It’s day four of the French Odyssey, and it’s the pre-wedding rehearsal day at the Château Valmy. It’s meeting the wedding planner and her meticulous preparations. We, meaning the bridesmaids, best-men (yes Tim decided on two), the father of the bride, the bride herself and myself, were requested to first assemble at the Château Valmy wine restaurant, La Table de Valmy, prior to the actual rehearsal at the castle.

The castle, built on the foothills of the Albères, offers a breathtaking 360 ° view on the sprawling vineyards, the sea, the Roussillon plain and the Pyrenees …

Its park, a forest of hundred-year-old cedars , gives a majestic welcome as soon as the gate of the castle park opens, an invitation to walk …

This magnificent unreal white fairytale castle, backing onto the Albères and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, is today one of the jewels of the Côte Vermeille, both for its daring aesthetics, the quality of its wines and the exception of its guest rooms.

As I had arrived at our meeting point, La Table de Valmy, early before the others, I decided to wander about and walk into the vineyards’

Again, it stirred up 16 years of childhood memories living virtually in vineyards. It’s been many decades that I have not walked on the particular soil that does so well with growing grapes. Sure, the terroir of the Valmy, region is very different to the Rheingau in Germany, where I grew up, but there are definitely some similarities.

What I thought was delightful that the rows had some small rose bushes planted at beginning of each row.

I would have loved to walk the hot vineyard paths like I used to in Germany. Well, maybe some other time in the future!

Wine barrels are always a pleasing sight to me …

The castle Valmy, is a castle of Art Nouveau style, typical of the Belle Époque , which was built between 1888 and 1900 by Danish architect Viggo Dorph Petersen.

When my little car was happily parked in the castle grounds, we were then taken along the wedding itinerary points for everyone, but I had a little sneak preview in the inside of the château.

As well as the view from the castle towards the restaurant and beyond. In the distance you can see the Mediterranean sea.

It’s there where I spotted a stork nest, right on top of one of the trees.

There came a point when I was no longer needed by the wedding planner, so I left the little group to be instructed for tomorrow’s events and enjoyed a little walk about in the magnificent park around the castle.
There was some live music coming from the distant restaurant giving the whole experience a Mediterranean feel, as also close to the Spanish border.

Leaving the grassy area where the ceremony will take place tomorrow, there were some inviting paths to explore.

I am a nature girl and was super happy to go on a rambling walk-about.

I could have spent hours in the clusters of trees, but it was time to continue with the program for today. As I mentioned before, it is my intention to be back here again at my own leisure.

For now it is au revoir to this tranquil place, a sacred space that makes my heart rejoice! For now, it’s time to meet up with the rest of the family and get some rest … tomorrow is a big day.
Till then, joyful blessings,  


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