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“Château” is a funny word in French, since it can apply to a kingly palace — think of the Château de Chantilly, which, in its original incarnation, was destroyed during the French Revolution only to be rebuilt during the 19th century and used 100 years later as the setting of Bond villain Max Zorin’s home in A View to a Kill.
“Château” can also refer to a château-fort, or fortress — a Winterfell, abandoned to the ages, perhaps, with only a few walls remaining, or the vestiges of a moat.
Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte falls strongly on the kingly side of the equation, and it can now be the exceptionally luxurious setting for your Christmas festivities. That is, should you partake in La Réserve’s holiday offer.
The Paris hotel-to-the-stars outlines the five-day yuletide experience like so:
On December 20th, you’ll check into the typically $1,000-plus-per-night hotel in the city’s tony 8th arrondissement; over the next four days, you’ll shop, visit the Louvre and sail the Seine. On Christmas Eve, you’ll travel (by helicopter, obviously) to the château, where you’ll be whisked (by carriage, obviously) around the garden — designed by Andre Le Nôtre, Louis XIV’s favored landscape architect. (Le Nôtre also designed the gardens at Versailles.)
The holiday menu will be prepared by two-Michelin-starred chef Jérôme Banctel, whose Christmas treats will include a yule-log (with a “gold-accented outer layer that surrounds the log’s inner filling — made from a blend of Michel Reybier champagne and fruits including mango, passion fruit, pineapple and coconut”) and a traditional galette des rois.
Participation is exceptionally limited, with only 15 spots available. And to those lucky few: Instagram or it didn’t happen.