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French Country Hideaways: Vacationing At Private Chateaus & Manors in Rural France Hardcover – October 2, 2005

8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Casey O’Brien Blondes moved to France from her native New York sixteen years ago with her husband. After several years in Paris, the couple moved to a restored farmhouse in the Loire Valley, where Blondes became immersed in the local culture.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (October 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847826821
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847826827
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Casey O'Brien Blondes is the author of PARISIAN HIDEAWAYS:Exquisite Rooms in Enchanting Hotels (Rizzoli 2009,2012) and FRENCH COUNTRY HIDEAWAYS:Vacationing at Private Chateaus & Manors in Rural France (Rizzoli 2005).
She left New York for Paris in 1988 intending to stay a year and has yet to move back. Now a dual national, Casey lives between the Loire Valley and Paris.

She writes about French life, culture and tourism for print and web media, and has her own blog To&Fro.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Marie Antoinette VINE VOICE on February 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book for someone who is thinking of staying at a private French chateau or at a country manor. The book is divided into different regions of France, beautifully illustrating both the exteriors with their stunning views as well as the interiors of these places. One learns some information about the current owners of these charming dwellings. For each residence, there is a list of places to visit recommended by the owners. At the back of the book there is useful information on each chateau or manor such as the address, phone number, fax number, and often email address and website. This is a great travel aid for someone who planning a special vacation in rural France. Great decorating ideas too!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Miranda Barry on December 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Do you like to dream of travel? Or do you really go to France, leaving the beaten track to experience the very best countryside, cuisine, elegance and hospitality? Either way, this stunning book is perfect for you!

Casey O'Brien Blondes has found, meticulously researched, and visited 36 authentic chateaux and manor houses that welcome travelers. More than that, she describes the spirit and character of each place so vividly that you can practically smell the pungent rosemary in the kitchen or the antique roses you might find on your bedside table. While soaking up the history of the place or meeting the family, you will revel in the beauty of Stephanie Cardon's incandescent photographs. This is also an unusual and glorious resource for interior designers, filled with color and charm from austere to cozy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By George A. Heidenrich on November 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We are planning a trip to France next year,and wanted to see where we might stay other than the usual hotels. This book presents a good variety of privately owned, mainly upscale, homes more or less like American B&B's, with a helpful list of each owners' nearby "coups de coeur" (things to instantly fall in love with) including shops, restaurants, events, places to visit, etc. A total of 30 chateaus are grouped in four regional areas: Brittany & Normandy; Loire, Vendee, & Berry; Dourdogne & Aquitaine; and Provence.

Each presentation includes many photos and a vignette of the owners/hosts and their homes. Photos include views of some rooms, the country settings, and personalizing details such as gardens, animals, foods, decor, but only in a few cases the owners themselves.

Practical information is included in a separate chapter, comprising addresses, phone numbers, and in some cases email addresses and websites. Each location is classified as moderate (70-150 euros/night) or luxury (120-300 euros/night) for double occupancy. Days and hours of operation for coups de coeur are also listed. All information is as of the publication date (2005), and a random search as of Nov 2010 indicated the same in most cases, to approximately 15% higher in some cases.

All in all, we found this to be a helpful planning guide that made us think of visiting some other areas in addition to where we planned to go. It also provides a good peek into how the exurban French live. We'll almost certainly stay at one or two of the locations, and catch an additional "coups de coeur" or two.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ava on March 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book to plan for our vacation in France this summer. I love to collect books about France and "French Country Hideaways" is now my all time favorite. Casey O'Brien Blondes invites you to join her on a journey across France, to some of most charming towns and the families that welcome you into their homes and into their world. If I could have written a book about France, it would have been this one! Merci Casey :-) PS - Looking forward to more!
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