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L’Auberge Provencale Bed and Breakfast

White Post, VA

This inn promises that “romance is alive” in its Virginia Wine Country locale, and that promise is well kept. Innkeepers Celeste and Alain have created a romantic country inn so downright French that you’d be forgiven for believing you’ve left the States far behind. But Virginia is indeed where you’ll be, in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. At the farm-to-table La Table Provencale, you’ll nosh on dishes sourced from local farms, dairies and the inn’s own orchards. Breakfast in the Sun Room brings that old Gallic standby, freshly baked croissants. Rooms are named after French icons, from Voltaire to Coco Chanel. But it’s not just the French-inspired touches, it’s the upscale amenities that bring back repeat guests: electric-car charging stations, aromatherapy steam showers and gourmet picnics packed for two.

 

 


 

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La Belle Esplanade

New Orleans, LA

New Orleans simply must be mentioned in any list of great French-accented B&Bs, but this funky, feast-for-the-senses inn is actually located outside of the city’s famed French Quarter in a trio of brightly painted, connected houses built in 1883. This is true New Orleans neighborhood. Situated along Esplanade Avenue near Treme — local, friendly and free of partying frat boys — the street is bordered by houses painted purple and yellow and green. The splashes of color continue in La Belle Esplanade’s five apartment-like rooms, with their antique clawfoot tubs, original artwork and one-of-a-kind furnishings. (We love the peaceful Le Pelican suite, with its balcony and oleander tree.) The city’s Cajun, Creole and French roots collide beautifully at breakfast, where strong coffee is mixed with chicory in true New Orleans style and humdrum breakfast sausage is replaced by local boudin. At La Belle Esplanade, it’s not very hard to laissez les bons temps rouler.

 

 


 

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Maison Fleurie

Yountville, CA

The Napa Wine Country region certainly isn’t hurting for classic French-style auberges, but Maison Fleurie, a Four Sisters property in Yountville, sets its sights high. This “flowering house” is straight out of southern France, with its stone-walled guest rooms, charming floral textiles and lavish rose gardens. Take a dip in the pool and hot tub, open from April through October. Borrow the inn’s bicycles for a ride around Napa. Hop on the complimentary Yountville trolley for a trip into town. Visit the area’s renowned restaurants and world-class wineries. (The B&B staff is happy to recommend a favorite or two.) Whatever you do with your day, you’ll want to return to Maison Fleurie by dusk for a complimentary wine hour with tasty hors d'oeuvres. In the midst of all that Napa finery, Maison Fleurie is an elegant — and surprisingly affordable — stay.

 

 


 

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Napoleon’s Retreat

St. Louis, MO

Inside the walls of this bright butter-yellow townhouse built in 1880, find Napoleon’s Retreat. This pampering B&B is located right in St. Louis’ historical Lafayette Square, near an expansive park that also bears the famous revolutionary officer’s name. The picturesque neighborhood is lined with Victorians, perfect for a leisurely walk or jog surrounded by some well-preserved period architecture. At the inn itself, enjoy a multicourse gourmet breakfast featuring twists on French classics like crepes, soufflés and quiche. Enjoy the richly decorated rooms and their unique amenities, from the Charles de Gaulle Suite’s double whirlpool tub to the Burgundy Suite’s expansive interior and deep red textiles. Set out for St. Louis’ sights, including that famous Arch, or just enjoy the company of innkeepers Brian and Stacy — and their two four-legged assistants, les chiens Indiana and Delilah, of course.

 

 


 

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Auberge de Seattle

Seattle, WA

Auberge de Seattle may be modeled after a French country inn, but it has a Pacific Northwest vibe all its own. (Perhaps it’s the views of the surrounding evergreen forest that lend it such an easygoing air?) This B&B experience is truly hands on, with an on-site French cooking school, wine lessons and garden tours available for guests to tailor their gustatory stays. Dig into coursework like “Exploring French Classical Cuisine” and learn to DIY gourmet dishes from France’s storied culinary history. Arms exhausted from the effort of kneading bread and stirring pots? Indulge in a massage treatment after class accompanied by a soak in the heated hydro-massage bath. Take a day off and book a personalized wine tour of the Woodinville Wine Country, or embark on an educational garden tour topped off with lunch made fresh from the garden’s produce and herbs. Few B&B stays come with amenities this delicious.

 

 


 

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A La Carte B&B

Montreal, Canada

Montreal is just a short hop across the border from many major U.S. cities — certainly a quicker, cheaper trip than a transatlantic flight. Discover Montreal’s eclectic joie de vivre from the A La Carte B&B. The contemporary inn is filled with homelike comforts, including a well-stocked music room and movie library. The dining room’s authentic wood-burning fireplace warms weary muscles, and a typically Québécois breakfast is served each morning. Hosts Daniel Labrosse and Petra Schiemann handily speak English, French and German, so translation help and expert recommendations are always available, whether you need directions to the Biodome or to the best poutine in town. In fact, past guests have absolutely raved about the warm and welcoming service (and presence of resident poodle Monsieur Petit).

 

 


 

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Le Chateau de Faubourg

Quebec City, Canada

Already experienced Montreal but in need of a challenge? Why not Quebec City? It’s just a 2.5-hour drive northeast of internationally inclined Montreal, yet feels distinctly more in tune with its French colonial roots. Bed down in Le Chateau du Faubourg, a restored 19th-century home decorated in the grand style of the Second French Empire. A fairy-tale-like dining room welcomes guests at breakfast, while the formal salon’s fireplace is a wonderful accompaniment for Quebec’s cold winter months. Expect elegant draperies and fine period antiques throughout the family-owned property. No matter the season, the chateau is well within walking distance of Quebec City’s top sights, including Basse-Ville, the city's original settlement situated on the banks of the St. Lawrence. Your French lessons may just come in handy!

 

 

—by Dara Continenza