Move over Walt, there’s a new Disney in town! And his name, is Mr Gifi.
The approach to Le Stelsia hits you like an oasis in the desert. One minute you’re driving along winding roads through quaint, shabby chic villages, then you turn a corner and BAM! Out of nowhere you’re on a long straight road leading up to a grand entrance, tall castle like gates and colourful flags dancing proudly in the breeze.
I literally couldn’t contain myself. Stanley always cries with excitement when he knows we’re approaching our destination and this time, I joined in! The pair of us jiggling around on the passenger seat making high pitch squeaking sounds while Josh (chuckling at the pair of nutters next to him) drove Fifi into the car park.
Once I’d expelled some of my excited energy and finished going “OmgOmgOmgOmg-look-at-that-and-that-and-that!” Off we went to explore. Our rumbling tummies dictated our first destination to be the gardens so we could enjoy our picnic lunch.
We strolled around the path, taking in the scenery. Beautiful rose bushes, Whimsical trees and imaginative topiary really did make us feel like we’d followed Alice down the rabbit hole. We found a bench in the shade and tucked into our home made yummies.
After lunch we wandered over to the other side of the map. Cue return of the jumpy up and down excited dance. After passing a fairytale carosel we arrived at Fansatia, which was like a Tiki Tiki lounge cross beach hut! Here you could get a drink, order some food or even play a game of crazy golf. Queen of Hearts croquet anyone?
We were greeted by a friendly waiter who was more than patient with our umming and ahhing over which ice-cream to order (there was just so much choice!) We finally settled on a chocolate, coffee caramel sundae for us and a small blob of vanilla for Stanley.
Yes, I know, the dog is spoilt.
When the waiter reappeared smile a blazing he presented Josh and I with a tower of dairy deliciousness avec two spoons . Then, looking down and addressing Stanley with the utmost politeness, he placed a bowl of water and little paper cup of vanilla ice-cream on the floor.
The ice-cream wasn’t the only thing melting, my insides went all warm and fuzzy at the waiter’s good humour and kind gestures towards Stanley.
*Disclaimer – yes I know ice-cream isn’t listed on the ideal doggy diet menu, but it was one small blob, which I halved into a teeny tiny few good licks sized blob.
Feeling extremely satisfied after our treats, we decided another walk was in order.
After a second lap around the gardens, our last stop was the Chateau itself. This marvellous multicoloured wonder is actually a hotel, boasting a spa, bar, bistro and restaurant. We weren’t ready to leave just yet, we were enjoying the atmosphere far too much, so decided to stay for a drink. We were invited to sit out on the terrace, which was simply lovely. Very comfortable and peaceful. Again we were faced with the same problem of too much choice once handed the drinks menu.
The original plan was Josh drives there and I drive back (so I could get some navigating-the-roads practise in)
But then the cocktail menu happened.
Josh went in to order our drinks and 5 minutes later a lady brought out a tall mojito packed with a jungle!
it was divine. Needless to say, I was not designated driver on the way home, the Monaco drinker was the one behind the wheel.
It really was a magical day out, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I can’t believe it’s practically on my doorstep! I’m looking forward to experiencing what it has to offer throughout the changing seasons of the year.