Tuesday 22 July 2014

France part 2: Belcastel, the perfect place for a fairytale wedding

The starting point and main reason for our holiday in France came in the form of a wedding invitation. There was never any doubt the answer was going to be 'oui!'

Belcastel is a tiny village in Aveyron, which takes its name from the hill top chateau it surrounds. It was in the chateau itself that our friends decided to get married.

The cobbled path leads up to the chateau and those are the keys to the castle. Hollyhocks and lavender everywhere.
A French architect bought the castle in the 1970s and started the regeneration of the entire village. His vision was to part restore the castle, so he could live in it, and leave part of it as a romantic ruin. I love that vision. It was in the ruined parts that the wedding took place. 
The draw bridge across the moat, and me up on the bridge going towards the ramparts. That 1960s Hawaiian palazzo pant jumpsuit has become my default wedding outfit. It is neon bright and I feel so glamorous in it. I spent the whole day feeling like I was in 'I capture the castle'. There was even a wedding guest called Cassandra. I so wanted to swim in that moat. 
As dusk started falling, candles were lit. Over there on the right at the top of that circular staircase is where I was posing for the last photo.
The weather on that day was so beautiful, which was a huge relief as everything was outside. We had the ceremony in the top garden, just behind where I am taking this photo, then champagne and canapes on the front lawn, on the other side of the moat, and finally dinner and dancing in the courtyard.
Dancing underneath the stars, what a way to feel alive. That's the bride's mum and dad there. As soon as the first dance was over, she was on that floor and she stayed there 'til the end. 77 years old and fizzing with life and energy. What a wonderful lady.
So many nooks and crannies to explore. So much wine to drink.

But you know, even a fairytale ruined castle has to service day to day needs. A long drop toilet and a post box.
A view from the ramparts over the village of Belcastel. That's the river Aveyron down there. Just on that street to the right is where the night market takes place on a Friday night through the summer. We bumped into the girls from the chateau and our landlord and his family so spent our last evening sharing food, wine and stories with them. It was really lovely.
A typical roof of the area, with these beautiful scalloped stone roof tiles. It has the effect of making every rooftop look like a mermaid's tail. Did you notice that even the chateau's post box has them? A nice touch. Made me smile.
Stone troughs filled with flowers. I want Q to make me some out of concrete. Can you see a pirate lurking in the undergrowth?
One of the lovely walks around the village. This one lead us to a 5th century shrine to Our Lady, down by the river Aveyron.

I think we'll go out and about next time, fancy joining me?

p.s. It's my 4th blog birthday today and it's possible I may have cracked the problem I have had for ages relating to my RSS feed not updating. I sure hope you get to see this post and thank you SO much for bearing with me! xxx


Curtise said...

Yes! Your blog has taken pride of place at the top of my blog list, hurrah!
Four years? Congratulations! I didn't realise you'd been at this blogging malarkey for that long, but then time has a worrying habit of flying by, doesn't it?
Oh my goodness, what a stunning location for a wedding! Absolutely beautiful. And you look amazing, I love that jumpsuit, I'm not surprised it's a favourite to wear for special occasions. Those roof tiles are gorgeous, and I am sure Pirate Q will be able to sort you out with some concrete troughs, if you ask him nicely.
Yes please, I'd very much like to go out and about with you next time - looking forward to it already! xxxx

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Pic after glorious pic, Tanya. What I like about those French chateaus are those glorious shutters (as per your previous post). Such a beautiful spot for a wedding. Oh yes, more pics please. xx

Miss Magpie said...

Now I want to go on holiday *sigh*

Vix said...

You have cracked the problem - your blog is actually showing up in my feed - no more unfashionably late comments from me!!!
Can Q make you a grotto for the garden, too? I think everyone needs a virgin overlooking the lawn.
That castle is amazing, even I'd accept a wedding invitation if I got to hang out there.
Your jumpsuit is to die for, what a spectacular choice. I love it! xxxxxx

Ivy Black said...

Hurrah! You moved up my blog list..you are back.Lovely photos, I could just do a stroll around the chateau. I love your default wedding outfit too...stunning.
Yup. Count me in for going out and about.xxxx

Anonymous said...

What a magical venue for a wedding! Such a great shot of the parents on the dance floor! :))
You look fabulous in your wedding finery xx

Fiona said...

No, still not receiving you loud or clear! Oh mon dieu, what an exquisite wedding venue and stunning village. I will deffo be joining you again but not for a while as I am off there too. As for your wedding outfit...lush.

Fiona said...

Ah yes, working now. Have unfollowed/followed you again and normal service has been resumed.

Lally said...

Oh so beautiful!! It looks like such a fun wedding. I'm off to wedding in a castle in Ireland in September and you've just made me even more excited. That jumpsuit is fab, totally a good go to wedding outfit!


p.s I wondered why I never found your posts! Glad it's sorted.

Helga said...

You look perfect, bright and Summery and ready to party! Such a gorgeous place........I think I would spend all my time repeating OMG, look! OMG, look! and get very annoying! It's quite surreal!
I adore big old keys. They would be a fun thing to collect.....

Helga said...

I'm so happy you and your blog are in my life! XXX

Krista said...

I lost you in my blogroll and look at all I have missed! I am loving your photos from this castle and can't believe places like this still exist! I adore the dress you wore, it is happiness and stands out against all the gray.