Monday 21 April 2014

Old Photos of the Loire Valley

Do you ever come across old photos and wonder where they were taken? We do all the time, and very often we've been able to identify the place and find something out about the story shown in the photo. It means we often know small but significant details about an otherwise unremarkable place, and we regularly pass this history on to our clients.

If you like to know more than just the standard tourist stories about a place, email us and book one of our customised tours for the day.

(If you are curious about the photo above, go to our daily blog Days on the Claise, for an explanation of what the scene is about. It's a little bit of the largely unknown World War II history of the Loire Valley.)

Friday 11 April 2014

Sunflower Season in the Loire

Visitors love to see the fields of sunflowers in the Loire Valley but they don't always time their visits for the right season. They are only at their golden best for a couple of weeks each year, so you have to make your plans carefully.

Weather conditions change the sunflower season slightly every year, but if you come in the second half of July or the very beginning of August you will see massed fields of yellow. We can be guaranteed to drive by some at this time of year, no matter which tour you book. We are always happy to stop for some photos amongst the sunflowers.

If you would like to see the sunflowers in the Loire Valley, email us and book a tour for late July or early August.

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Wine and Cheese Pairing in the Loire Valley

One of the owners of a winery that we visit regularly with clients used to be a cheese exporter. As a consequence we often go there and find that there is cheese laid out to go with the wine. All the local wines are designed to be paired with food, so it is always more interesting to try wines that are presented to their best advantage ie with food.
It can also be an excellent demonstration of the concept of terroir, that mysterious French word that is so complex there is no adequate English translation. All the local cheeses are goat cheeses, the most famous of which are Sainte Maure de Touraine and Selles sur Cher. The goats and the vines are raised in the same countryside and share the same terroir, so a pairing of local wine and local cheese is inevitably a happy one.

If you would like to learn more about combining wine with food or about the importance of terroir, email us and we will include a wine and cheese pairing in your itinerary.