09/01/2019 - Meet the team
Welcome to Château Fengari, a beautiful Napoleonic era château in sunny Charente-Maritime, just 40 minutes from Bordeaux...
Built in the nineteenth century for Jules Nau and his wife Marthe Delhuile, Château Fengari has a varied and interesting history; it was run as a distillery, wine shop and dairy. These days, Fengari makes a sanctuary for retreats, corporate breaks, weddings and events, as well as for those looking for a peaceful property for a holiday.
The Houstoun-Boswall family purchased the property in 2015 and work began in earnest to turn the derelict building into a beautiful château, complete with period paintwork and wallpaper. Ensuring that all work done reflected the original château was an important goal of the renovation and all work has been carried out in a sympathetic manner.
About the team
Alex - Alex is the owner of Château Fengari and is the vision behind the overall venture. He is also the owner of Hampton Court House School, and the Fengari Events group. He has an amazing artistic eye, and knows exactly which tone of paint to mix to complement the antique wallpaper. In his spare time, Alex loves music and art, and has two children.
Victoria - Victoria manages Château Fengari. You are most likely to be in contact with her, whether you are booking a wedding, a retreat or a holiday! Victoria keeps the team organized and is a whizz with list making. Victoria manages the marketing side of things too, and has her fingers tapping away on a variety of social media sites. In her spare time, Victoria bakes and knits, and has two children.
Anne - Anne is the cleaning demon of the château. She is our housekeeper and does an amazing job at keeping us on the straight and narrow. She can clean a room and change beds faster than you can say ‘dirty’! She works tirelessly behind the scenes to keep everything ticking over. In her spare time, she loves animals and trying out local restaurants.
Jon - on works part time with the château, stepping in when we have retreats or guests that need catering. He is a registered private chef, and is fantastic at catering for dietary requirements, especially gluten free, vegan and vegetarian. Jon is married to Victoria, has two children, and in his spare time likes to cook!
15.01.2019 - A shaky past
Château Fengari was built in the early 19th century for the Nau family. Jules Nau and his wife Marthe Delhuile. Jules was mayor of Clérac between 1884 and 1919...
He decided to help the town become more prosperous and created a dairy, a distillery and of course, a wine shop at the château! As the house gained popularity around 1880, the two side wings were built and a large kitchen created. In 1911, he asked Georges and Marie-Therese Nau to live at the château, and due to a lack of cooling water for the stills, the distillery was transferred to Teurlay du Lary.
In 1925, the wine business was closed with the death of Jules. Later during the second world war, Château Fengari played host to refugees from the “Depreux filatures du Nord” factories. German troops had other ideas and the refugees abandoned Château Fengari for five years. Suzanne Nau had inherited the castle, and left Clérac after her wedding, but came back with her three sons after the death of her husband Jean Roi in 1976.
At this stage, the château was still named Château de l'Espie. The Nau family sold the property in 2002, and in the years that followed, it fell into disrepair.
The Houstoun-Boswall family purchased the château in 2014 and set to work lovingly restoring it. Their hopes are to continue the work of restoring the chateau and protecting it for future generations. Symbolic of their wishes for the château, the name was changed to Château Fengari.
One of the biggest goals for the Houstoun-Boswall family is to make the château self-sustaining, thereby protecting it for future generations. In order to do this, a retreat centre was first created. 2019 marks the first summer of the château hosting weddings and events as well.
If you want to help support the château and protect it for the future, book your retreat place or event venue now.