There’s nothing better than getting away to some exotic destination, but sometimes the schedule (and your wallet) doesn’t allow for a lavish vacation away from home. Although it might sound like a bummer, it gets much better when you realize that staycations are just as fabulous and way more convenient!
I was recently treated to a gush-worthy getaway at one of my favorite places, the uber-charming Château Élan Winery & Resort, and I am so happy to report that I love it even more than before… As if that was possible! Located in Braselton, Georgia, Chateau Elan is perfect for Atlantans because it’s only 40 minutes north from the city–just far enough to get away from home but not too far that you’ll dread the drive back. With it’s French roots, a visit to Chateau Elan is like heading into the French countryside right down the road from your ATL digs. Have I got you intrigued? Here’s how our romantic rendezvous at The Chateau unfolded…
Wishing for More… Wine!
Upon entering the gates of the Resort, I was immediately captivated by the picturesque views. The rolling hills of the vineyards, the gorgeous greenscapes all around, the lovely architecture… It was sooo beautiful! And that was just the drive up. 🙂 After entering the Inn, where we would be staycation-ing, it was obvious the attention to detail didn’t end outside. You can’t help but be mesmerized by the posh surroundings at every turn. Gor-ge-ous! Not only is Chateau Elan a lovely venue and hotel, but it’s also a buzz-worthy winery. Award-winning, to be exact! So you know I didn’t need to think twice when I heard there was a wine tasting on the itinerary. We first got to learn some history about the winery, and then we got some interesting info on the wine-making process and the different wine variations. Then, it was time to taste… 😀
We each sampled 8 wines from the house collection, and I opted for some sweeter sips since we got to choose what to try. I enjoyed all of my choices, but my standout favorites were the Duncan Creek Red, Spring Blossom, and the Autumn Blush. If you’ve ever wanted to be a sommelier (or pretended to be one on account of how much wine you drink!), you’ll love the tips we learned during our tasting. Here’s how to properly “taste” a wine:
Yep, I definitely have the sipping part down, but I loved getting to do the full process. And with these tasting tips I’ll be a true sommelier in no time. 😉 Hey, tasting wine is hard work, you know! With that being said, it was time to head to our wonderfully appointed room at the Chateau Elan Inn. But, to call it a mere “room” would be an understatement, because this space was absolutely lovely!
As soon as we entered the room, I was taken back by how chic it was. I just wanted to snuggle up in the fluffy bed covers, but I was actually too afraid to ruffle them up because they looked so pretty! But hey–that bed was calling my name. Needless to say, the decor was sooo fabulous, and I took a peek at the spa-like bathroom, making note that I’d need to take full advantage when we returned from our dinner date that evening. Speaking of dinner…
Romance with a View
We worked up quite the appetite whetting our whistles with tasty wines, so we were thrilled to sit down for a sampling of some gourmet grub. The day thus far had been sooo romantic–Chateau Elan is the ideal romantic getaway with its charming atmosphere and French undertones. For dinner, we headed to Cafe Elan, which is one of seven restaurants at the resort. The view from the restaurant overlooks the vineyard which made things even more enchanting.
To start off our foodie fest, we had two appetizers: the Little Gem Salad and the Lump Crab Topped Fried Green Tomato. The salad featured Asher blue cheese, beet crisp, salt roasted pecans, and preserved lemons, topped with a tangy citrus vinaigrette. As for the green tomato dish, it had pepperdew chow chow with spiced rémoulade, fresh dill, and green onion, making for a very tasty app. We loved both, but the Lump Crab Topped Green Tomato was our favorite!
Oh, and did I mention my dinner drink of choice? I spent the evening sipping on the Vineyard Punch. I may or may not have had three of them, but who’s counting? 😛 But enough about that. On to the main course. Hubby opted for the 1855 Angus Denver Steak, which had beer-braised mustard greens, pickled cippolini, sunchoke puree, confit mushrooms, and yummy demi sauce. Judging by the sudden silence (and jaw drop) once hubby’s entree’s arrived, I’d say that he quite impressed. 🙂 My choice was the Sea Scallops. This dish included a celery root puree, braised baby fennel, confit tomato, smoked pearl onion, bouillabaisse reduction, and rouille. It was sooo delish!
Of course, as you all know, no fabulous meal is complete without a sweet night cap. We shared the Blueberry Compote with Graham Cracker Crust, which was topped with a sultry scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s OK if you’re licking your lips as you read this! To say this dessert was heavenly would be an understatement. 🙂
Voguing in the Vineyards
After a lavish evening of divine dinner, decadent dessert and yummy libations, we woke the next morning ready to see what other delightful surprises the Chateau had in store. Today, it was all about the vineyards and the resort. We got to take tours of the vineyards and the resort grounds, and the views were absolutely breathtaking! Of course you know that no great view goes un-photographed, so I could not pass up the opportunity to snap a few pics (or 10).
After voguing in the the vineyards, it was time for a little bon appetit at the Fleur de Lis. This restaurant is located inside the spa and overlooks the lake. Chateau Elan definitely does not skimp on the stunning views!
First up from the menu, we started with a semi-light appetizer, the Hydro Bibb Lettuce which featured — portions of goat cheese and prosciutto in addition to sliced pears, almonds and a drizzle of white balsamic vinaigrette. It was the perfect balance of sweet and savory to start things off.
For the entrees, we enjoyed the Salmon Paillard (with crispy capers, confit lemon aioli, and wilted spinach) and the Grilled Chicken Panini (with tomatoes, fresh basil, buffalo mozzarella, onion marmalade, and veggie chips). The flavors came together so fabulously and both lunch entrees were absolutely uh-mazing! Everything we experienced at Chateau Elan was all about the romance. From the wine tour and tasting, to the tranquil surroundings, stunning views, amazing accommodations, and decadent dining, it’s easy to fall in love with this place; oh, and rekindle a flame while you’re there too of course. 😉
It’s no secret that I enjoyed every sip during my staycation at the fabulous Chateau Elan… Now it’s your turn! What are you waiting for? Start planning your “daycation” at Chateau Elan right this moment! 😀
Château Élan Winery and Resort is located at 100 Rue Charlemagne in Braselton, Georgia.
Disclosure: Thank you to Chateau Elan Winery & Resort for hosting us. All opinions herein are my own.