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Chateau Elan – A Sexy Place To Visit In The South
My husband and I just returned from our trip to Chateau Elan Winery and Resort to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s actually just a short drive from Atlanta, about forty miles away, in Braselton, Georgia. Yet somehow I felt as if we had been transported across the Atlantic to a luxurious French destination. The accommodations were excellent, the food was excellent, and the scenery was breathtaking. The trip was purely romantic.
It looked like a picture from a fairy tale. And before we left the highway, we focused on the castle like building and the vineyards in the distance like a scene from the Middle Ages. Our romance has begun. The name, Chateau, was fitting. In French, chateau refers to a large farmhouse at the heart of an estate, used primarily as a residence. And I hardly wanted to become a resident, if only for one night.
We went through the gate and past the vineyard to the inn, where we had reservations. Stopping in front of the inn, in front of the beautiful stone building, we were greeted by three caring bell ringers. Two of them opened the car door for us at the same time and welcomed us, and the third one held the door of the inn open for us to pass through. I immediately felt special. Thanking the porter, I walked past him into the lobby and recognized the sweet scent that filled my lungs. I looked around trying to locate the source and spotted a giant arrangement of fresh pink and white flowers on a round table. Pink! How could I have missed it? I quickly put my things down in a nearby chair and grabbed my camera to start documenting the trip while my husband checked us in. Click. Click. Click. I took pictures. The entrance was spacious with high ceilings and a large seating area. It was quiet except for the click of the heels of my favorite black patent leather sneakers on the marble floor. And it was clean. Impeccable. When my husband finished checking us in at the reception, I was joined by him and the porter who was dragging a shelf with our luggage behind him. The bellman led us around the corner, and I was ooooh and amazed when we passed a large stone fireplace filled with dancing flames. It was a cozy setting with a sofa and two chairs lined up, and I could feel the warmth of the fire as we walked by. Next, we passed a gift shop on our left, and I made a mental note of it. Then, looking to my right, I saw a vast open area full of light. The atrium was large and lit by the sunlight that shone through the windows high above. I studied it as we walked and was surprised to see a double staircase leading from the floor we were on to the Atrium. I followed his graceful curve with my eyes, thinking how beautiful the bride would look walking down those stairs. I was suddenly disturbed, seeing two men moving around, and became intrigued. I watched them unfold the chairs and carefully put them in order. Wedding. Then, not wanting to miss anything, I raised my head looking into the distance and saw many tables decorated with white tablecloths and red napkins. The staff was busy preparing the guests for dinner. Continuing to our room, we passed through a glass-enclosed hallway overlooking the pool on one side and the golf course on the other, and I couldn’t help but think how lucky I was to be there.
Our room was nice. It was a double standard, decorated in French style. A close inspection revealed a desk with high-speed internet access, a wardrobe with a TV and a chair with a reading lamp. It offered a peaceful view of the golf course, lots of trees and the foothills beyond. The bathroom was the best! It featured a striking black granite-topped vanity with a framed mirror and decorative lighting, a huge soaking tub, a separate glass shower with dual showers, and even a robe. sweet! I liked the bed. The sheets were soft, the comforter was puffy, and there were plenty of pillows.
With some time to kill before dinner, we visited the winery and its gift shop. The winery offers guided tours from Monday to Friday, twice a day at 11:00 and 15:00. Since it was 17:00, we continued with the guided tour, where information signs and videos made it easier to understand the winemaking process. Then, after the tour, we had the opportunity to taste local wine. Tasting prices were minimal and included one wine for $1.00, five wines for $5.00, a glass of wine for $5.00, and a glass of Port (a sweet dessert wine) for $10.00. The staff was friendly, knowledgeable and ready to answer any questions. After tasting several different wines, we decided that American Sangiovese was our favorite and bought a bottle for future enjoyment.
Our dinner reservation was at 19:00 at the Elan coffee bar located in the Winery. The setting was quiet and romantic with intimate tables and dim lighting. Teri, our server was friendly, skilled and very attentive. She never rushed us or made us feel like the kitchen needed our plates. Our four course meal began with a choice of scallops or shrimp bisque followed by a delicious spring salad. Then my husband had the chicken breast and I ordered the New York Strip Steak. Both were incredibly tasty, but the steak was the best ever! For dessert, we chose between fondue for two or flourless chocolate cake, and since it was Valentine’s Day, we decided on fondue for the party. Strawberries, pineapple, blackberries and quince cake dipped in chocolate. Yum!
Our fairy tale continued when we woke up from a peaceful sleep the next morning. My husband enjoyed his coffee and we spent some time reminiscing about our dinner the night before. We started the day casually, taking turns surfing the internet and watching TV. Then, deciding we needed to get going or miss breakfast, we showered and got dressed. The breakfast buffet is served in the Versailles restaurant, which is located in the elegant part of the Atrium. The restaurant itself was large and inviting with plenty of tables. We sat by the fountain, and the sound of the water was especially beautiful. We enjoyed the breakfast buffet with everything imaginable. We started with orange juice and fresh fruit, including strawberries, pineapple and cantaloupe. Then we added bacon and semolina. South is the best! Then we finished the meal with pancakes and syrup. I know, lots of food!
After breakfast we went back to our room, collected our things and headed to the lobby to check out. I took a few more pictures while I was waiting for my husband to settle down, and when he finished we went back to the winery. I wanted to take a picture of Café Elan, where we had dinner the night before. My husband was waiting in the car, and I quickly ran in to take pictures. While I was inside, I met a young couple who had gotten engaged the night before, after having dinner at The Café. He surprised her the entire trip and then proposed after dinner. He arranged for a table to be set up on the balcony with a bottle of champagne and crème brulee for dessert. She said “yes” and they went back to the cafe to take pictures. It was easy to see how much they were in love.
Chateau Elan is a beautiful place, perfect for memories and relaxation. Oh yes, it even has a spa. I didn’t get a chance to get the treatment on this trip, but it’s a good excuse for a return visit! The Chateau is ideal for weddings, honeymoons and romantic trips. So when you’re looking for a sexy place in the south to visit, think Chateau Elan!
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