Château de Montcaud: a renaissance at the height of its history!

Château de Montcaud has just been awarded its first Michelin star. Its chef, Matthieu Hervé, delights us with creative cuisine rooted in the terroir. An excellent address for aesthetes looking for a haven of peace in Provence.

 

Close to Uzès and the Pont du Gard, Château de Montcaud offers an enchanted interlude in Provence. It’s an address you’d gladly entrust to friends looking for calm and authenticity when the season is in full swing.

 

This 19th-century jewel nestles in a green setting, offering an idealized interpretation of nature as seen in the paintings of Théodore Rousseau.

 

Rated five stars, this grand aristocratic residence is one of Languedoc Roussillon’s finest hotel jewels. But its past has not been an easy one…

 

A family history through the centuries

Alexandre-Eugène Collain made his fortune in the silk trade and bought a plot of land in the small village of Sabran to realize his lifelong dream of owning his own château. Completion was celebrated in 1875. Portraits of the owner, his wife and son can be seen on the first floor. On his father’s death, Florentin Collain took over the Château de Montcaud in the same humanist tradition. Elected mayor of Sabran, he encouraged education and culture, and worked to improve the lot of farm workers and domestic servants.

 

“He loved to organize concerts and balls, inviting people from all walks of life, rich and poor alike. An avid music lover, he kept an orchestra of a dozen or so musicians playing at his parties,” explains our host, Bertille Saudrais-Petit.

 

Several owners succeeded one another at the head of this house, which was gradually falling into disrepair.

 

In the 90s, Rudy Baur acquired Château de Montcaud and transformed it into a charming hotel.

 

In 2016, Swiss industrialist Jürg Witmer bought the Sleeping Beauty at auction. He entrusted the reins to his daughter Andrea and son-in-law, Rolf Bertschi, an internationally successful hotelier.

 

The couple’s extensive metamorphosis program restored the Château to its former glory. It wasn’t until 2018 that the Château was reborn. Today, Austrian-born Sandra Lampée-Baumgartner is the hotel’s Director, drawing on her experience in the finest boutique hotels in Paris and the Grand Hôtel de l’Opéra in Toulouse. She is always happy to share her favorite visits to the region with guests, and is happy to point them in the direction of the charming town of Uzès.

 

A blend of bourgeois spirit and modernity

 

The Château de Montcaud salon, a blend of bourgeois spirit and modernity © Château de Montcaud

 

As you lightly climb the flight of blonde stone double staircases, you enter a warm and welcoming home. From the outset, this boutique hotel announces an intimate interlude.

 

The lounges have retained their 19th-century bourgeois spirit: herringbone parquet flooring, ceilings with delicate painted moldings, marble fireplaces and high gilded mirrors, marquetry panelling, heavy drapes framing the windows, master paintings…

 

Contemporary carpets and furniture add a cheerful touch to this refined old-fashioned residence.

 

The lighting fixtures in the main staircase leading to the bedrooms are particularly elegant. It was a daring installation, both spacious and airy. O time suspend your flight!

 

The decor, imagined by interior designer Sophie Petit, creates an alliance between bourgeois spirit and modernity. No ostentatious luxury, but sober elegance. “We left out anything superfluous. Anything that distracts attention. Just lightness. A state of serenity that lets you let go and forget everyday life.”

 

Rooms, suites and … a Provencal cottage

With its 29 rooms and suites, Château de Montcaud invites guests on a journey back in time, without the need for a time machine. This combination of comfort and simplicity has earned the establishment two Michelin stars, a special distinction introduced in 2024.

 

We recommend the “Corner Suite Junior”, a very spacious corner room with two large windows that open delightfully onto the park. A soft sofa, lovely oak furniture and a king-size bed. The bathroom is a room in its own right, and a pleasure to linger in. It features a chandelier on the ceiling, an old-fashioned bathtub and a rain shower.

 

It’s not immediately obvious where the different-colored paintings on the walls come from. But of course! They are woven from silk, in a nod to the past of this region of magnaneries (silkworm farms).

 

A privileged space on the first floor, the “Suite Collain”, named after the Château’s builder, boasts high ceilings. From the retro clawfoot bath in front of the window, you can enjoy a bucolic view of the park.

 

Montcaud also features duplex suites with balconies and a vast apartment with fireplace in the Mas.

 

For an extended family stay, you can rent the former janitor’s cottage at the entrance to the park. This 70 m2 Provençal cottage, laid out on two levels, allows you to enjoy your independence while benefiting from the hotel services of a five-star establishment.

 

Dogs are welcome here, and all four-legged pets are welcome, but they do not have access to the gourmet restaurant. That goes without saying…

 

Creative cuisine rooted in the terroir

 

Terrace service at Cèdre de Montcaud, the gourmet restaurant. Delphine Constantini

 

Gourmets are delighted to book a table at Le Cèdre de Montcaud, which has just been awarded its first star in the 2024 edition of the Guide Rouge.

 

Matthieu Hervé, a globetrotter of haute cuisine, puts his experience at the service of Château de Montcaud. He has worked at the Negresco in Nice, in Courchevel alongside Enrico Bernardo, the world’s best sommelier, with Daniel Boulud in New York and Montreal, and most recently with Peter Knogl at the Cheval Blanc in Basel.

 

“With my wife, whom I met at Negresco, we love our house near the Château. It’s the ideal region in which to build a family life,” enthuses the 37-year-old chef and father of a young child.

 

A native of Normandy, Matthieu Hervé never forgets his passion for fish and seafood. His creative cuisine is rooted in the region. His blue crab with mango, red tuna with figs and zucchini, saddle of lamb with seaweed, and chocolate cookie with blueberry ice cream are a delight.

 

While the various citrus fruits from the kitchen garden and honey from the house’s seventeen beehives take pride of place on the plates, the products from the market garden are designed to be locavores. Pigeon from the Costières de Nîmes region is the signature dish, 100% from the Gard region, with foie gras and truffles in season.

 

Matthieu Hervé’s cuisine can also be enjoyed at the “Bistro”, in the shade of the plane trees, for a light lunch or casual dinner. A three-course menu for 54 euros makes this guinguette-style restaurant affordable. Regulars enjoy the prime rib, bouillabaisse or moules frites. Fillet of Camargue bull with melting potatoes, baby carrots and chanterelle mushrooms. Montcaud is a busy place, even on weekdays.

 

In the shade of cedars and redwoods

The Château de Montcaud swimming pool heated to 29 degrees © Delphine Constantini

 

The park is an enchantment for strolling, dreaming and meditating…

Alexandre-Eugène Collain, who dreamed of becoming an accomplished castle owner, had 140 species of trees from all over the world planted on his estate. The Bertschi couple discovered a wood that resembled a jungle. They had the good sense to ask arborist Marc Brillat-Savarin to restore it to its former beauty, based on the original plans. Cedars of Lebanon, redwoods, umbrella pines and ginkgoes provide welcome shade when the southern sun beats down. Near a historic grotto, a little hidden gem, the croaking of frogs and birdsong add to the charm of the place.

 

In front of the Château, the water-lily-covered ornamental pond is home to goldfish. Postcard-perfect!

 

Parc de Montcaud also boasts a large outdoor swimming pool heated to 29 degrees, a tennis court and a pétanque court. Take advantage of the “food truck” to order a cocktail, or hop on an electric bike to get away from it all.

 

Let’s go there!

Château de Montcaud

Hameau de Combes 30200 Sabran

Rooms from 296 euros

Tel: + 33 4 66 33 20 15

www.chateaudemontcaud.com

Read also > DINNER AT THE CAFE DES ARTS-FONDATION MANIGLIER : A VISUAL AND GUSTATORY SPELL

Featured Photo: Château de Montcaud has just been awarded its first star in the 2024 edition of the Red Guide. © Château de Montcaud

Corine Moriou a été Grand Reporter pour le groupe L’Express pendant 15 ans. Aujourd’hui, elle exerce son métier en tant que journaliste indépendante. Ses domaines de prédilection sont les sujets de société, la culture, les voyages, le bien-être. Jamais blasée, toujours prête !

Tags

Luxus Magazine recommends

8 June 2024

Some ideas for luxury spa hotels

In addition to their exceptional setting, their individually elegant rooms and their top-of-the-range restaurants, these five sumptuous hotels

Luxus Magazine N°8

Now available