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Our Mission

Everyone deserves the experience of “authentic living “, connecting with people and sharing passions.

About Us – Letter from Lara

Coincidence brought Leslie Kellen, a South African visionary entrepreneur, to Blaye where he instantly fell in love with a perfectly positioned “maison de maitre” overlooking the Gironde River: The Villa Saint Simon guest house dream was born! Leslie’s innate passion for people and the French culture together with his deep knowledge of wine enabled him to create an environment that attracts people from all over the world. The experiences made, transcends classical tourism to meaningful encounters and lifelong connections.

Then the day came for him to meet his enchanting German wife, the artist and interior designer, Clarissa, together their visions soared to new heights:

Leslie Kellen & Clarissa Schaefer outside Villa St Simon

The power duo took the oldest trade road in Blaye, Rue St Simon, and started converting existing historical buildings into apartments, art studios, vintage garages, event and exhibition spaces, underground cellars and the latest edition, the Etalon Rouge Winery. Leslie also created his own wine bar, La Petite Cave, where some of the most magical memories are created!

Rue St Simon – oldest trade road in Blaye

In 2016, I spent a “sabbatical” in Blaye and many authentic moments lived made my own travel meaningful, from meeting the locals winemakers, engaging with countless passionate wine visitors and indulging in French culture.
After an extended stay abroad, I finally returned and committed to stay and create a new life for myself! Of course this also involved a love story, however, we will save for your visit as there many more stories ….

Our combined passions and skills gave birth to Bordeaux Village Blaye: my own vast travel experiences and my love for organising the perfect holiday, Leslie’s decades of wine research and local knowledge, and Clarissa’s artistic talents for wine making, fine arts and transforming spaces.

Our partners are integral to the planning of your holiday and bespoke wine tours; we work with wine guides who deeply understand the regions, passionate sommeliers, talented chefs and biking professionals that will take you off the beaten track.

We collaborate with all local merchants who will add a little something to your Blaye memory, whether it be French cheese and baguette, delicious croissants for breakfast, fresh flower arrangements in your room, sea food restaurants, fresh oyster directly from the weekly market!

BORDEAUX VILLAGE BLAYE encompassing the “quartier” St Simon”,  with all its charm, and the 17th century Citadel as its backdrop, paired with the best selection of Bordeaux wines, dining and tasting wine with the local winemakers, and meeting the “real” people creates the ultimate  Bordeaux winelands experience.
We invite you to live like a local in one of our thoughtfully designed apartments and use tranquil Blaye as your perfect base to explore the Bordeaux winelands!

Lara
Bordeaux Village Blaye

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