Sunday 30 April 2023

A Chateau With a Difference in the Loire Valley

The Chateau de Candé may at first glance look much like any other small fairytale Renaissance style chateau. But its real treasure is 20th century. At the heart of chateau, in the library, and extending all the way up to the attic, is a most remarkable Skinner organ from America, installed in 1929. It is so special that it is listed in its own right as a Historic Monument (which, surprisingly, the chateau building itself is not!). The organ is regularly played, in order to blow the dust out of its pipes and connections and is the only one of its kind in working order in Europe. It is so powerful it can be heard 3 kilometres away! 

Organist playing at the Chateau de Candé, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

If you want to learn the remarkable history of this organ's installation and restoration, as well as hear it play, ask us to include the Domaine de Candé in your itinerary with us. The organ is not the only treat the chateau has in store for you.

Sunday 23 April 2023

A Gourmet Treat in the Loire Valley

Both truffles and cheeses are produced in the Loire Valley. The combination of the two makes something even more special. We highly recommend you try a truffled cheese if you come across one. Truffle is a pungent intensely savoury aroma, but it often does not translate into an outstanding taste sensation. That's where the cheese comes in. Cheese has just the right texture and level of fat to make the truffle perform at its best. Don't hesitate to try it!

Truffled brie, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Brie that has been split and spread with truffle, at a truffle market in the Loire Valley.

Sunday 16 April 2023

Come to the Loire Valley in January

If you visit the Loire Valley chateaux in January you have a great opportunity to take some stunning photos without the crowds. You'll be able to pose wherever you like without risk of photobombers. Your photos will be wonderful souvenirs of almost empty chateaux.

Visiting the Chateau Royal d'Amboise, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.


Sunday 9 April 2023

Want to See Something Unusual in the Loire Valley?

Don't hesitate to ask us. We often take people to rather odd locations when they are researching a book for example. Most recently an author asked if she could see inside an ambulance. Thanks to our contacts, this was possible and we had a lovely visit to the accident and emergency unit of a local hospital, with guided tour by one of the doctors!

French private public ambulance, Amboise Hospital, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Thanks to Dr Deilgat, who took us around, explained how it worked and answered all our questions.

Sunday 2 April 2023

Truffles are a Winter Treat in the Loire Valley

Black Truffle Tuber melanosporum (Fr. Truffe noire) is native to the Loire Valley, but has long since disappeared from the wild. According to the experts and old timers the best place to find truffles was under isolated oak trees in the middle of wheat fields, but fifty years of modern farming practices and fungicides sprayed on wheat crops have destroyed the habitat for truffles. The truffles benefitted from the disturbance of the soil with the plough and the minor damage done to the tree roots, allowing the truffle mycelium to latch on, providing the conduit for a symbiotic exchange of nutrients. It may explain why isolated mature oak trees in the middle of fields continue to be a not uncommon sight in the Touraine. 

Truffle market, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Truffle market in the Touraine Val de Loire.

If you want to experience a truffle market or visit a truffle farmer let us know.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website. If you would like an idea of how your tour might look and sound, please check out our YouTube channel.