Chateau de Courtomer Provides Something For Everyone!
Inside the Chateau, activities include billiards and ping-pong in the old cellar kitchens, now converted into a games room. Upstairs, a Clubroom offers cozy leather armchairs and sofa, a large-screen TV, board games, and card table. The grand salon boasts a Pleyel grand piano.
Outside the Chateau, the park invites pleasant walks, outdoor seating and dining, and plenty to see. On the grounds are a rare 17th-century Protestant Temple that is on the French national historic register, an 18th-century icehouse, an Orangerie, and handsome old farm buildings. Fine trees include a 250-year- old sequoia and other specimens from the great age of the plantexplorers. Paths lead through the woodlands and around the working farm. Volleyball and badminton, boules and other outdoor games can be set up on the great lawn or the cour d’honneur.
There are 6 all-terrain bicycles available for exploring the surrounding country lanes. The local village is a 10-minute walk, with shops and a twice weekly open- air fresh market. An allée in the fields leads to the local church of Saint Omer, born nearby and 7th-century evangelizer of Flanders. This pretty example of traditional church architecture features stained windows of the saints of France and ornately carved altars. On hallowed ground outside the church is a monument to France’s lost generation of 1914-1918; outside the Mairie is artillery from the Battle of Normandy of 1945. Behind the Mairie is a building which houses an early school, built in the 1720s.
Local shops include two boulangeries, one with a wood-fired brick oven, an artisanal cider and Calvados shop (they will deliver barrels for a party), a caterer and butcher (try his home-smoked pork mignon or salmon!), a bar and café, a restaurant, and pharmacy.
Courtomer is a quiet village, but within 15 minutes to an hour you can be in a variety of charming historic towns: Seès, l’Aigle, Mortagne en Perche and Alençon.
Other close-by sites to visit include the handsome 17th-century Haras du Pin, part of the French National Stud, with regular equestrian competitions and displays, the chapel of the Dukes of Alençon, as well as a listed garden in Essay (the chateau of Carrouges), a toy museum at La Ferté-Mace, the birthplace of Saint Therese of Lisieu and the forest of Ecouves, where you can hike or cycle for miles.
Also close by are a public tennis court, swimming pool, riding stables, golf course, karting, and paintball.
Two hours or a day trip away are some of the most important tourist sites in France: the D-Day beaches and Deauville, the Bayeux and the Pays d’Auge, Mont Saint-Michel and Saint Malo, the Chateaux of the Loire, Monet’s garden at Giverny, the Palace of Versailles, and bien sûr!…Paris.