All year (arrivals 4– 11.00 pm)
Lounge, dining room, 25-acre park: river.
All major cards accepted; cash preferred.
B&B double : €89-- €99; dinner €27--€49.
Good Hotel Guide Review
In a hamlet near Aire-sur-la-Lys, this graceful 19th-century mansion has been lovingly turned by its Belgian owner, Sir Francis Van der Elst, into a welcoming B&B with table d’hôte. While modern comforts, including free Wi-Fi, were added, the original character of the building has been preserved. Spacious, uncluttered bedrooms (one is on the ground floor) have wooden floorboards, strong colours, large flat-screen TV, a modern shower room. The River Leie runs through the château’s large park. ‘The peace and quiet,’ writes the multilingual owner, ‘is one of its major assets.’ He is proud of the ‘cadre familiale’. Children are welcomed; pets are permitted. Breakfast is a generous continental affair, with orange juice, boiled eggs, croissants, etc. Before the candlelit table d’hôte dinner (served, by arrangement, at 8pm), which is based on regional produce, an aperitif is offered in the salon or, if the weather is good, on the terrace. Aire-sur-la-Lys is a good base for outings by bicycle or on foot. Nearby are Saint-Omer, Lens, Arras and Lille. ‘In less than an hour, you are at the seaside.’ The château is much loved by British visitors as it makes a perfect first- or last-night stopover for those arriving or leaving by the Eurotunnel or by ferry.