After a couple of days recouping we decided to try and make the journey home. We had booked a hotel an hour from Calais so that Harry could relax before another long journey after the ferry. The hotel of choice was Le Domaine de la Chartreuse which again was fabulously over the top with fleur de lis and toile de jouy everywhere. We had arrived after a very long drive with a very uncomfortable Harry who had a pillow strapped round his tummy. It was surprisingly remote but the hotel is set in vast grounds which is perfect for dog owners and it has a delightful French garden to stroll round where you can see the groundsman’s own dogs frolicking.
We had booked a junior suite which was huge with a canopied bed and extensive bathroom. The decor is slightly dated but very opulent and in the 60's when it was probably new it would have been jaw dropping. We booked in for dinner at one of the three restaurants called Le Vasco, a modern dining brasserie which has a colonial atmosphere. The food and wine were amazing and with very full tummies we went to bed for an early ferry the next day.
Off we went after a delicious breakfast and arrived at passport control...... Now for those of you that travel with dogs you know they must be treated for tapeworm within five days and no less than 24 hours before travelling home. We had done this when we thought we were going to be travelling home the previous week so her treatment had expired and amongst the chaos of Harry having an operation I had forgot to rebook it before travelling this time! So, we were turned away from passport control and told we could travel and leave her in kennels overnight and she would be on a different ferry the next day or we could find a vet in Calais get an injection for tapeworm and all travel together the next day. There was not a chance I was going to leave her in kennels so we called the hotel booked another night and went to look for a vet in Calais. We tried two vets before we found one that was open during the incredibly long French lunch breaks.
With Isla now up to date and able to sail back to England the following day we decided to make the most of a lovely afternoon and sat outside in the grounds with a bottle of champagne and playing card games. We decided to book into their haute cuisine restaurant Le Robert II and ordered the Menu Gastronomique which is an eight-course tasting menu. It was incredible!!! Maybe don't eat lunch though as untypically of French tasting menus there is a lot of food and when dessert comes around it is a trolley piled high with most exquisite looking puddings. Feeling very full we retreated to the bar for some drinks.......out came another serving trolley with savoury and sweet selection boards for the three of us to try. We pretty much rolled ourselves to the lift with our gigantic food babies and I’m not sure any of us slept particularly well that night after eating so much.
The next day we could get the ferry home....at last!!!
So, onto the ratings for Le Chartreuse. This is a fantastic hotel for breaking your journey on the way to Calais however there is not much to keep yourself entertained surrounding this hotel and there is no swimming pool so it is not a sun worshipper’s hotel. For the food, the size of the rooms and how accommodating they were (they gave us the same bedroom from the first night) I would give this hotel a 7 out of 10. It is 257 € a night for the Junior Suite however if you book through SLH and get it through a room upgrade it is 188€ a night.
Isla says she would give this hotel a pawsome rating of 5 out of 10. She loved the grounds, being able to sit with us in the bar and there was a chair in the room which she spent most of her time asleep on. She really didn’t enjoy being in and out of the French vets in Calais which she says is not really the fault of the hotel but it made her in enjoy it all a lot less.
In the next blog, we are reviewing the lovely Heald Country House in South Cheshire where I stayed the night before mine and Harrys wedding! Spencer will be able to give a review as well as he joined the family the April before the wedding.
Until next time,
Licks and cuddles,
Vicky and Fur Babies,