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French Vineyards (Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay) [Paperback]

Patrick Hilyer
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 2009 Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay
Special Places to Stay: French Vineyards is a guide that will be irresistible to wine-loving Francophiles. The French wine industry has survived the New World's invasion of the market and its estates - many of which are run by artisan producers - continue to produce a variety and quality of wine that holds its place in our affections. The writer and researcher, Patrick Hilyer, owns a restaurant in northern France and has found owners who combine wine production with unbeatable hospitality. He has chosen places where there is an emphasis on fine food, convivial meals and an easy-going inclusiveness.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Alastair Sawday's; 1 edition (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906136262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906136260
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 313,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patrick Hilyer, author of the award-winning wine travel guide French Vineyards, lives and works in France. He and his wife own a restaurant in Normandy.

In praise of French Vineyards...

"a wonderful book, full of information and enchantment" Heimburger's European Traveller

"a vicarious travel adventure" Jancis Robinson OBE, Master of Wine

"enticing and indispensable" Jonathan Ray, wines editor, Daily Telegraph

"recommendations from all the French wine regions" Jim Budd, independent wine journalist and chairman of The Circle of Wine Writers

In praise of Broke the Grape's Joy...

"a real page turner of a story full of teasing clues and cliff-hanging suspense...a triumph of a little book, immensely readable and with the added interest of its back-story for the wine buff. Highly recommended." Tom Cannavan, wine journalist

"What a delighful, heartwarming novel it is. I thoroughly enjoyed it." Peter May, Wines Editor, BellaOnline

"full-bodied, spicy with fascinating and fruity overtones." John Walker, Author of The Jagermeister's Apprentice

Product Description


...I am genuinely looking forward to looking through the book as a vicarious travel adventure. Do look out for it if you share my interest in wine-related travel or are simply looking for somewhere congenial, and ecologically aware, to stay in French wine country. --Jancis Robinson

Sawday's; the undisputed master of guidebooks about places to stay in France. --French Magazine

About the Author

A pioneer in the environmental world, Alastair Sawday has had a remarkably miscellaneous and varied career, which has taken him to the most far-flung corners of the globe: he headed up a VSO programme in Papua New Guinea, ran a disaster relief team for Oxfam in Turkey, and has run a small travel company, conducting walking tours throughout Europe.It was this that inspired him to publish his first travel guide, French Bed & Breakfast, after discovering various 'special' B&Bs and the extraordinary people that run them

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another glass of wine, please... 25 Oct 2009
Over the years we've had our share of glasses of wine on various patios in France, gazing across vineyards and at chateaux. We've also stopped at far-too-numerous to name wine producers, from the little to the grand. Oh, the number of times we would have loved to have stayed; to watch vines being grown and harvested, to be at the centre of the production of France's glory... Well, here it is; the latest in Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay, and this time it's more than personal - it's delectable and delicious and definitely in bon gout! French Vineyards gives you the chance to stay not only in the wine regions but with the producers, in B&Bs, in chateaux and in gites. And each entry comes complete with tasting notes of a wine that could be on offer and suggestions of food to have it with, too. Some are palatial, some are more basic - all sound divine. There are young winemakers, restoring or carrying on family businesses and older, retired couples or individuals who have found a new lease of life and a late blossoming vocation in what might have been a hobby. There are French winemakers and British ones too. All clearly share three things; a love of wine, a passion for sharing that love, and a flair for hospitality. If you've ever travelled through France and wanted to do more than taste briefly, and pass on by the vineyards dotting the landscape - this is the book for you. As always with Sawday's places, my only problem is which to choose, which to choose....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey through paradise 24 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book, which is well written giving clear and interesting information about the area, people, and culture as well as the wines. I have had the oportunity to taste some of the wines discussed in the book and can commend Patrick for his selection. The wines cater for all tastes and budgets

A book to be read and followed by all lovers of good wines and France.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Zooming in on viticulture 21 Oct 2009
Nicely organised and illustrated. A great book for the traveller and for those keen to learn more about wine production and connoisseurship close up! And many of the accommodation prices are surprisingly reasonable. Sawday's guides are always revealing - and in this book, there is more space to expand on details of the families as well as their lovely, often historic estates, so that you get a tantalising picture of the locality - with recommendations for other activities like huge markets and special events - (wine auction in Beaune in November!). Wine types, prices and accompanying food suggestions are given for each place featured - to help you with your shopping list! There are details of numbers of rooms/cottage sizes, and most places have also a website so that you can check them over before booking.

For me, another attraction of this guide is in the names of places to stay - those typically French words that transport you to the imagined place. I found Le Manoir de la Noue - `noue' meaning reclaimed marsh soil (as well as a valley gutter in the building trade). Domaine Borgnat - another name for the goldcrest. The book's front cover of a typical Burgundy tiled roof, with green vines regimentally ordered in front of the chateau, gives you the flavour of what is to come. That is, it speaks of the hard work and perfectionism which winemakers put in to obtain the best wine possible. These same people also happen to do B&B or gites, giving us the chance to glimpse their way of life.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars alastair sawday at his best 26 Oct 2009
Unusual topic but well researched and certainly of interest to francophiles with a penchant for wine.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars French Vineyards - in Anglais at last 23 Nov 2009
A wonderful read - concise and obviously well researched. One of the few books on the subject that would make me want to 'do the trip'.

I look forward to the next one
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