Published by Lyn on 3 September 2019
Becky Allen and Mark Goodson stayed at the hotel Château des Montharions at Les Monthairons while cycling the Meuse River bike route.
This château is set in lovely parkland bordering the river. Four poster beds, huge baths, sensational food and wonderful service made for a memorable stay.
5 things we liked about Château des Monthairons
The meal we had here – half way along the Euro Velo 19 Meuse Cycle Route – was a real highlight. The food (from rabbit stuffed with local rhubarb and roast trout with black garlic sauce to a frozen parfait with dragées – or sugared almonds – from Verdun) and Côtes de Meuse wines were superb, the service exemplary, and the cheese selection – wheeled to the table on a chariot de fromages was the perfect way to end a memorable meal.
Having told our waiter what cheeses we liked, and adding that we were keen to try new things, we let him pick our cheeses. This way, we discovered Camembert au Calvados. In a country famous for its cheese, this one – made by removing the rind from the camembert, dipping it in a mix of Calvados and cider, before rolling it in fine biscuit crumb – is a taste sensation.
When the receptionist leads you to your room, you know you’re in for a treat. The hotel-restaurant has been run by the same family since the 1980s, and the fact that it’s a family business shows in the care they take of all their guests. It’s the kind of the place that manages to be simultaneously grand and welcoming, rather than stuffy and pompous, which is perfect for cycle tourists who might lack pannier space for smart clothes but still fancy a treat.
The château is surrounded by acres of parkland, some fabulous old copper beeches, oaks and planes. The air in summer was thick with swallows and herons nest here in spring. And if you pick your way along paths mowed through the wildflower meadows, you’ll find yourself on the banks of a spur of the Meuse where you can relax on a lounger and soak up the atmosphere.
Our first floor room was vast, with a four-poster bed, a huge bath to soothe tired muscles, and a lovely view over the picturesque parkland. A peaceful, perfect overnight stay.
Leaving this hotel at 7.30am was a major mistake because this is breakfast to linger longer over: it was a princely spread of fresh cherries, madeleines from Commercy, cheeses, meat, and plates groaning under the weight of half a dozen different varieties of enriched dough.
Château des Monthairons & Spa is a delight. There are 'basic' (if a chateau can offer such a thing) rooms as well as more expensive deluxe suites and even an apartment sleeping up to 6 people (the €300-€390 a night fee is actually quite affordable when split 6 ways).
Château des Monthairons & Spa
26, Route de Verdun, Le Petit Monthairons, 55320 Les Monthairons
Meuse, Champagne-Ardennes (Grand Est)