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The Lock-Keeper Blog


The Lock-Keeper has gone viral! Every few weeks we will be blogging about the Hotel barging experience; From the history of our hotel barges to some of the off the beaten track excursions we visit. Intrigued? Then read on...


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'Kids Go Free' in France & Scotland this Summer 5th Apr 2017

Every parent knows that a stuffy hotel room can be confining to restless children, but a hotel barge – which is out in the fresh air and cruising ‘the big outdoors’ – is a vacation in itself. The whole world comes to you as you cruise scenic waterways in luxury and comfort, passing beautiful countryside, storybook villages and castles straight out of a fairy tale.  





Wine and Wellbeing at the Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune 7th Mar 2017

The whimsical Hôtel-Dieu Hospice in the town of Beaune is an icon of the Burgundy region. Stepping into its courtyard is like tiptoeing into a Gothic fairytale, with its half-timbered buildings, elaborate tiled roofs and spired dormer windows. However, first impressions can be deceiving – this beautiful medieval building served a very practical purpose uninterrupted for over 500 years.





Marvelling at Mantua’s Palazzo Ducale 7th Mar 2017

The culmination of our Italy cruise aboard La Bella Vita is a visit to the Lombardy city of Mantua. It is known by Italians as La Bella Addormentata (Sleeping Beauty). Surrounded by artificial lakes created to fortify the city in the Middle Ages, the city has been relatively untouched by modern development. Its old town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 in recognition of its Renaissance town planning.  





Cheese of the Moment: Roquefort 7th Mar 2017

This time, we look at Roquefort, a wonderful blue sheep’s milk cheese, produced in the Aveyron departement of southern France, which is rich, creamy and salty in flavour. It is served most often on our hotel barges on the Canal du Midi and is perfect with Muscat grapes, figs or walnuts. 





L’Art de Vivre Celebrates its 100th Anniversary 17th Feb 2017

We are celebrating the 100th anniversary of our popular hotel barge L’Art de Vivre. The luxury 8-passenger vessel cruises the Burgundy region of France, but started life in 1917 carrying munitions to the Allied troops on the Western Front during World War One.  





Chef’s Recipe: Cullen Skink 25th Jan 2017

By Metukkalihis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsThe idea of eating minced lamb, oatmeal, onions and spices cooked in a sheep’s stomach is not to everybody’s taste, so here is a recipe for Cullen Skink, a very tasty soup which is also often served on Burns’ Night. This soup has its roots in Cullen, a small town on the Moray Firth coast and is traditionally made using Finnan haddock.





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