Thursday, 9 August 2018

Troglodyte Caves in the Loire Valley


Many of our clients have heard about the many troglodyte caves in the Loire Valley and are intrigued by them.


If you would like a tour that includes going underground, into one of these caves, and discovering what they are all about, send us an email or use our contact form.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Farming in the Loire Valley


Many of our clients live in farming areas or have a family farming background. Naturally they are curious about what type of crops are grown in the Loire Valley. We too come from a farming background and have many friends in the agricultural sector in France. We love to talk about farming in the Loire Valley, in as much detail as our clients require. They are often surprised to learn, for example, that central France is the largest cereal producing area in Western Europe and that agriculture, not tourism is the biggest industry in the Loire Valley.


If you would like to learn about more than just history when you visit the Loire Valley, and especially if you have an interest in farming, email us or use our contact form to get in touch. We'll design a tour that takes us through rolling countryside between chateaux and villages. Along the way we can show you the rural way of life in the area.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Heritage Building Sites


Heritage buildings take a lot of maintaining. There is often scaffolding on old buildings, erected so that masons can check the health of the walls and make repairs as necessary. We don't think of scaffolding as something that is going to ruin your holiday photos. Because we've worked with heritage buildings conservation professionals for many years we see a site with scaffolding as an opportunity to show our clients a bit of behind the scenes work. Architects, masons and curators are always delighted if we take an interest in their work and happy to chat with clients.


If you like to do more than just skim the surface when you visit a historic chateau or church, send us an email or use our contact form to tell us you would like to book a tour that shows you not just the history of these wonderful buildings but how they are cared for in our own times.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Opera at the Chateau


You really never know what you are going to encounter on a Loire Valley chateau visit. Some of them put on shows in the evening and if you are lucky you can catch the rehearsals. Opera rehearsals at the chateau of Amboise are particularly good.


If you like to be surprised when visiting famous chateaux and see something more than just historic interiors, email us or use our contact form to book a tour.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Touring France in a Classic Car


Sometimes we are not the only ones touring the Loire Valley in our classic car. There are lots of French classic car clubs and it's always fun when we encounter them on an outing to a chateau.


If you like French classic cars, French chateaux and French wine, book a tour with us via email or use our contact form. The local classic car owners will be delighted to meet you and share their enthusiasm with a fellow classic tourer.

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.