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Actualités en ligne / News On-Line

France Annual Gala Day

Bailliage of Maine - Montbazon, November 19, 2011

The 2011 Annual Gala Day of the Bailliage of Maine was held on Saturday, November 19th at Château d’Artigny, Montbazon (Indre & Loire).

The Château was commissioned by François Coty, the perfume manufacturer, industrialist and newspaper publisher. Its rooms are full of history and have witnessed informal confidential meetings between leaders of the major world powers.

The Chaîne was received with grace, honour and courtesy in keeping with the superior traditions of hospitality for which the Grandes Étapes Françaises group of châteaux-hotels and stylish residences is renowned.

After the welcoming speech by Jacques Binoist, Bailli of Maine, he formally greeted the visiting Bailli Provincial of Poitou, Alain Harvey, and his group of members, all of whom are loyal supporters of our dining events.

The aperitif was served in the rotunda of the Château, famous for its frescoes dating from the Belle Epoque. During the reception we were enchanted by a fellow member playing gentle melodies on the grand piano.


The superb lunch served in the Salon Royal lived up to expectations. The quality of the food and its matching wines, together with the attentive and courteous service, delighted the 40 members and guests.

After lunch, we visited the ‘Noble Joué’[1] vineyard – the smallest in the Touraine - where we were indulged with a lengthy wine tasting.

In the evening, having returned to Château d’Artigny, it was the occasion for a glass of champagne before joining the audience for the 1500th music concert promoted by the Grandes Étapes Françaises group.

Comprising several wind instruments under the direction of flutist Philippe Lesgourgues, the orchestra interpreted a selection of works themed on "A Belle Epoque Evening". Delightful!

Our Chaîne ribbons aroused much interest from many of the 250 people in the audience. There were questions about our history and our present-day activities, the latter being of particular fascination to several regional councillors.

The tremendous convivial atmosphere during the day led to our Chaîne group being the centre of attraction, as could be seen from the many photos that the public and the orchestra wished to have taken in our company.

Daniel Créteau

[1] For more information on the Touraine Noble Joué vineyard click on: Touraine Noble Joué