mardi 27 avril 2010

Association La Laison de la Fontaine welcomes London Baroque & Emma Kirkby to Laàs, SW France

Les Amours Baroques is the title of a stunning concert organised by Association La Maison de la Fontaine and given by London Baroque together with the soprano Emma Kirkby on Saturday 24th April 2010 at Laàs Church in the Béarn des Gaves, SW France.

Over 200 people crowded into the small church to hear the magical performances of Emma Kirkby, Charles Medlam (basse de viole 1680), Ingrid Seifert (violin - Jacobus Steiner 1661) and Steven Devine (Harpsichord).

Sean Rawnsley built the harpsichord, a replica of an old instrument, which sounded delightful.

The programme encompassed the works of Henry Purcell (1658-1695), F Couperin (1668 - 1773), GF Handel (1685-1759), Marin Marais (1656-1728), JJ Froberger (1616-1667) and Michel de Montéclair (1667-1737).

It is with great pleasure that we can announce that London Baroque and Emma Kirkby will be returning to the region for the period 7th and 10th of April 2011.

samedi 3 avril 2010

Welcome to Maison de la Fontaine!

Our home, La Maison de la Fontaine, is a lovingly restored 17th Century Béarnaise "Maison de Maitre" set in the small village of Araux some 5km west of the historic “bastide” town of Navarrenx. Lying in the heart of Béarn des Gaves in the department of Pyrenees Atlantiques in SW France, we are about 60 minutes inland from the Atlantic Coast and Biarritz and Bayonne, 45 minutes west from Pau and some 60 minutes north of the Pyrenees mountains and the Spanish border.

We offer luxurious guest house accommodation to individuals, couples and families who enjoy the atmosphere of what is very much a family home and who value the interesting objects to be found around the house which we have gathered on our travels around the world. We are also a family that loves the arts and it is not uncommon for guests to find themselves staying in the company of artists and musicians. In the last 18 months we have organised many concerts and had such renowned musicians as the world famous cellist Matthew Barley, the internationally renowned London Baroque. Perhaps it is because of the eclectic mix of people who come to stay with us and the relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere that often pervades the house that guests who stay for more than a few days often say they feel they have become part of the family and frequently return.

We also offer, at the request of guests, weekends and short breaks with a specific theme such as art, music and ballooning as well as facilities for those special events such as the smaller wedding or special birthday celebration. We can offer the ideal venue for business meetings needing an intimate but relaxed atmosphere as well as privacy and for study groups. On occasion, we are prepared to make our house and grounds available for exclusive use and, if required, the house can be fully serviced with chef, chauffeur and valet.

Navarrenx, our local market town, is now famous for its world class salmon fishing and as a stopping off point for walkers of the St Jacques de Compostella pilgrim route (part of which passes through our village). However, it was once the capital of the northern province of the ancient Kingdom of Navarre which spanned the French and Spanish Pyrenees. Today this area encompasses Béarn des Gaves and Pays Basque in France and Navarre in North Spain. We offer an ideal base to explore the beautiful and unspoilt countryside of these provinces throughout the year, from the roaring surf and pretty fishing ports of the French Atlantic Coast, through the tumbling rivers and streams and snow capped peaks of the French and Spanish Pyrenees to the moon like landscapes found in the semi–arid plains south of Pamplona in Spain.

Whether you are looking to explore the beautiful and unspoilt countryside, or to enjoy some of the many sporting opportunities available, or to enjoy the cultural events that abound throughout the year, or to learn about the often turbulent history and diverse cultures of the region, there is something for everyone. Sustenance for busy days of discovery and enjoyment comes from healthy and varied meals created out of the wealth of regional produce the region is famous for – on our table, in the excellent local restaurants or at the Michelin starred restaurants in Pau and San Sebastian (cited as the food capital of Europe)

Visiting for pleasure or for business, for one night or for several weeks, we strive to ensure that you will find everything you need to make your stay enjoyable, comfortable, rewarding and, above all, memorable.

We look forward to meeting you in person!

vendredi 2 avril 2010