“I find it very important to cherish the past but not make it something where you lose your freedom. I think freedom is the most important thing and it’s the way we’re educating our kids also.”
We’re in great company with Ségolène de Valbray, Proprietor of Château De Saint Paterne, a 15th century château that has seen many periods, trends, notable guests and historical events pass through its stoned and storied walls nestled in Normandy, France.
Ségolène left her life of worldly travels and Parisian splendor to join her husband, Charles-Henry in renovating his family’s home while raising their own 3 boys. In 1998 they opened its doors, welcoming international guests to stay in a space harmoniously blending authenticity and originality, eclectic objects and local antiques, French cuisine and fresh produce, cozy corner fireplaces and grand poolside gardens.
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, and all of the women whose nature it is to nurture their guests and welcome them like family into their homes, Ségolène exudes genuine grace in speaking to her purpose as both a loving mother and loyal proprietor.
[1:45] From a life full of travel, to an education in Paris, what drew Ségolène to fall in love with the total package - the man and the château.
[4:40] With the family château abandoned for 30 years and in need of much repair, a young Charles-Henry decided to take it upon himself, with little money and experience to his name, to preserve this piece of history.
[9:00] This 15th century château has lived many lives, from a fortress during the Hundred Years’ War to a home for King Henry IV’s mistress, from a summer house to the headquarters of the local resistance against the Nazis, a converted hospital on the battlefront of D Day in Normandy to a family residence in need of repair.
[21:00] Raising 3 boys at Saint Paterne with no game plan, no rulebook to follow, just some wise advice from her grandmother “in putting herself first” to be the best version of herself as a mother of her boys.
[27:45] Ségolène shares the secret to living a lifestyle of service and hospitality - making time and space to retreat and refresh.
[33:20] A lover of quirky things with color and character inspired Ségolène to not only outfit the château, but to collect and curate a shop called Les Objects Particuliers.
[41:30] Expect Charles-Henry to treat you to traditional French cuisine with seasonal flair and a healthy side of vegetables.
[45:40] With a home away from home in Provence, guests can stay amongst centuries-old olive groves and vineyards producing the best rosé in the world.