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Hidden away in the heart of Brittany is a very special secret you’ll want to keep all to yourself. Château Kistinic boasts some of the most beautiful gardens found anywhere in France.

Sweet Chestnut Season in France

Kistinic Parc was created in the 19th century at the same time as the historic Château Kistinic which sits within the grounds. It is no accident that the word ‘Kistinic’ means ‘chestnut’ in Breton, because these beautiful Breton gardens are dotted with not only towering oaks and delicate beech, but also with a fabulous array of chestnut trees which stand tall, embodying the spirit of the land. Evidently, sweet chestnuts (originally imported to Brittany by the Romans) were once a staple of life in hard times in parts of France. During both World Wars when even the modest loaf of bread was a luxury, the chestnut tree earned its nickname as a tree of plty or literally, ‘bread tree’. Today when Autumn arrives in Brittany, the rich mahogany jewel found nestled within a prickly outer shell are a seasonal treat when roasted in the hearth, or transformed into creamy sauces or delicious jams. In some parts of France chestnuts are even used to make beer or spirits. Autumnal stays here at Kistinic are made all the more special by crunching through the leaves to gather the precious nuts before returning rosy-cheeked to your luxury self-catering abode to roast them on the woodburning stove.

Luxury Self-Catering with Beautiful Gardens

Guests enjoying their luxury self-catering holiday in the Château’s Gatehouse are privileged to be able to experience almost exclusive access to the private and beautiful gardens. The 15 hectares of sprawling parkland are begging to be explored; from the carefully manicured lawns to the beguiling spiral maze, the kaleidoscopic display of rhododendrons, and breathtakingly beautiful azaleas. Thrillseekers will find their pleasure on the zipwire or the high-octane mountain bike course which snakes through the forest, whilst the magical cast of woodland creatures that live on the estate will enchant those luckily enough to catch a glimpse. The jewel in the crown of these beautiful gardens has to be the infinity pool which glints gold and green in the late afternoon sunshine. The crystal clear pool acts as a beguiling looking-glass which reflects the fairytale turrets of the Château, broken only by a ripple caused by the dancing dragonfly (or libellule as they are known here in France).

The beautiful gardens and parkland at Château Kistinic and Gatehouse truly create a most magical backdrop for your luxury self-catering holiday in Brittany. Whatever the season, these stunning gardens will be the place where family memories are created and cherished long after the last chestnut has fallen.

(Author, Claire Ray)

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