Chateau Raissac, Beziers, FranceEntrance to Chateau Raissac, Beziers, France

It’s still cold in New England and we’ve managed to get another light coating of snow this week. When it’s this cold, there’s really nothing else to do but daydream of warmer times… in France. Remember when I did that last month? I shared my little trip to Mont Saint Michel, where I was amazed by the towering abbey on the ocean.

This time around, my thoughts are drifting further south, way south, down to a tiny town near the coastline. This time, I didn’t just SEE the towering almost-other-worldly structure in the distance. This time, I got to LIVE there. Erica, the founder of this very blog and my very favorite company (where I also work), whisked her team away to the Chateau de Raissac in the small city of Beziers, just a short drive to the Mediterranean, to unwind, do a bit of brainstorming and meet the fabulous couple who own the chateau and run a local vineyard of the same name.

What do I remember?

I remember getting to know the friendliest little dogs who stood watch over their enormous home. The structure was astounding and unlike anything I had ever seen. I’m typically not a chateau sort of lady, but as I kept whispering all week to my colleagues, “I could adjust to this.”

Chateau Raissac, Beziers, FranceEntrance to Chateau Raissac
Chateau Raissac, Beziers, FranceThe tower that was home to my blue bedroom at Chateau Raissac

My bedroom was up in a little tower with soft blue shutters that miraculously and without my knowledge were opened each morning and closed tightly each night. All of the rooms were fantasy-like, as if I had stepped back in time, into the most classic of French interiors. I’ve always thought of myself as quite modern at heart, but I guess I finally connected with my inner chatelaine because I felt absolutely content in every nook and cranny, especially my quite blue room (pictured below).

Chateau Raissac, Beziers, FranceMy very blue bedroom at Chateau Raissac (Erica Berman)
Chateau Raissac, Beziers, FranceThe hallways and staircase that held vintage and modern artwork at Chateau Raissac

Oh, and especially at cocktail hour. I loved cocktail hour. I want this sort of cocktail hour each and every night until I die. It involved local white wine, candles, bits and nibbles, plush, deep and ancient green sofas and too many interesting baubles strung across the room. There were vintage statues and aged books and furniture and artwork older than everything else.

The cocktail hour treats were delicious; I hadn’t had olives that good since Italy years ago. But…

Chateau Raissac, Beziers, FranceThe cocktail hour in the sitting room at Chateau Raissac
Chateau Raissac, Beziers, FranceLunch of piles of pasta and red sauce at Chateau Raissac

The meals at my chateau – I love calling it my chateau – were really amazing.

Perhaps there is better pasta in Italy or more authentic paella in Spain (just 2 hours away), but the group of us enjoyed every single morsel so much and learned so much about each other after three, four, five glasses of wine. The highlights were the cheese courses at the end of each meal (mais oui!) and the paella, filled with fresh gems from the sea, that we made by hand and with heart with the charming chef and owner, Jean.

Chateau Raissac, Beziers, FranceThe Haven in Paris ladies making paella at Chateau Raissac
Chateau Raissac, Beziers, FranceMy Haven in Paris colleagues, having fun while making paella at Chateau Raissac

I guess there was one thing that rivaled those cheese courses. Not just dessert – which was delicious each and every time – but our daily tea with cake every single afternoon. There was always lots of whipped cream to go around. This tea break was extra special because it was taken outside, nestled within the beauty that is the Chateau de Raissac. The trees, the flowers…

Chateau Raissac, Beziers, FranceOur afternoon tea at Chateau Raissac, with chocolate cake and fresh whip cream
Chateau Raissac, Beziers, FranceOur afternoon tea at Chateau Raissac, with coffee and fresh whip cream

… the garden, the green house, the entire lush landscape was just so green. I skipped about during our breaks to snap photos, to admire the gorgeous tropical plants that couldn’t possibly grow outside in New England, and to simply find a bit of quiet time among the stone statues, billowing hammocks, vintage urns and green, green grass.

Chateau Raissac, Beziers, FranceThe outdoor back gardens and green house at Chateau Raissac
Chateau Raissac, Beziers, FranceThe statues and hammocks nestled around the gardens of Chateau Raissac

I had an amazing time in Beziers… it really cast a spell on each of us and we were so sad to leave! But the indulgent life didn’t transpire just inside this heavenly chateau, which you really must visit the next time you’re nearby. The heavenliness continued when Erica pulled out a map and piled us in a car toward the sea. Where did we go? What did we do? Well, that’s another post which I’d be happy to remember aloud with you very soon. Would you like to hear about it? Just let me know in the comments. Until then!

Chateau Raissac, Beziers, FranceErica plotting our adventure on the Mediterranean

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Written by Maggie Battista for the Hip Paris Blog. For our amazing rentals in Paris, Provence & Tuscany check out our website Haven in Paris. All photos by Maggie Battista, unless otherwise noted.


Maggie Battista

Passionate about fine dining and old-fashioned hospitality, Maggie is focused on finding hidden, authentic food gems and is absolutely in love with the creamy, salty butter sold all over Paris. She also runs an online magazine and market called Eat Boutique, where she discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. Maggie’s based in Boston, with frequent trips to Paris, Brooklyn, Maine, and northern California.


  1. Hello everyone!
    We did have some lovely adventures near Beziers. There was a oyster village nearby where we walked and walked and walked. I also have such great memories of the vineyard visit – Chateau Rassaic makes great wine!
    Hip Paris

  2. I’m staying up much to late enjoying your blog – just found it today. I would love to hear more about your time in the south of France. We are renting a home there in June – very near Beziers. Can’t wait. Tell me more! Did you find any out of the way wonderful surprises?

  3. I’m soooo glad you enjoyed the South of France!! I too had a great château adventure that included being the Birthday Queen of the Loire Valley. Although great food wasn’t included, nor was a regal bed complete with adorable corky puppy. How easy it is to imagine though!

    Any plans to return soon?

  4. I love the cocktails at candlelight. You don’t need a chateau to do that!

    I also second the request for “la suite”, please!

  5. In a word: HEAVEN! What a perfect escape. Surely, this is the way to live. Looking forward to the continuation of your journey…

  6. Mon dieu – what a great weekend! I don’t know what I’m coveting most right now: the blue bedroom, cocktail hour or that chocolat fondant!

  7. Maggie,
    Thanks for the lovely post and for the pleasant blast back to this special spot. Personally, I think we need another post. I want to share the scoop about the fabulous family winery, the trip to the sea and the truly original pottery that is made on the property! My room wasn’t a tower, but I loved it too. Can’t wait for ‘la suite’ . . . Erica

  8. Thank you ladies!

    I’m all about olives & candle light at cocktail hour too.

    The tower room was really beautiful, windows on many sides, so peaceful.


  9. I think, in very short order, I could get used to living in a chateau if my room was in a little tower. I’ve always wanted to have a tower room for my harp.

  10. Long sigh. That’s literally what I did when I saw the pictures from your post. Your chateau is the stuff dreams are made of. 😉 And this reminds me that I need to reinstate olives and glowing candles at cocktail hour: merci!

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