Another visit to the Château Grand Barrail & link-up

Château Grand Barrail

After almost three weeks away, we’re finally back home, safe and sound. Although our trip was mainly to visit my ailing MIL, there were some other high points, including our second visit to the Château Grand Barrail hotel and meeting fellow blogger and vlogger, Laurie of Vanity and Me.

As we have done in recent years, we drove through Spain and France to get to Essex where MIL lives (although she’s in a nursing home at the moment). We decided to spend one night in the luxurious Château Grand Barrail hotel because we loved it so much the first time. It’s located just outside Bordeaux, by the beautiful village of Saint Emilion.

Château Grand Barrail

Unfortunately, after taking these photos of the outside of the Château Grand Barrail , I realised I’d left my camera charger at home, so these are the only decent photos of the entire trip! That’s a mistake I won’t make again (eye roll emoji). You can see a few more arty farty pics of the castle grounds below.

Travelling from Portugal to the UK, we prefer to use the Channel Tunnel because Michael finds the ferry too long and boring, so we usually spend three nights going. Our first was in Salamanca which is a beautiful Spanish town full of history and glorious architecture. We were also delighted to find a little restaurant that had a couple of vegan dishes on the menu so we were happy! Night two was spent in the Château and the third night we stayed in Rouens, which was a pleasant enough hotel, before heading to Essex the following day. Returning home, we spent the first night in Le Mans in a fabulous central hotel, and the second in San Sebastian, in another great spot. But I’ll tell you more in another post next week.

After San Sebastian, we had intended to stay somewhere else, but in the end we chose to motor on home, so we drove for a good nine hours to get back. I must say, I’m thrilled to be home. In the past, I’ve always dreaded getting back, because for years I wanted to return to live in the UK—or elsewhere. But I’ve come to realise we live in such a wonderful part of the world where not only do we have fabulous weather (although currently, it’s peeing down with rain lol), but it just has a certain ‘something’ to it, you know? It’s also safe, which is such a huge bonus, especially in light of what’s happening in the world right now. Plus, I reckon it’s one of the best places to visit/live, if you happen to be vegan. The supermarkets are really on the ball when it comes to plant-based food, as are some restaurants. Lisbon, for example, has some of the best vegan restaurants in the world (in my humble opinion!). I’m not going to delve more into it right now, but I will be writing more about this wonderful country that I’ve called home for the past 36 years.

As for MIL, she’s not doing so great at the moment, but we’re hoping she’s going to pull through. We’re just not sure that she wants to at this stage. But we managed to spend some quality time with her in the nursing home which was wonderful. We also opened our Christmas presents with her lol. And boy, was there a lot! I’ve come home with so many bottles of perfume, nine pairs of knickers (!), four handbags (plus one that Michael bought for me), about thirty hair scrunchies (I had asked her for a green hair scrunchie but she couldn’t find one on it’s own, so she bought a pack of about thirty all in different colours lol!), face creams and much more! It’s a good job we have a big car. Fingers crossed she’ll get better so we can see her again soon.

Another highlight of our trip was meeting up with Laurie of Vanity and Me. Laurie and I have been online buddies for years now but we’d never actually met. So, she and her partner, Dee, came over to Chelmsford to meet up. We met in John Lewis for a cuppa and a good natter before we had a brief look around at some of the clothes. It was truly wonderful to finally meet up and I’m excited to do it again (hopefully) in the not too distant future. Meeting Laurie has also put a fire in my belly to start focussing on creating more content for the blog, Insta as well as YouTube. I’m excited to see where it takes me! If you’re not following Laurie, you really should be. She’s the Queen of neutrals, as well as classic dressing. Find her on her blog, YouTube Channel and Instagram.

So, what have you been up to lately? Why not share in the Neverending Style link-up, below? I’ve shared a couple of Insta reels I did whilst we were away. See you next week!

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13 comments so far.

13 responses to “Another visit to the Château Grand Barrail & link-up”

  1. Laurie says:

    Such kind words! We’re talking about driving to Portugul! I’m excited already. What’s really surprising is that I have another visitor from Portugal today. My cousin that I haven’t seen for 17 years.
    Now. Where’s that poker? I need to keep that fire going xx

    • Suzy says:

      YAY Laurie!! That will be amazing! It’s obviously a sign, isn’t it?! I’m super excited!
      Big hugs
      Suzy xx

  2. OMG, I love that you and Laurie met up! How fun!!!! And your photos are so beautiful despite that you only got a few. I am sending lots of good energy out for your MIL!


    • Suzy says:

      Thank you so much, Shelbee! It really was wonderful meeting up with Laurie. Quite surreal, actually!
      Big hugs
      Suzy xx

  3. mireille says:

    Beautiful castle and love those last pictures! We drove from Barcelona to just outside of Paris in 2019 with the boys and I had forgotten how beautiful France was.

  4. Rena says:

    Suzy, it sounds like you were able to make the most of this excursion along with the MIL visit. And how wonderful to have had a mini meet-up with Laurie. Chatting online is nice but an IRL face-to-face can’t be beaten. If you ever venture to the US, I hope that southern California is on your itinerary.


  5. Michelle says:

    First, I’m sorry your MIL isn’t doing well. That’s always tough. But it sounds like your visit was a great success and you experienced some wonderful locales on the way. And so cool you got to meet up with Laurie. She seems like such a neat person, and yes, definitely the queen of the neutrals. It’s wonderful that you’ve realized that you are happy living where you are. I have been wondering if Brexit would adversely affect you.


  6. Forgetting the charger for your camera. Aiii. that is a big mistake. I am a planner, so I always make little lists of what not to forget to bring. Plus I save these lists. It has its merits to be a planner.
    Your MIL is and always has been so good to you, bless her. I hope she will recover.
    My mother is 93 and still living at home, but she doesn’t like her life anymore. Too lonely, too many things not functioning (eyes, ears, legs). So she is done with life, but her heart keeps going on. Just like her father’s did.
    I love having her still around and try to take care as much as possible.

  7. Nancy says:

    I really hope that all goes better with your mil. And so amazing to meet up with Laurie! We always take the ferry as the train frightens me in some way.

  8. Marsha Banks says:

    Someday, I’d love to hear the story of how you ended up in Portugal! I think it would be wonderful to drive to France and onto the UK. And, how exciting to meet Laurie. I love to watch her videos…they’re just so calming and peaceful (and she’s stunning). I do hope your MIL recovers her zest for life and makes a good recovery. And, I’m looking forward to seeing you on YouTube!

    Thanks for the link up!!

  9. Gail says:

    Lovely to see you and Laurie! The château looks beautiful. What a shame about the camera charger. So glad you now see Portugal as where you want to be. I lived in Munich fir nearly 2 years, for work, and didn’t really want to go. I dreaded coming home for visits. But when I look back, it was a wonderful time and I wish I’d stayed longer. xx

  10. Jacqui berry says:

    Oh that’s super, you drove past my door (nearly). Hope I can join next time.
    Glad you had a super time, sorry to hear about your MIL.
    Take care and keep well. Thanks for hosting too. Jacqui x

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