Domaine Richot

What the Burgundy/Champagne border has to hold...

A Parisian friend has always remarked on how well he feels in La Haute-Marne. We have no reason to disagree with him...

With the countryside all around, you will be delighted by the feeling of total wind-down. The occasional passing car or tractor, the church bells and the sound of birdsong by day, followed by the smell of woodsmoke from chimneys and the fabulous undisturbed starry skies by night, you can't fail to be enchanted by Aubepierre. Culture and activity is on your doorstep when you decide that's what you want.

To make it easier for you to navigate through 'Local Info', we have placed everything in alphabetical order... and, of course, if there is anything we have missed or anything you would like further information on, please do contact us timandsarahgroves@icloud.com


Bird-Watching

As befits a national park, the whole area has a very extensive range of birdlife. Our plumber is a keen ornithologist and you can see some of his work on www.eric-brocard-photographe.com. On one kayak trip on the river we once spotted five kingfishers, and you will frequently hear and see birds of prey as well as many other species.

To wet your appetite, here is a list of some of the birds to be spotted in the area around Aubepierre :  All the woodpeckers, goshawk, honey buzzard (Black stork) in the Foret de Chatillon, and Montagu's Harriers on arable land. Combe de Lavaux (behind Gevrey Chambertin) and Short toed eagle near Marsannay (Dijon).


Children

Our children generally spend their days playing in the garden and fields of the property and in the swimming pool. Messing around by the river and exploring the woodland tracks on foot or bicycle are also favourite pastimes. We occasionally have trips out and these are some ideas:

Sensation Nature – French equivalent of “Go Ape”

Just outside Langres there is an excellent wood where all ages can climb in the trees. With 5 different levels to conquer, there is something for everyone. See www.sensationature.com 

There are lakes to the north of Langres where visitors can also sail, fish and enjoy water sports. See www.tourisme-langres.com

Nigloland

This amusement park is under an hour’s drive north from Aubepierre, and boasts a good selection of rides for all ages, including the first ‘Grizzli’ ride in Europe. It can, however, be busy in peak season. www.nigloland.fr

 


Cultural Visits

La ‘Maison Laurentine’ in the village offers a selection of modern art and music in the grounds and outbuildings of the house. www.laurentine.net

Nearby cities and towns boast a wealth of history and architectural treasures, from Troyes and Dijon to Langres (the ‘Carcassonne of the North’) and Chaumont. 

There are some fabulous chateaux to visit, in particular:

Dinteville is a beautiful little moated chateau about a quarter of an hour away, and is open mid July to the end of August. www.dinteville.com

Joinville is about 50mins drive www.haute-marne.fr/legrandjardin 

Cirey-sur-Blaise is about 50mins drive www.visitvoltaire.com and

Ancy-le Franc is a bit further at just over an hour www.chateau-ancy.com

There are also some impressive abbeys, notably the ‘Abbayes’ at Auberive, www.abbaye-auberive.com, at 15mins away, and at Fontenay, www.abbayedefontenay.com

For a longer day trip, you can visit an amazing 18thcentury castle being built using old methods. See www.guedelon.fr

Colombey-les-deux-eglises, birth place of Charles de Gaulle www.memorial-charlesdegaulle.fr

There are several sites in the area where allied Lancaster bombers came down during the 2nd World War which are worth a visit. The 3 nearby crash sites are in the villages of Cour l’Eveque, Lignerolles, and Giey-sur-Aujon. For enthusiasts, the baker in Giey has an interesting collection of crash debris which he can be persuaded to reveal.

For avid shoppers, there is a huge factory outlet shopping centre on the outskirts of Troyes  www.marquesavenue.com

For further information on the surrounding area, see www.tourisme-hautemarne.com, and www.tourisme-langres.com.


Cycling

This is fantastic countryside for off-road biking and little-used roads for on-road biking. There is a selection of bikes at the house which are regularly used by the owners and their family, and can be used at the visitor’s own risk by arrangement. Please ask Catherine for the key to the barn where the bikes are housed. There is a selection of local IGN maps at your disposal so you can plan routes before setting out!

As already mentionned, there is a local English cycling and triathlon enthusiast who would be happy to guide you on routes in the area, should you so wish. Also, from this summer, there will be Garmin routes available for download. 


Fishing

There is a choice of fishing venues locally, either in the local river or in a private lake. The river requires a day permit from the village shop, and the private lake is by arrangement with the local farmer. For a guaranteed “catch” you can drive (or cycle) to one of the nearby fisheries where you can choose either to catch your own (borrowed rods) or have them net one for you. The nearest is c.15mins north in Veuxhalles-sur-Aube. Follow the signs for “pèche à la truite”.


Golf

There is a 9-hole golf course in the grounds of an 18th century chateau, in Arc-en-Barrois, which is reputed to be a very challenging and highly picturesque course. Day tickets are available.   www.golfarc.fr


Restaurants

There are a couple of good restaurants serving local fare in Arc-en-Barrois: ‘L’Hotel du Parc’ in the main square and ‘Le Coq d’Argent’ just along from the pharmacy.

In nearby Dancevoir, 'Le Nid de Cicogne' is open at weekends and serves traditional Alsace-Lorraine dishes, and in Saint-Loup-sur-Aujon, there’s a very welcoming restaurant called ‘Aux Rives de L’Aujon’ (phone 00 33 3 25 84 40 14).

If you like pizzas, you could try the mobile pizza  van which calls through Arc on a Tuesday night. He enjoys the company of ‘Les British’ and his pizzas are very good, cooked in a wood-fired oven. Be prepared for a queue, so you are best advised to turn up and order, then go off for a drink and return to pick them up.

You can also eat well in restaurants in Chaumont (‘Le Saint Hubert’) and Langres.


Tennis

There is a village tennis court (free to use), and more courts in Arc-en-Barrois. There are tennis rackets and balls at 'La Tonnellerie' and 'L'Entrepot' for your use should you wish. The property also has a full-size table tennis table and grass badminton court.


Walking

This is a hugely forested region with many old medieval villages to be explored on foot. There is a plethora of wildlife – birds, red squirrels, deer and wild boar, though you will do very well to actually spot any game (other than at night on the road). The forests are reliable providers of mushrooms in the summer and autumn, particularly ceps and chanterelles for adept mycologists (if in doubt – verify any species you intend to eat at the pharmacy in Arc-en-Barrois). There is a selection of French IGN maps (1:25,000) in both properties.


Wine

Aubepierre sits between the Champagne region to the North, near Reims, and the Burgundy region to the South. There are some local vineyards to visit, Domain Brigand being a good example (on the road to Chatillon). Here you can taste their selection of wines ranging from the local ‘champagne’, called ‘Cremant de Bourgogne’, to white and red Burgundies. You can also visit the very well put together museum about the grape-growing and wine-making process. For an informative morning out before lunch in Chatillon–sur-Seine (just down the road) we can thoroughly recommend it. See the details on the dresser or www.domainebrigand.com.

For interesting days out, there are also the well known Burgundy towns of Beaune www.beaune-burgundy.com and Nuits St Georges to the South, and Chablis to the West, all within easy reach.

 


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