Sunday, 15 January 2017

Some 2017 Dates for your Diary

If you are thinking of visiting France this year there are some dates you might like to write into your calendar. This year many of the movable holidays make a long weekend, and these may be good dates to avoid visiting the busiest of chateaux.

Monday 17 April Easter Monday (Lundi de Pâques)
Monday 1 May Labor Day (Fête du premier mai)
8 May WWII Victory Day
(Fête de la Victoire 1945; Fête du huitième mai)
Friday 14 July Bastille Day (Fête nationale)
Tuesday 15 August Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Wednesday 1 November All Saints Day (La Toussaint)
Saturday 11 November Armistice Day (Jour d'armistice)
Monday 25 December Christmas Day (Noël)

Why not book a holiday in the Touraine and visit a small French town for Bastille Day with us? There may not be military parades, but there will be a flaming torch lit procession around town behind a band, then fireworks and a dance, lasting late into the night.

Email us, and we will help you plan a week or weekend with us in the beautiful south Touraine.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Visit Loire Valley Winemakers

Loire Valley winemakers are happy to welcome visitors all year round, but they are not the tourist destinations you may be familiar with in North America or Australia. The wineries here are all about growing grapes and making wine, and their passion for it shows every time you speak to them. They don't have restaurants or art galleries, children's playgrounds or boutiques attached, but this means that the wine is allowed to take centre stage.

We think that makes for a much more personal and intimate experience. When you visit a winery with us you don't get someone trained in customer service, you meet a winemaker or one of their trainees. He or she most likely has made wine with their father and grandfather before taking over the business themselves. If they are lucky, there is a teenager in the family who is starting to take an interest, and the succession is assured.

Last year we added cheese and rillettes to the experience of visiting our favorite Vouvray producer, so as well as tasting their large range of white wine you will learn about matching wine to food, and experience some local food specialities.

If you would like the best possible experience at a small but high quality wine producer, email us and let us organise a session with a winemaker for you.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Visit One of France's Favourite Villages

Every year the French television channel France 2 holds a competition to find the favourite village in France. Villages are nominated and featured during the series as it airs throughout the year. A viewer poll is held and the winners announced at the end.

This year the village of Candes-Saint-Martin, in the Loire Valley, came third. Last year another village in the area, Montrésor, came second. We love them both and regularly take clients to both. Just strolling around the picturesque streets is a treat.

 The elegant porch of the church in Candes-Saint-Martin, 
where you can see one of the very few contemporary portraits of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Candes-Saint-Martin fits in well for a day visiting the Abbey of Fontevraud and the Chateau-Fortress of Chinon. If you are a fan of Eleanor of Aquitaine this could be the perfect day for you.

Montrésor is a charming village that is well off the beaten track, with a beautiful late medieval church with rare original stained glass and a privately owned chateau from the same period that on the inside is like a time capsule of 19th century aristocratic life in the time of Napoleon III.

If you would like to see small French villages and quirky out of the way sites, email us and we will design a tour for you, so that you see the places others don't get to.

For other tour ideas, visit our website or click on the tabs at the top of the blog.