Wednesday, 30 May 2018

French Radishes Galore

Is this the biggest stack of radishes you've ever seen? It was photographed at the Wednesday market in Loches, and according to Fabrice, who grew them on his farm near the Chateau of Villandry, this is nothing compared to the pile he puts out for the Saturday market.

If you like fresh traditional French produce like these radishes (and those strawberries on the right!)  email or use our contact form and book a tour that includes a market and a great restaurant for lunch that serves produce from the market.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Fresh Market Produce in the Loire Valley

Many of the restaurants in the Loire Valley pride themselves on their use of fresh local produce. Proof of this, if any is needed, is in this photo of a market stall holder delivering boxes of vegetables to a restaurant in Loches. There is both green and white asparagus, aubergines, cave grown mushrooms, fines herbes and other delicious seasonal treats that will be skillfully prepared by the team in the kitchen.

If you enjoy a good lunch made from fresh ingredients grown in the Loire Valley why not send us an email or use our contact form to book a tour. Lunch in a carefully chosen restaurant is included in the price of all our standard full day tours in a classic cars.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

History and Botany in the Loire Valley

Did you know that the famous symbol of French royalty, the fleur de lys, is based on a real flower? It grows abundantly in the Loire Valley, along the many watercourses in the area. It is one of our most iconic wild flowers, mentioned in literature and painted many times.

Yellow Iris (aka fleur de lys) growing in a village stream in the Loire Valley.

If you love nature and gardens as much as history, why not email or use our contact form and book a tour. We are botany and history enthusiasts too.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Sunday, 1 April 2018

New Wine Partner

For years we've had to say to clients that we can't offer them a wine tasting on Sundays. This is because the local winemakers don't see themselves as tourist attractions, and Sunday is their only day off. They tend to spend it with their families. We do use independent wine merchants too, but they are very small businesses and also close on Sundays rather than try to juggle staff time within a very small team.

Summer Jauneaud is waiting to welcome you to La Cave.

Happily, well known local winemaker and restaurateur Fréd Plou has acquired La Cave Amboise. This charming boutique is situated right opposite the exit to the Chateau Royal in Amboise -- and they are open on Sundays for tastings. So if you email us (or use our contact form) to get in touch with us and ask for a tour on a Sunday, we can round off the day just like any other tour, with a special tasting of local wines.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Maintaining Classic Electrics

Our clients often ask if it is difficult or expensive to maintain Célestine and Claudette, the classic Citroën Traction Avant cars that we use as tour vehicles. It's important that we keep on top of maintenance issues and late last year we realised that Célestine's electrics needed work. Luckily, we have a company who specialise in classic car electrics almost on our doorstep and so she was booked in recently for the necessary overhaul.

Baptiste from Classic Auto Elec explaining to Simon the work they've done.

If you would like to experience old fashioned touring in a classic car in the Loire Valley, please email us or use our contact form. We would be delighted to design a tour for you (and lift the bonnet to show you Célestine's lovely new electrics if that's what floats your boat!)

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

When Do You Eat Cheese in France?

In the Loire Valley most people eat some cheese every day. All the local cheeses are made from goats milk and that's what people will mostly eat, but they don't restrict themselves to just the local cheese. Hard mountain cheeses are popular, as are the stinky northern cheeses. Most restaurants offer a cheese course with a small selection of carefully chosen cheeses. Cheese is served, usually with a green salad and a glass of local red wine, and slices of baguette, after the main course and before dessert. It is never served with pre-dinner drinks.

The cheese course at a village community lunch.

If you love cheese and want to experience it the way the French serve it, email or use our contact form. and we will include a restaurant that offers a good cheese board in your tour.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

French Charcuterie

Charcuterie is cured meat and in France it is usually pork. Charcutieres can be either artisanal or industrial, and many small towns in the Loire Valley have an artisan charcuterie. Certain products are specialities of the area, such as rillettes (pulled pork paste) and rillons (slow cooked pork belly). Others, such as boudins (blanc or noir), garlic sausage, saucisson (dry cured sausage) and hams, are widely made and available everywhere.

A typical working man's plate of charcuterie.

The local French love charcuterie and in working men's restaurants it features heavily on the lunchtime buffet. If you like eating as the locals do and want to try some local cured meat, email or use our contact form. and we will include a restaurant that does a great range of charcuterie in your tour.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Good Value Wine

Now that the New York Times has announced its 2018 list of the 20 best wines for under $20, a secret previously only known to a few wine writers and all of us who live in the Loire Valley has been revealed. Loire Valley wines are great value for money, being very affordable and punching above their weight in terms of quality. Four of the wines on the NYT list are from the Loire Valley.

Our clients enjoy tasting prize winning wine that retails in the US for about $18.

If you love good wine and good value, email or use our contact form. and let us design a tour that includes some of our favourite Loire Valley wineries.

Monday, 29 January 2018

A Good Restaurant is Rewarded

The new BIB Gourmande Michelin Guide is out and we are very pleased to see that one of our favourite restaurants is newly listed. Many congratulations to Armelle and Julien at Le Clos aux Roses. A much deserved accolade.

If you like fine food and restaurants with a warm and convivial atmosphere, maybe it's time to email
or use our contact form. and book a tour. All the restaurants we use are very carefully chosen for their food and friendliness. Le Clos aux Roses is just one of them.