Thursday, April 7, 2011

Castles

I loved castles as a little boy. A few years ago Wesco Fabrics provided a sales incentive trip for a stay at a wonderful French chateau and Paris for the Maison et Objet trade fair. We rented a van and driver and toured a number of enchanting Chateaus in the Loire region.

Chateau de la Flocelliere is an 11th century chateau in the rolling hills of the Vendee region south of the Loire Valley. It is owned by the Vicomte & Vicomtesse Vignial. The Vicomte is a patrician gentleman with a passionate love affair for the chateau that has been in his family for centuries.

The view was lovely from our room.

I spent hours walking the grounds with my camera.

The medieval castle’s keep.

I think Marla was thinking, “I might just learn to enjoy this aristocratic lifestyle.”

The sitting room was perfect for an evening aperitif.

Having breakfast.

The Murano glass chandeliers were exquisite. Vicomte Vignial proudly took us on a room tour and showed us his favorite pieces. The medieval stain glass panels were quite stunning.

This is the epitome of classic chateau interior style.

Marla and I surprised our Wesco Fabrics guests with a wonderful Renaissance dinner in the Chateau. We asked for everyone’s clothing sizes before we left for France as period costumes were provided for us for the evening. The Vicomte is pictured in his Renaissance attire while his staff carried a desert shaped like the chateau. Maids even escorted us back to our rooms by candlelight. It was a truly memorable evening!

“You look ravishing my dear!”

We visited Chateau de la Flocelliere the previous year and dined with friends of the Vicomte & the Vicomtesse. The friends owned a beautiful chateau nearby. I arranged a private visit for our Wesco group as it is not open to the public.

The owner’s son is an architect who helped his mother with interior design ideas. We loved the mix of the medieval with modern!

Marla looks rather regal sitting on the chaise next to ancient tapestries. The chateau was a living museum of medieval decorative arts.

Our gracious hosts treated us…shall I say it…royally!

We were in Phuket, Thailand, the following year and met up with the Vignials at their son’s bar and restaurant.

Looking back over the years, it is the people that you remember the most from our many Wesco Fabrics’ sales incentive trips. It is wonderful when a Wesco customer becomes a friend!

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