I love traveling in Europe between September and June. The sites are less crowded for the most part (apparently Easter in Florence is not exactly the best time beating the crowds–who knew?) and the people seem friendlier. The only downside is that the weather can be a little hit or miss–but after tromping around Rome/waiting in line for the Vatican along with 3000 of your closest friends in the blazing sun on a 100 degree day, a few drops of rain while visiting Chateau de la Rochepot doesn’t sound so bad.
Chateau de la Rochepot was built in the 12th century and was home to the Lords Pot, knights of the Golden Fleece and advisers of the Dukes of Burgundy (and presumably a cursed Beast and a beautiful–but smart–young mademoiselle with a passion for books, but I digress).
The chateau was destroyed during the French Revolution, but was bought in 1893 by the wife of the soon to be French president. She gave the chateau to her history buff son, who led its restoration. His passion for history is obvious–the castle has been beautifully restored. We loved entering across the draw bridge and poking around the enormous kitchen.
There is also a room in one of the towers decked out in Chinese fabrics and furniture, a gift from the last Empress of China, TSEU-HI, to French President Marie François Sadi Carnot.
Chateau de la Rochepot is only about 30 minutes from Beaune, and worth every minute of the drive. It took us about an hour to explore every nook and cranny of the place. Had it not been raining, we probably could have spent even more time exploring the surrounding countryside.