Tuesday, 29 September 2015

A good day out...Chaumont garden festival.

In recommending things to do for our guests at our rental houses I was suggesting a visit to the 'International garden Feastival' at Chateau Chaumont-sur-Loire with a spot of wine-tasting and lunch 'en route' when I realised it was a post I hadn't done of our visit in June with friends Mike and Liz. 
It has the makings of a good day out...head up towards Amboise, skirt round it (save Amboise for another day) on the D31 then on to the D751. Continue on this road until you see the sign ‘Cave degustation visite’ turn right after sign into 'Plou et Fils' for a bit of wine tasting (consider it an apero before lunch).

Try their sparkling rose as well as others.. 

 You can ‘hike’ up to the higher ground to have a close-up view of their vines.

After you visit continue along D751 until you see the red restaurant banners of ‘Le Pied dans le plat', parking is on your left.

It is a troglodyte restaurant with good food, ambiance and service.

 After lunch continue on the D751 for another 10 minutes or so on to Chaumont-sur-Loire. As you enter you can stop and take in the views of the mighty river Loire before heading up to the chateau.

 You can park (free) down by the river and then make your way up the long climb uphill, which can be a pleasure if you are fit, or you can continue driving uphill past the entrance, in the direction of Montrichard, then take the first right, through the crossroads towards the school and you'll find the rear car park at the entrance to the 'Garden Festival'. 

You can visit the garden festival on its own for 12.50€ or buy a combined ticket for chateau and gardens for 17.00€ depending on how much time you have.Here is my record of this year's festival in pictures.

Stroll through the park towards the chateau - look out for the 'art' within the grounds- and onto its drawbridge before entering the inner courtyard.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Church on Sunday...well chapel actually, at Chenonceau.

The lovely little chapel at Chateau de Chenonceau is a delight.

The original stained glass windows were sadly destroyed by bombing  in 1944 and were ultimately replaced in 1954 by the works of master glasswork Max Ingrand

During the French Revolution the chapel was saved thanks to the owner at that time, Madame Dupin as she turned it into a wood store!

With so many visitors the hardest thing is to get some photographs withouy people in them.

Dominating the nave, is the lofty 'Royal Gallery' from where the queens attended mass.Sadly no space for'our Joan' in this chapel within 'the ladies chateau'.

If you can you should try and visit the chateau over the Christmas period when even the chapel gets a makeover.

The chapel is entered via the guardsroom which is the first room on your left as you enter the chateau,

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Something for gardeners this weekend...at Chateau Villandry gardens.

Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th, September:

Come and meet the gardeners at Chateau Villandry

This weekend the gardeners of Villandry avail themselves to amateur and professional gardeners keen to take advantage of their expertise. There are also exhibitors of local produce plus something to amuse the children…as if the gardens weren’t enough!

So whether you are an experienced gardener or just a novice you should find something of interest.  

Check their website for full program

Pumkins at Chateau du Rivau...

On our visit to Chateau du Rivau we were surrounded by pumpkins of every shape,colour and size...these are used as decoration throughout 'Gargantua's kitchen garden' in front of the castle.

The chateau had a pumpkin festival earlier in the month where there was a competition to find the heaviest specimen which is now on show.

The pumpkins add a different dimension to an already interesting visit.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Chateau du Rivau...always worth a return

We returned for yet another visit to the quirky Chateau du Rivau here in the Loire Valley last week as we knew it would appeal to Michael and Rose, who both have a lovely sense of humour. We had a good day weather-wise, which also meant we could take advantage of the interesting gardens as well.

Princess Rose felt quite at home in her surroundings.

There was even time for a little relaxation and contemplation.

Michael actually became quite attached to his hammock.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Something for the weekend...brocantes Sunday 27th September


Brocantes / vide greniers Sunday 27th Septenber

Up to 50 stalls ** 50 to 100 stalls *** 100 to 200 stalls ****More than 200 stalls    ? Unknown

ATHEE SUR CHER - Débal'livres *

BLERE - Vide greniers/brocante **
CHEDIGNY - Vide-greniers vide-atelier ?

CHINON – Brocante ?

COUESMES  Vide-greniers/brocante ***

JOUE LES TOURS - Brocante ****

LIGUEIL - Brocante /vide-greniers **

SAINT LOUANS - Brocante ***

TOURS, Boulevard Béranger – Brocante ***

TOURS, Place Saint Paul - Vide grenier **

VEIGNE - Vide-greniers ?

VILLEPERDUE - Vide-greniers **

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Chateau de Chenonceau...still beautiful on a dull rainy day.

When we were deciding where to take our son Michael and partner Rose during their visit last week the Loire Valley 'must see' had to be the beautiful Chateau de Chenonceau which even in inclement weather could not be suppressed.

We were fortunate in that the rain eased off as we arrived and departed unlike these poor souls