Chateau Allure du Lac
After stepping inside Chateau Allure du Lac, I was greeted by a beautiful twin staircase with red carpet that leads to the upper floor; beautiful décor and furnishings that really gave the feel for the era which the chateau was constructed (not everything was of course, but it was still quite lovely).
We were welcomed by the French staff which consisted of 3 people, a family; Thierry, the father has very kind eyes (they all do in fact) a big smile and an eagerness to help out. His face is round with crow’s feet from his eyes that showed he loves to laugh and smile. He had stubble on his face, and it was clear he just came inside from working the grounds. His wife, Véronique, is quite a bit shorter than I. She has auburn hair and a smile that fills her face and sparkles in her eyes. The third is Arnaud, tallest of the three, his hair is thinning like his father’s but he has wispy black hair where his father’s was short trimmed and greying. He has a smile like his mother, and eyes like his father.
(This is a photo of me visiting Véronique, Thierry & the family a few months later after I was no longer working at the Chateau Allure du Lac, you can read from the start of that journey here: Day 0 - Travel such an amazing family!)
We were quickly guided into the room located to the right, a lovely “tea room” with white ornate antique looking sofas and a few chairs. (We did some beautiful photographs of Susan, Rod & Charlize-Joelle in the room just past the tea room. It's the feature image) Susy spirited herself away to get the tea and cakes while Thierry stoked the fire in the fireplace.
Susan, Rod & Charlize-Joelle sat across from Arlene and I, they moved a pillow on the sofa which revealed a few cigarette burns in the upholstery and quickly covered it up again as Susy very un-easily walked in with tea on a serving tray. The tea was spilling in the tray as Véronique walked in behind her with the sandwiches. Susy sat down to join us and we all drank tea and chatted. Everything in the room had a story behind it, she told us of other clients who shot rock and roll music videos there and how she’s been approached by a reality show similar to the Bachelorette to use the chateau. Charlize-Joelle was getting bored and wanted to go for a walk. I couldn’t blame her, Susy’s stories seemed to have no end and were always more extravagant than the last. So I left with her for about an hour and explored the grounds while it was still light out. It was a good opportunity to scout for photography spots.
Charlize-Joelle and the Island
As we walked the grounds we found a little island on the lake with a bridge leading to it. ‘How cool’, I thought (ever since I was a kid I loved islands… don’t know why, just do… ok?). We headed over to the island and crossed the dilapidated bridge (just a few steps and not a far drop, so nothing to worry about). The island was full of trees and tiny little flowers that were starting to grow.
“Look Charlize-Joelle”, I said and pointed at what kind of looked like a cross between a beaver and a giant rat (I thought it was a muskrat, found out the real name a few months later but I still forget what it is). We approached slowly trying to get a good look at it…
We heard it jump into the water so fast my eyes were still adjusting to what I saw; you could see the head bobbing in the water as it swam away. We walked further and heard another splash. Charlize-Joelle was enjoying herself chasing them into the water again (I was too, it’s fun to be a kid at times). The island is small so we walked around it in about 10 minutes or less; we came
across a dock on the side of the island and we looked across the lake. What a
beautiful shot I thought, I got Charlize-Joelle to walk to the end and I took a photo. (It became a gift that I printed for her a few months later and surprised her at Susan and Rod’s reception in Canada during the summer)
We headed back to the Chateau Allure du Lac for some tasty cakes that Susy made herself from scratch. The chocolate cake was moist with Nutella mixed in, absolutely delicious! Where the other was a lemon cake with mascarpone cream on top, I’m not usually a fan of lemon cakes, but this one was quite good. We praised her for her delicious recipes (though I must admit, Susy does like to tell stories; I found out much later that her cakes were all from a premix package lol!)
We finished tea and headed up to the third floor to get ourselves acquainted with our rooms. Susy gave us the choice of available rooms. Charlize-Joelle chose the Red Room; it was a beautiful room, though quite masculine in style with dark wood dressers, closets, and bed frames. Myself, I chose the room in the centre of the hallway; the Two Tower Room (sounds like an epic battle movie haha the orc are coming!). It was a pastel yellow with beautiful drapes. The lavatory was in one tower and the shower was in the other. Arlene took the Purple Room at the end of the hall with a bathtub. Rod and Susan were in the bridal suite of course, which was on two floors, beautiful and quite unique.
The rooms were cold, just like the rest of the Chateau Allure du Lac; Susy had Véronique bring a heater for Charlize-Joelle (I think it was the only one); the rest of us received hot water bottles for our beds. I jumped into bed, with my favorite Ice Breaker merino wool sweater; I pulled the covers as high up over me as possible, and drifted off to sleep.