Flight of French fancy

Les Sources de Cau­dalie, Bordeaux, France

Country Life Every Week - - Mini-break Travel -

LAST Novem­ber, Les Sources de Cau­dalie was awarded the pres­ti­gious Palace sta­tus, a ti­tle held by the 23 finest five-star ho­tels in France. Sit­ting on a terrace sip­ping the es­tate’s own wine, watch­ing a horse work­ing the or­ganic vine­yards and feel­ing re­freshed af­ter a fa­cial at the spa, which uses the vines in its prod­ucts, you will ap­pre­ci­ate ex­actly why.

Owner Alice Tour­bier calls Les Sources ‘an ex­pe­ri­ence’ and it truly is: a mere 20 min­utes from Bordeaux air­port, the sense of tran­quil­ity here makes it feel a world away. It’s also a fam­ily af­fair—alice’s par­ents, Florence and Daniel Cathiard, bought the vine­yard here af­ter for­mer lives in busi­ness and as mem­bers of the French Olympic ski team, their daugh­ter Mathilde started the Cau­dalie beauty brand and spa and Alice and her hus­band, Jérôme, en­tered into the fray with their won­drous ho­tel and three on-site restau­rants.

The finest suite in the house is un­doubt­edly L’ile aux Oiseaux (be­low), a cabin on stilts over a lake, which re­ceives a makeover ev­ery two years. The cur­rent in­car­na­tion, by bridal de­signer Del­phine Manivet, is all soft-pink fur­nish­ings, shim­mer­ing mother-of-pearl tiles and float­ing white cur­tains—it’s like step­ping in­side a fon­dant fancy, in the best pos­si­ble way. VM Pres­tige rooms from €300 per night, based on two shar­ing, with break­fast (00 33 5 57 83 83 83; www. sources-cau­dalie.com). easy­jet flights from London Gatwick to Bordeaux from £23.24 per per­son (www.easy­jet.com)

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