French Dreams at Chateau Dumas

 The future belongs to those who believe

in the beauty of their dreams.

                                                              ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

(Note: There are many spectacular images capturing the amazing beauty of Chateau Dumas. Allow enough time for your computer to load the images so that you don’t miss any. This is the first in the series on a millinery masterclass held in southwest France. Won’t you follow along with me?) 


The dream trip of learning a new skill and living the country life of a French woman has come true this summer! For a brief time, I am alongside eight other travelers from Germany, Spain, England and the U.S. as millinery apprentices in the atelier at the superb 18th-century Chateau Dumas in Auty, France. Our adventures will be amazing in the days ahead!


the dream begins

The technicolor images of the southwest French countryside are breathtaking as I make the hour-long journey from Toulouse — La Ville Rose (the Pink City) — to the tiny village of Auty with about 150 residents. Antoinne, my driver, talks about various points of interest along our journey–in French, of course! I nod frequently and comment with “oui’” and “très beau” — keenly and painfully realizing how dormat my French has grown. 

Vast rolling fields are filled with vibrant golden sunflowers turning their faces towards the warm rays of the sun, stately stalks of corn and trained ancient grape vines neatly trail along guided wires. Hundreds of acres of apple trees are covered with a white airy cloth to project the fruit from the Mediterranean summer sun. Irrigation in the fields is commonly seen in the fields.

Names of towns on small signs, such as “Montauban” and “Caussade” point the way northwest with the frequent turns on the round abouts–Chateau Dumas lies just past Caussade. The centurian houses in the small villages have gorgeous authentic terra cotta tiled roofs. Most of the centuries-old buildings are made of a soft rose or warm golden brick or stone, and are accented with rustic blue, green or brown wood shutters.

Fields of round golden hay bales, brillant sunflowers and manicured grapevines are now a common sight. The warm summer air smells of fresh mown hay, earth and lavender co-mingled together under the vibrant azure blue sky. All my senses have awakened from their slumber!

Then…around a corner and up a hill…down a long, country gravel driveway flanked by ancient groves of plum, fig, walnut and other trees…Chateau Dumas!  Be still my heart! The spectacular beauty of this setting makes me feel like it is a dream. Please don’t wake me! How can I be so blessed to have such a beautiful and dreamy trip?

chateau dumas 5

chateau dumas 2 under portico

chateau dumas 1

Front of Chateau - Early Evening

chateau 3rd floor roof window

Perched high on a hill admidst 22 wooded acres, Chateau Dumas has spectacular vistas overlooking patchwork fields, a lake, wooded grooves and rustic farmhouses that have stood the test of time.


stairs to pool2

to south garden2

bedroom window and view fav

Won’t you follow along over the next several days as we embark on this amazing millinery masterclss at the lovely Chateau Dumas in southwest France?

dumas sign 5

à bientôt mes amis!

I will write more tomorrow! What are your dreams of beauty today?

You may want to take a morning walk over at The Southern Daydreamer for more Outdoor Wednesday posts.




Filed under France, Gardening, Travel

22 responses to “French Dreams at Chateau Dumas

  1. Mom

    I am so excited to take this adventure with you and can’t wait to see more of the wonder and beauty at the lovely Chateau Dumas.

    Your Mom.

  2. How wonderful to experience your dream in such a stunningly beautiful place ! Enjoy the journey.

    Best Wishes,

  3. Oh, Debby Kay, this is absolutely amazing. You are one lucky person to get to stay in a place this charming. And they are not kidding about the light in France! These pictures show it off to perfection. I can’t wait to see more. This chateau is so amazing with its pinkish walls and blue shutters. And the grounds! Oh, I’m in love! Wish I was there, too.

    Happy OW…


    Sheila 🙂

  4. Beautiful!!! Love the colors of where you’re staying…that building and its grounds…wonderful.

    My Outdoor Wednesday is flowers with a ‘passion’. Come over if you can find time. I’d love your company today.

    And, hope the day treats you well!!!

  5. This is my first visit and it looks as if I came at just the right time. Can’t wait to see more of this wonderful adventure!

  6. Thank you for taking us along on your tour, beautiful property, I wish I was there for real!
    Have a great day. . .

  7. Edie

    My Dearest Debbykay~
    What a treasure for us have to be traveling along on your dream trip.. This precious peak at the beginning of your adventure is so inviting, I can hardly wait to see and read more. Anyway the slide show can be installed on here? That is truely amazing and the music is just the best…. I am just soooo happy you were able to take this trip and that you had such a GREAT time… Keep the stories flowing please………..


  8. Dear sweet Debbykay,

    I was so happy to find a comment from you this morning, though I was very sorry to hear you have been so ill!!! I pray you are feeling better. I am thrilled to find you have been able to go on your dream trip to learn millinery and live a country life as a French woman! Oh, it sounds so wonderful and I look forward to all you will share with us.

    Your beautiful and descriptive writings made me feel as if I had been right there with you! France sounds amazing! The Chateau Dumas is incredibly beautiful. What gorgeous photos you have taken! The colors of the Chateau are so pretty and cheerful. I can just imagine all of the wonderful smells and sights from the surrounding countryside! Oh, Debbykay, I am so very happy you were able to experience such beauty on your dream trip. I can already see it was all that you hoped for!

    I can hardly wait to hear and see more! Thank you so much for sharing.

    Have a blessed day and please rest!

    Love your kindred heart in the south,

  9. What a FAB dream! I have a similar one always!

  10. Looks like something out of the movie, “Mama Mia.”

  11. Simply divine trip!
    Joyce M

  12. It’s so nice when dreams come true. Your descriptions and photos make me feel as though I’m traveling with you. Your words and photographs are a delight. Enjoy!

  13. Oh, be still my heart! Chateau Dumas is beautiful. I can’t wait to see more, I’m intrigued with the purpose of your trip. Please explain more. I’ll be checking back to see what you have been up to.

  14. Fantastic French Countryside photos…! I look forward to following your journey!
    I hope you have a fun rest of the week!
    ~Really Rainey~

  15. Francesco


    Such a dream!

    How fortunate that you could wake up in your dream to realize that the dream had become a reality.

    I can imagine how the anticipation grew as the day of departure came closer and then became the day. What a wonder it must have been to walk on those ancient roads. The wispers of yesterdays from long ago in the light breeze.

    The images you have presented to us only serve to wet the apatite for another serving (please) of your creative adventure.

  16. Oh Wow!!! What an amazing trip…. Your pictures looked amazing..I hope to one day go to France..
    I’m so glad to be able to leave you a comment..I’ve been having trouble leaving comments on peoples blogs…

  17. Fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

  18. ohhhh SO beautiful Debbykay… I have been following the trip a bit on Pamela’s blog and my goodness was it just a beautiful sight! I love seeing all of your beautiful pictures. What a WONDerful trip you must have had! Can’t wait to see the rest of your posts. 😉 xoxo

  19. Oh Debbykay, what a wonderful experience. When I started reading about your trip, I just let out a huge Sigh. It is just so beautiful. Can’t wait to see the rest of your journey…..


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