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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …


Far too many places are called, "the Venice of ...."and each time they suffer in comparison with Venice's transcendent beauty. Brantome may be known as the Venice of the Dordogne but don't hold this against it.  It's a quaint attractive small town surrounded by water with a quiet, relaxed holiday vibe. We chose it because it was well located, north of Perigeux and south of Angouleme where we were dropping off the car and picking up the train back to Paris.

There's one high end option in town the Moulin du Abbaye though recent reviews were rather lukewarm and so we opted for the value option, the Hotel Chabrol where we had a simple room with a balcony overlooking the river. You can see the hotel and restaurant  below.
Though we stayed  at the Chabrol we went for tea at the Moulin de l'Abbaye and sat out for hours admiring the river as it rushed past, it was glorious. I highly recommend coming and enjoying the hotel which has the perfect situation on the river as you can see below.
Here's the hotel from the bridge....
The surrounding  gardens aren't particularly large but they are lovely.
As you can see water surrounds the property. It really is gorgeous.
I've been complaining about traveling over a holiday period because of the crowds but one advantage was that we stumbled upon an enormous antique sale and vintage car show while we were in Brantome which was fab. 

 I bought some nice linens and I should have bought the vintage snakeskin clutch I saw for 20 euros! The cars were in great shape and were fun to see. The Citroen DS below is a French classic and who could resist this Fiat?

I'd recommend Brantome for a quick stop or an overnight if you find yourself in the area.