Having fallen in love with the beautiful building, picturesque grounds and quaint village, we, Matt and Helen Ford from Dorset, England, bought Chateau la Briance in 2019 and have spent the last year lovingly transforming it into the luxurious boutique accommodation.
Somewhat surprisingly, our background isn’t in the hotel business but is predominantly in owning and promoting our British speedway club, Poole Pirates, and we’re delighted to say the club is considered the most sucessful in modern day Speedway.
While we love the racing scene, we have owned the club since 1999 and having won multiple league championships, felt it was time to pursue a different venture and fulfil another dream – restoring a historic French chateau. We fell in love with Chateau la Briance in the pretty village of St Hilaire Bonneval the very first time we saw it and knew we could transform it into something truly special. The fairytale turrets, traditional French shutters, extensive grounds and large, airy rooms plus original features are just some of the things that piqued our excitement for this challenging restoration project.
We have three grown up children who have remained in the Dorset area (though they enjoy frequent trips to the chateau!) but our two British short haired cats, Astbury and Duffy, accompanied us across the channel. Our furry family members are named after Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy from the rock band The Cult, who Matt has had the pleasure to meet on a few occasions (he will be more than happy to share these stories with you over a glass or two of wine and some delicious home cooked food).
Chateau la Briance is a labour of love and we’re incredibly proud of what we have achieved. We love nothing more than welcoming our guests and sharing this extraordinary place with them, whether it’s for a short romantic getaway, family holiday or a special celebration such as a wedding or milestone birthday.