Big Chateau Weekend – 17th-20th January

Pic contributed by Kari and others; text added by M-L

Towards the end of January, to lift the post-Christmas lethargy, 24 IOGers convened at the Chateau d’Hallines – a magnificent house about half an hour south of the Channel Tunnel and 10-minutes drive (or slightly longer by bus) from the market town of St Omer, heavily bombed during WWII. With 12 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, not to mention numerous entertainment spaces, the self-catering accommodation was a steal, with cost per person ranging between £90 and £140 for 3 nights. And what a lot of fun we had for that!

High on the list of ‘must-dos’ were the team dinners, which gave everyone considerable entertainment – even the cooks!

A nightly source of workout and huge hilarity was provided by the trampoline room – where even old folk in their 60s hopped and flopped and shrieked with laughter. There were a few injuries of the torn muscle variety, of course, but the less said about that the better…

There was plenty of opportunity for quieter indoor entertainment, however.

To be fair, people also cycled with the bikes provided by the chateau…

… walked a charming coastal route mapped out by Lou called Sentier des Crans:

… or a much more ambitious 18-mile round trip to Agincourt led by Francis … or lunched in splendour at La Sapinière, a 10-minute drive from the chateau – fabulous food, wonderful views. It was quite a weekend, providing clear evidence that a trip abroad need not call for an airport ordeal – or an overdraft. Thanks to everyone who made it so memorable!