To give you an idea of how previous guests appreciated their stay with us, you find herewith recent mails or guestbook notes I retrieved from our English speaking guests.
1. Hunting lodge East Wing 23 – 30 October 2010, Barnes & Davies family, Surrey, UK
Thank you for a wonderful time. Some fantastic recommendations from M & Mme landman. Lovely to be able to make use of the bicycles. Grounds brilliantly child friendly. Couldn’t have asked for better weather.
2. East Wing 28 Feb – 4 Mar. 2011 Don & Carry Gibbs (+ dog) US/NATO Stuttgart, Germany
Very pleasant gite in a very idyllic setting. Our hosts Amb. &Mrs Landman were extraordinary accommodating and we thank them for their hospitality. Their recommendations were spot on to include: Verdun, Chalons and especially the restaurant recommendation (Au relais de la foret) in the neighbouring village of Passavent, **** recommended). We plan to book again in SEP as one week was not enough!
3. East Wing 30/3 – 3/4 2011, Alana Buckham, Australia
Dear Johannes, Thank you for a fantastic weekend at your Lodge. I can say on behalf of our group that we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We thought the Lodge was extremely comfortable, well set out and the perfect place to relax. The accommodation was lovely and the location perfect for exploring the area.
We especially enjoyed the amazing croissants and the baquettes delivered daily, and will find it hard to return to normal life without this luxury!
Saturday’s weather was perfect, the other days a little overcast but that didn’t change the beautiful scenery.
Madame Noel was lovely. Our French is extremely limited so if you could please pass on to her our appreciation and thanks, that would be great.
Your wife also came to introduce herself on Saturday, which was really nice of her. It really was a wonderful weekend so many thanks for making all the arrangements.
We hope to return one day.
Alana, Alexander, Fiona, Matt and Colette, Sidney, Australia
4) West Wing 15 – 17 April The Horton family. UK
The house and grounds were perfect and great for the children who simply did not want to leave. Your hospitality was wonderful and we will be back ! Jacqui
5) West Wing 18/4 – 20/4 2011 David and Semantha Viney,just maried, South Africa
Dear Johannes & Laurence,Thank you so much again for your understanding with regards to the booking. We had a wonderful time and thought the accommodation was perfect. It was such an idilic area of the French countryside. We loved exploring the different landmarks and memorials in the area. The local foods and produce were fantastic. Le Cheval Rouge was a real treat so thank you for the referral. We sincerely hope you recover quickly and well. you are truly blessed to live in this marvellous homestead. Good luck with all your renovations, we know that it will be spectacular when it is all done.The changes to the Chateau already look so positive.Hopefully we will be able to come back some day.
Thank you again, Samantha & David
6) West Wing 6 – 11 May 2011 Frank & Evelyn, Bill & Denise, Albany, Western Australia
This is a beautiful area and, for the time of the year,very quiet and peaceful.The old church on top of the hill in Ste Menehould is a great look-out spot, and an impromptu organ recital by a local set a wonderful scene.
The distant roar of the TGV, the smells of the countryside and sounds of the district (church bell peals at 6am and 6pm) make this a relaxing & pleasant spot to stay. We enjoyed it immensely.
7) East Wing 22 – 27 May 2011 Sarah Barker, Nick Laird, Nathalie Dunn, Matthew Hemmings & Kathryn Hemmings, London
Beautiful house,fabulous weather and wonderful surroundings. The new swimmingpool with its retractable pool roof is a great asset. We ‘re all leaving 10 times more relaxed and no doubt a few pounds heavier!
8) East Wing 28 May – 4 June 2011, UK / Luxembourg
I really enjoyed this visit. It was great. I Especially enjoyed the pool. It is a fantastic pool and house, so people will love it. Thank you for letting us stay here. Love, Dan, Samuel and Isabel (children).
9) West Wing 1 – 4 May 2011 Pete, Victoria Organ, Chipping Campden, Glos., England
At this place it was really hot every day. I had to roll up my sleeves if I had them. My favourite part of Champagne was the baker lady giving out bread. It smelt delicious and the house was lovely. That’s what I liked about Champagne.
Staying at this house has been lovely and I have enjoyed every part of it. I slept very well every night because the beds were so confortable. Poppy, Archie & Beth Parents: Staying here has been idyllic after the chaos of Paris and then Eurodisney. The sunshine has made it all even better. The Champagne area is beautiful and we are pleased to be taking home a few bottles to remind us of our stay. THANK YOU!
10) East Wing 25 June 2011 Pat, Angela, Bob + Andy from Stratford-on-Avon, UK
We have all enjoyed staying in a lovely place and visiting most of the sights in the area. Thank you for making us welcome. AndyP.S. We recommend the the Relais in Passavebt as a super meal. Note – no plastic cards taken.
11) West Wing 18th – 25th June 2011 11 Peter & Marilyn Phillips
We too enjoyed an excellent stay (shame about the weather).Can only agree with previous comments – a lovely gite, in a beautiful area. Thank you.
12) West Wing 25th June – 2nd july Ian & Jacky (UK)
Fantastic forest drives – saw buzzards in many areas. A superb gite in a great location. Read many books and relaxed. (MIN 22oC MAX 30oC!)
13) West Wing 2-9/7/2011 Antwerpen, Dublin & Melbourne Family Alexander and friends
We have come all the way from australia for this place. It has just been a dream come true. Such a beautiful location and a fabelous lodge. The weather was amazing.The fridge is a great size. It fits at least 20 bottles of champagne + food !WiFi is also a plus for the modern man/woman. We enjoyed the smile and the products of the lady in the van ( baker passing by every morning). One of the highlights is the illumination of the beautiful exquisite trees, a special treat.The very best with the restauration of this estate. It is certainly worth wile: a jewel for the region !
14) East Wing 30 July – 6 August 2011, Stuart, Andrea, Elspeth + Eduard Glenn (UK)
We were so looking forward to this holiday – we waren’t disappointed! A beautiful property in a wonderful location. The new pool is fantastic.
We can recommend the cellar tours at Mercie in Epernay, very informative + the champagne is very good too.
Reims is also very pretty, all of us enjoyed having a lovely lunch there. Le Cheval Rouge in Ste Menehould is superb, although the pied de cochon is an acquired taste!
Thank you for a perfect base to explore champagne; we will be back….
15) East Wing 6 – 13 August 2011, Julie, Len & Phoebe Hart (UK)
We didn’t know what to expect and we were pleasently surprised. The cottage is lovely with everything we need. We have also found the area very good and could have stayed another week. Still a lot more places we could have visited. Also a nice walk around the chateau garden at night. We were very pleased. Me and Mrs Landman are very friendly. My daughter who is 12 loved the pool and the table tennis, and also enjoyed all the trips out.Hopefully we will return one day. Thank you
16) East Wing 13th – 20th August 2011 The Marchment family,North Yorkshire
We have had a wonderful holiday. The lodge+pool are absolutely perfect and the chateau grounds lovely + peaceful. The wwalk round the chateaugrounds on Thursday evening was certainly a magical sight. We have enjoyed the area and the beautiful forest scenery. Our days out to Paris _ Luxembourg were fantastic. We would recommend both. We would like tio thank Mr +Mrs Landman very much for the use of their beautiful lodge + pool. We certainly hope to return as we have so much more to see. Thank You.
17) East Wing 27 August – 3 September 2011 The Fitzhenry family, Hayton, near York, England
Just had a lovely week in the hunting lodge. A lovely house in beautiful surroundings. The weather was lovely and although the trips out were excellent (Verdun, Epernay, Reims etc.), the walk to Chatrices, the pool and hanging around the house and gardens were just as great. Thank you very much for your hospitality.
18) East Wing 3 – 17 September 2011 Terry & Sue Clark, Sweden
Have had 2 relaxing weeks in this sympathetically restored building. The owners have implanted their impeccable style on the gite. Their knowledge and enthusiasm for the area were invaluable to us visitors un finding the best places to go.
19) East Wing 24 September – 1 October 2011 Steve & Sinead Elliott, Essex UK + Dublin Ireland
We have had a fantastic stay here at Villers en Argonne. Stunning countryside, but the Indian Summer sunshine has made it all the more special.
Special thanks to Monsieur et Madame Noel & also Johannes for their kind hospitality.
A Must visit is Beaulieu, very pretty village. The regional specialty of pig trotters is not for the fainthearted and even a cast iron stomach would struggle, but I guess it takes all tastes. Visiting the champagne trail was a good adventure for Champagne enthusiasts. Who want to try out new brands, not just the well known brands, would highly recommend ABBATIALE by Locret-Lacbaud in Hauteville for an excellent dry champagne.
This really is a beautiful region of France and would come back without a doubt.
20) East Wing 29 October 2011 The Davies/Barnes family, Miles, Karen, Freya, Noah, Terry & Evelyn
Another fantastic holiday staying here as a guest of Monsieur Landman. The pool is a great addition and it was great to be able to swim in the last few days of October.The house is fantastic for us which is why we came back and I am quite sure it won’t be our last visit.
21) East Wing 11-13 November 2011, Family Devlin, an American, Belgian, Scottish family living in Gand
We enjoyed our short stay in this splendid cottage and surrounding areas. We spent time touring the local villages and relaxing around the cottage. We definitely hope to return!
THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND TWELF
22) West Wing 26 May – 2 Juni 2012 Conny + Mike (Luxembourg)
We had a very relaxing stay in this very romantic and peaceful part in France. Loved the small villages and adored the walks through the woods !
Many thanks to Mr Landman for the lovely accomodation and the interesting details
about the chateau, thr garden and Chamisso.
For those having enough time are recommended a dog-trip to the Lac de Der.
We can’t wait getting back one day with our horses to discover the woods of Argonne on horseback
23) West Wing 22 – 26 May 2012 Dee &Bob Selkirk, NSW Australia, Terry Hattinson, Scotland
We were enthralled by the accomodtion and the surrounding countryside and the warm welcome extended to us by Johannes and his staff.
We enjoyed day trips to Epernay, Verdun & Chalons and loved Sainte Menehould. We conscientiouly sampled the products of the Champagne region. WE hope to return one day.
24) East Wing 28 May – 2 June 2012 Mrs & Mr Tannert, Germany
We did have a relaxing holiday and spent some quality time with our family in the peace & calm of your estate. It was a welcome break from our otherwise hectic lives. The boys did specially enjoy the pool.
25) East Wing 2 – 9 June 2012 Amelia, Andrew, Charlotte (6), Logan (5), Duncan (3) & Rose (i) Armour (UK)
We’ve had a super Jubilee week in the hunting lodge. The children have had great fun in the pool and learning to ride on the bikes.
We enjoyed the market days in Ste Menehould (Mon. morning) and Chalons (Wed.) and buying champagne in Vaudemange. The E13 meal for lunch at the restaurant in the next village (Passavent) was superb and the children loved playing on the wooden train in the pretty village of Beaulieu. We visited the poney club in the village, bought all the inflatable toys in Super U and had delicious plum jam and walnuts from the 92 year old neighbour !
26) West Wing 2 – 9 June The Armours 2012 (grand) parents)
Thank you for a very relaxing stay in these lovely lodges. The children thoroughly enjoyed the swimming pool and it was fun exploring the land around the chateau. Sainte Menehould is a lovely village close by. We visited the market on a monday morning & stocked up at the Super U. Chalons-en-Champagne is a bigger town with a lot going on – markets on Sturday / Wednesday. Around a 30 min. on the A4.
We have not had the best weather this week but still have had a fantastic time – the swimming pool is great & warm even in the rain! Johannes is very friendly & has great ideas & suggestions for the area. Beaulieu village is well worth a visit for the playground, the view, the church & the quaint village. very pretty! The restaurant on the roadside in Passavent is definitely worth going to. !3 Euro for 5 courses & it was delicious & the owner welcoming. It’s called Au Relais de la Foret.
All in all we were very impressed with the lodge – clean, well equipped and wonderfully furnished. We would visit again but next time for longer! Thank You.
27) West Wing 9 – 16 June 2012 Ron, Angela and Nick Pritchard
Had a very good week despite weather wet on 2 days. The area is very beautiful with the forests and peaceful villages. We have spent several days around Verdun looking at battlefield sites and lots to interest us. Many thanks for a very comfortable accomodation. Hope to return one day.
28) East Wing 23 – 29 June 2012, Jill, Mark, Anne, Zoe, Andrew + Joseph (1), Dorset, UK
Had a wonderful time. Thank you very much – the weather has been lovely (most of the time) and the swimming pool a brilliant addition to the holiday. We enjoyed exploring the area – goat farm, poney club + restaurant in the next village, and lots of towns + markets.
Thank you Johannes for your wonderful hospitality + helpfulness. The house has been fantastic for all generations of our family.
29) East Wing 4 – 11 August 2012, Marian, Simon + David Winters , UK
The setting is beautiful and makes for a very relaxing holiday. The facilities are excellent, together with the lovely pool. Many thanks , Johannes, for sharing your knowledge of the area with us and for passing on the English newspapers so that we could keep in touch with the Olympics !
30) West Wing 11 – 18 August 2012, The Johnstons – Alnwick, Northumberland, UK, Gavin, Lindsay, Adam, Sophie and Lucy (5 weeks).
We have had a fantastic week here in Villers-en-Argonne. We did not know what to expect but have been very pleasantly surprised. The house is great – very clean and confortable – including the expert advice about the area (and a newspaper) from Johannes.
The children have enjoyed the playground and play equipment. Sophie (4) has even learned to ride a bike whilst here!!
We have visited Ste Menehould – super outdoor pool, Chalons en Champagne (very pretty town), and even stumbled over a German camp (Camp Moreau), where we enjoyed a guided tour. We had a cola overlooking the Argonne forest in Beaulieu as advised by Johannes. Breathtaking views. We also managed to reach Disneyland for a re-planned trip ! 2 hours away !
The only downside has been the visit was too short. The weather has been beautiful – glorious sun everyday.
Hope to come again in the future and maybe for longer. So much to see and do.
Thanks, merci, dank u !!!
31) East Wing 18 – 25 August 2012, Peter + Mary, Carol + Jeff from New Castle in England
Many thanks for a lovely week in your superb gite. The weather was perfect and the pool was well used. We so enjoyed our visit to your chateau – daytime and evening. You certainly made the “history” come alive.
Our last night at Dominiques restaurant in Passavent was most memorable – for the food / wine / and bonhomie du patron. The personal taxi service was most appreciated.
32) East Wing 25 August – 1 September 2012, Karen, Jason, Bella, Ben, Chris, Kerry, Harry
Thank you for a wonderful week at the hunting lodge. Despite the changeable weather we had a great time exploring the village and in particular a trip to the Mercier Champagne House in beautiful Eperney.
The children thoroughly enjoyed the pool, the bikes and trees in your lovely grounds. Until next time.
33) West Wing 1 – 8 September 2012, Rod & Jenny Hughes, Adelaide, Australia
We have had a wonderful time in the West Wing” + in the region. It is so peaceful here and very easy to unwind. We have a lot of wonderful experiences to take home with us.
34) East Wing 8 – 22 September 2012, Jack and Barbara Warburton, Florida, USA
Our two weeks here were as lovely as anywhere Jack has taken me in our 51 years of marriage. Certainly the French countryside is enchanting and the food / wine lived up to all our last memories of visits to France. The Champagne at Mercier was “heady” and wonderful.
Your gracious welcome and first evening is a night we shall share with family and friends. The cathedral at Reims left us in awe and our Sunday mass at the St Charles in Ste Menehould with local friends was a spiritual high. We hope at least one of our married children can enjoy your special hospitality and belle experience.
35) West Wing 20 – 26 October 2012, the Marsh/Taylor family, London
We have had a wonderful stay in this wing of the lodge. A truly peaceful and relaxing location – with plenty of space for the kids to run around.
The lodge is really cosy and well appointed – making our stay easy. Johannes is so friendly and has great local knowledge and suggestions. Everyday, we did something new – from the forests to discovering Ste Menehould / Verdun (brilliant swimming pool with slides for kids!), Chalons and of course all the pretty villages. It is like stepping back in time and getting a glimpse of life at a much slower pace. The air is so clean + the countryside so quiet – we are returning to London feeling like we have had a slice of “real France!”
P.S. The weather was AMAZING! So hot. Thanks for organizing that Johannes !!
THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND AND THIRTEEN
36) East Wing 8 – 9 March 2013, Nathan Ruiz, Paris/Washington
We had a wonderful stay along with our friends. We all would like to return! I’m so sorry we missed the chance to meet you this time… Perhaps next time! We did walk by the castle last night–beautiful! What a wonderful place you have. Thanks again for everything, it was a great finishing chapter to our three years in France!
37) West Wing 23 – 30 April 2013, Graham + Sheryl Moncur, Albany, West Australia
We are coming at the end of an amazing & eye-spearing stay in the beautiful Argonne !
We visited Epernay – great town of Moet Chandon; xxx?, Reims and took many walks around xxxxxx. Verdun – very moving & sobering experience.
The Hunting Lodge is situated perfectly for day trips and also for recuperation times!
Some special highlights included seeing 4 giant eagles, some deer and lots of delightful cows!!
Johannes – thank you for your warm and enthusiastic hospitality and advice ! Le cheval rouge was everything you said it would be.
38) West Wing 18 – 25 May 013, Anne & Dudley
O’Sullivan, Sydney; Barbara & Ron Moore, Canberra, Australia
We have the most wonderful week here in the hunting lodge. It has been more like staying in the home of friends with all the pictures and paintings and in particular the personal touch with photos of Johannes and his family. We have been coming to houses in France and Italy nearly every year since 2001, and we have enjoyed here the most. The chateau and the gardens were delightful to see and Johannes showed us the highlights of their place, particularly the pigeonnier. He was so helpful in giving us hints of where to go and of the history of the area. It is very central for exploring the Champagne and Lorraine Districts. I hope our children may visit.
39) EAST & West Wing 25 May – 1 June 2013, The Jones family (Mark, Denise, Julia & Owen) Hampshire, England
We have enjoyed a relaxing week here. A beautiful place and lots of pictoresque countryside to enjoy. Despite wet weather most days, we have made the most of what’s around.
Enjoyed trips to Verdun and Nancy, the fabulous view at Beaulieu (as suggested by Johannes – thank you) and a walk through the forest along a trail from Chatrices –it was vey muddy, but fun !
The local restaurant at Passavent was excellent – another good recommandation ! The children braved the pool a couple of times and enjoyed it despite turning blue – we’ll have to come back in warmer times because there is still so much to see and do in this fabulous area.
The house is fantastic and our hosts have been very kind, helpful and welcoming. We would love to come back again.
40) West & East Wing 25 May – 1 June 2013, Chris & John Bass, Hampshire, UK
Thank-you to Johannes and Madame Noel for making us feel very welcome.
We have had a wonderful week although it has been raining for most of it. But this didn’t dampen the spirit.
We visited Verdun, Nancy and Reims, which are fantastic cities each having their own charms.
Every day we have done something different. We went up to Beaulieu, which has some fantastic views. We walked around Ste Menehould and went into several boulangeries (I’ll have to go on a diet when I get home !!). Once again thank you for your hospitality.
41) East Wing 1 – 8 June 2013, Peter & Fiona Wallin and Sue & Martin Wright, UK
We have enjoyed an excellent week with the most fabulous weather – a real bonus!
The gite is comfortable and well equipped – even the dog Daisy liked it!
We enjoyed some champagne tasting in Reims, but if you want something closer, head towards Bassuet (30 minutes drive) through Givry en Argonne where there are several small producers selling at excellent value.
As others have mentioned, the local restaurant (Au Relais de la Forêt) in Passavent is very good. Dominique is a charming host and kindly gave us a bitt home. We only ate there once because the weather was so lovely and we barbecued at the patio here “at home.” The pastry van every morning is also excellent !
If you like military history and don’t have much time, head towards Varennes en Argonne, where the Butte de Vauquois is worth a visit (20 mins). The American cemetary is about 40 minutes away and all through a beautiful countryside.
All-in all, a great week – Mr Landman made us feel very welcome and nothing was too much trouble. We’ll be back !
and nothing was too much trouble. We’ll be back !
42) West Wing, 22 – 29 June 2013, Simon and Wendy, Fleet, England
Thank you very much for making us feel welcome. We had a fantastic week, even though the weather wasn’t great. We visited Verdun, Reims, Epernay. We had a fantastic meal at the Cheval Rouge – highly recommended. Thanks again.
43) West Wing, 29 June – 5 july 2013, Lucy and Tony Seabright, UK
Came to the area for cycling + we have had some fantastic rides. The hills + lakes are faboulous with great wildlife – highlights were a hobby, purple heron + nesting carmor ants. A great region.
44) West Wing, 6 – 13 July 2013, The Newton family, UK
Thank you very much for a very enjoyable stay. The gîte and the surroundings were perfect and we were really pleased. We didn’t miss the tour of the chateau gardens. They were magnificent. The weather was perfect for us and we had some lovely walks in the forest.
45) East Wing 27 July – 3 August 2013, Richard, Penny, Oliver + Molly Diprose, UK
We have had a wonderful holiday this year. The gite had everything that we needed. The countryside was beautyful and we had some lovely days out, including Nancy, Verdun and Chalons.
The pool was fantastic once it became warm enough to enjoy. I have to say I have never seen a storm like the one we had on our first night ! A big thank you to Johannes for all his help and advice.
46) East Wing 3 – 10 August, The Robinson family, Lorraine, Den, Grant, Christian & Aniela
Another fantastic holiday. This is our second visit to the hunting lodge and has been every bid as good as the first.
The lodge, grounds and swimmingpool are lovely. The grounds are beautiful at night when lit. The town of Verdun and the war memorials are definitely worth a visit. Also the Mercier Champagne Cellars are very interesting and enjoyable. A big thank you to Johannes for his exceptional hospitality and kindness. We hope to stay again in the future.
47) East Wing 10 – 17 August 2013, The Lee family (Sarah, Richard, Meg, Jack, Daisy & Rosie)
Had a fantastic week, in beautiful surroundings and perfect weather. The children – aged 16, 12, 5 & 2 all enjoyed the lovely swimming pool and the open spaces to explore. Enjoyed exploring the surrounding area and only wish we were staying longer to continue this very relaxing and restful holiday! Thank you to Johannes for his hospitality with lots of love.
48) East Wing 17 – 24 August 2013, Marc, Vandy, Christopher, Nicolas, Helen (Cambridge UK); Lory,Harriet & Ross ( Johannesburg RSA)
We have had an idyllic week, lazing around and going on excursions to places Johannes has recommended.
Nancy has the most amazing ice-cream shop just off Stanislas Square. They create “flowers” of icecream on a cone with the most delicious flavours. The staff went out of their way to accomodate one member of our party who has a food allergy. Amorino – go there for icecream, heaven.. It is also fun to get the Art Nouveau map from the Tourist Office and go on a Art Nouveau treasure hunt. Take note : if the map mentions interior features, take the time to go into the building ! Wonders await….
Reims cathedral was magnificent with the added bonus of Marc Chagall stained glass windows !
If Gothic architecture is your thing, then make a detour to L’Epine and visit the unexpected basilica.
Wave at the man who salutes cars on the way int Verrières – it will make you feel happy.
We wish we had more time….
49) East Wing 28/9 – 5/10 2013, Verity, Smart, Xanthe, Ele & Graham
A wonderful holiday and a beautiful place to stay.
We had a fantastic time sampling the local produce and look forward to returning !
50) West Wing 2 – 7 Octobre 213, the Rollinson family, Essex (UK)
We have had a lovely stay in France. It was just what we had wanted – lovely food, wine and scenery! We went to Chalons, which had some interesting buildings. We visited Nancy, which again had some great historical buildings and we went on a charming little tour by train. Epernay was well worth a visit if you like champagne. We did the Mercier tour, which was very interesting. The gite has been great, our 14 month old son has enjoyed “walking” in the gardens and playing with the toys. Mr Landman was very knowledgable about the area and happy to give advice. He also let us explore the grounds of the chateau, which was lovely. All-in all a great holiday.