nice restaurant. I think she appreciated my point.

We enjoyed a fantastic meal of lobster ravioli, sea bass with vegetables in a lovely buttery sauce, Iberian pork with seasonal vegetables, cheese and finally a roasted chestnut and blackberry ice cream something or other. With my Year 9 French I mistakenly ordered a bottle of Taittinger rose instead of two glasses of the champagne so this accompanied the entire meal. Not quite the right wine match but enjoyable just the same.

The girls enjoyed the sea bass (Alexandra) and roast chicken (Saskia) with vegetables and pasta, followed by a delicious brownie with ice-cream.

It was up there with the best French restaurant I have eaten in, in the most perfect setting. We're all getting ready to go to bed now, excited about heading to the other side of the Lake tomorrow to our chalet. There is just something so magnificent about this part of the world. C'est magnifique.
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