Hot on the heels (or as hot as you can get in the Loire Valley in January!) of our first cyclists, Suzanne and Gabriel joined us for a chateau discovery tour.
Gabriel had booked the stay way back in mid-2009 so it was great to finally meet them both. Like so many of our guests, they both have interesting stories to tell of their life and previous travels, so we end up learning about this whilst we help them discover the treasures of this wonderful corner of the world.
Unfortunately, the day they arrived they were feeling under the weather with upset tummies; this didn't stop them visiting the medieval town of Chinon, with its cobbled streets, gabled houses and the chateau where Joan of Arc persuaded the Dauphin to rise up against the English during the 100 years war (for some reason our non-English guests love this story!) In the evening they had a meal at the Ancre d'Or which, despite its name (Golden Anchor) is neither a pub nor has a nautical theme. It does serve plain, good value food in a relaxed atmosphere - just what the doctor ordered.
During their stay they also visited the gardens of Villandry chateau - impressive even in the depths of winter - as well as the chateau and town of Azay le Rideau. They also enjoyed several wine tastings, including Veuve Amiot, a sparkling wine-maker in Saumur. The visit includes a tour of the underground caves and an explanation of the wine-making process, which is similar to champagne although, of course, they can't call it that because the wine isn't from there.
Suzanne and Gabriel left us to visit Holland before going to their separate 'homes' on different continents. I hope it's not indiscreet to mention they have plans to marry soon and we wish them both every happiness in their life together.