Saturday 24 March 2012

Cheverny, Moulinsart and Marlinspike Hall

What is the connection between these three places? Well if you are a Tintin fan, I am sure you will know that they are all the same place. The Belgian cartoonist Hergé, who created the Tintin stories, based Captain Haddock's chateau of Moulinsart (Marlinspike Hall in the English translations) on the central block of the chateau of Cheverny.

The beautiful 17th century chateau of Cheverny is one of our favourites. Not only are we big Tintin fans - the cartoons are a really fun way to improve your French language comprehension - but the chateau has all sorts of other delights for the visitor. There's the famous pack of hunting hounds, who lap up all the attention they get from dog loving visitors. Then there is the fact that the chateau is one of the very few which retains its authentic and original interior - a lavish extravaganza of gold and decorative detail. On top of all that, the grounds and gardens are absolutely lovely and immaculately maintained. We think there is something for everyone here.

We love Cheverny, and if you think you would too, why not email us and ask about a tour that includes a visit to the chateau?

Monday 12 March 2012

A Fine Place to Be

We have often said that sitting in the back of Célestine is like sitting on a comfortable sofa. In a world full of coincidence, this isn't just marketing speak: Célestine's back seat is the same dimensions as an Ikea 2 seater sofa.

If you would like to see the Loire Valley from the comfort of a sofa, contact us. Don't forget, any 2012 booking fully paid for before 31st May qualifies for a 10% discount.

Monday 5 March 2012

Preparing for Spring

The gardens at Chenonceau are magnificent, with meticulously maintained formal gardens dedicated to Diane de Poitiers on one side and Catherine de Medici on the other. In mid autumn the gardeners thoughts turn to the next spring. Bulbs are ordered and bedding plants planned. The summer planting is pulled out and the planting for spring begun. By April these beds will be full of colour.

Making sure the edges are just so.
Every year 130 000 bedding plants are used in Catherine de Medici's garden alone, and the planting scheme changed twice yearly around the structural planting of standard pink roses and clipped lavender and box. All of the plants used are raised on in the chateau grounds, and we can visit the working gardens which supply seedlings for the flower beds, vegetables for the restaurant and flowers for the fabulous arrangements in each room of the chateau, as well as the gorgeous ornamental gardens and landscaped grounds.

If you love gardens and would like to combine gardens, history and art in a tour, email us and we will arrange a tour that will delight you. Don't forget, if you book and pay for your 2012 tour before the end of May you receive a 10% discount.