The first thing that you will notice are the flagstones: aged, worn, uneven and beautiful, the passage of time evident in every step you take as you imagine the number of people it must have taken to wear them so. Looking up towards the stunning original staircase, you catch a glimpse of ironmongery on your right, an insight into the original usage of the property as stables and coach-house.
Prepare your knees a little for the beginning of the ascent, (there are sixty-three steps from the ground floor to the top bedroom), with ample space to take it slowly. Just as you feel the need for a quick stop, a doorway entices you to take a step inside. This room is so welcoming and warm you feel torn between curling up on the settee and just standing there to admire. For a short moment, the latter wins, letting your eyes wander over the inviting settees, the aged oak beams, the warmth of the stonework, the luminous space around you, the tall windows tempting you with their view, then you take that step in and you find your hands reaching out to touch the beautiful carved furniture, the textured curtains and throws, fingering the stone and the chisel marks from time gone by.
As you turn to continue your ascent, your glance will see a doorway that you had not seen before, discreetly leading to a perfectly formed sleek kitchen, designed for your every need.
Another set of steps takes you to the master bedroom and bathroom where the depth of the room will take you by surprise, and your feet will lead you to the impressive Emperor bed complete with posts and luxurious linen. Only politeness will stop you from throwing yourself onto the bed right then, and reluctantly you will walk away, your hangs lingering a little longer on the inviting bedding and throws, a last caress of the bedpost. The unusually low windows stand as high as you do, throwing light into the room at every level, with views over the medieval rooftops and up towards the hills at the reaches of the village. For those not put off by heights, a glance down will afford you a sense of just how perspective can differ as you look onto the trees below, and a look to the right will reward you with a close-up view of the pepperpot tower and stunning portcullis entrance of the château. It is rare for us to look up when we walk, but something will draw your eye to the ceiling, only to find that it is not there. With the original beams guarded in their original glory, we have allowed the history and skill of the craftsmen to be appreciated by forming a 9m high gallery with all the roof beams exposed. Just one more thing before you leave this bedroom, take a moment to look through the tiny window by the bed.
With a feeling that there cannot be any more, the final set of steps will lead you up into the top bedroom, with a height of about six metres at the apex. An innovative use of glazing and rope allows you to see the entire wooden structure of the roof beams, held together with wooden dowels and time. A large roof window shows you the roofs and towers of the principal part of the Château des Sénéchaux, and behind them, the magnificent church of St Pierre-ès-Liens which dates back to the 12th century. Even the shower-room has a special view, this time over the fields and down to the river Dronne below, a perfect distraction whilst brushing your teeth. The bedroom is home to sleigh beds for those who prefer their own bed-space, however they can easily be adapted as a large double upon request.
As you begin your descent, take a moment to look over the bannister down through the helical winding of the stairs, feel the curves of the crystal newel, before gliding your hands down the smooth time-worn bannister all the way to the bottom.
Immerse yourself and enjoy your stay in this wonderfully authentic, sumptuous and historical property.