Thursday, 22 September 2011

Patrimoine 2

Our second visit on our busy Patrimoine day in the Loire Valley saw us visit the chateau at nearby La Celle-Guenand. I had always been keen to see more of this interesting place. I had, in the past, 'wandered' into the grounds for some better photographs but today was an opportunity to get a little further into its history. We were slightly disappointed to find out that we would, just like at Betz le Chateau, only get to see the underground tunnelling plus the out buildings.

The chateau has been turned into B&B and gite accommodation by its current owners plus it has a number of function room options. The 'Salle Guenand' reception room, which boasts a 'DJ mezzanine', had a display of  costumes and there was an art display elsewhere.

The 'guided tour' part of the visit meant gathering at the front door (I just had to ring the bell* ) and being taken, 6 at a time, into the bowels of the castle, surprisingly, by it current unassuming owner Stephen Palluel. There was not the same extent of tunnels to view but it was interesting none the less. It would have been good to have seen more of the actual castle itself but that was made up for, by the fact that we had an unexpected location for lunch. We had been scratching our heads trying to think where we could have lunch. We knew that because there would be so many people 'out and about' this might prove difficult without having booked ahead. Fellow visitors Tim & Pauline, who live just outside Le Grand Pressigny, came to our rescue. They asked if we were lunching here at the castle.They had done their research better than us and knew it was on, we said we hadn't but during the tour we asked Stepen about the possibilities of joining them. Fortunately, for us, a group of four had cancelled and we were in!

This was a good decision as for only 15 euros we had a lovely lunch, in good company, which included wine, served up in the quarried-out caves that produced the stonework for the castle! The catering was provided by the ever hard-working Christine who has the local Bistro, 'Au Panier d'Alice' ( I wonder who is/was Alice). Interestingly the pork served up was cooked on the charred oak timbers left over from a previous fire at the chateau -'it's an ill wind...'

 * A local resident,on hearing my bell-ringing informed us that in days gone by it was used to summon the workers from the surrounding fields - no-one came today,even though we were very close to lunchtime!

No comments:

Post a Comment