The Loire Valley, just outside Paris should be on your make time to do list when visiting Paris, France. The Loire Valley had remained a mystery to me – what was it famous for and why, what grows there and what is the temperature like. City Wonders Tours offered a Loire Valley Castles & Winetasting Full Day Trip Tour. What better way to explore the Loire Valley. The opportunity to visit three Castles – Chateau de Chambord, Chateau de Nitray, and Chateau de Chenonceau without driving, was certainly treat.
Chateau de Chambord
Daniel and Kotryna, City Wonders guides, filled us in on some juicy tidbits of history and information. King Francis definitely wanted to make certain you KNEW whose Castle this belonged to.
Recently renovated, the garden was long and colorful. Full of pollinator plants and wonderfully pruned trees.
The Castle itself had very little inside. All of the furniture that King Francis used was brought in and went with him when he left. During wartime, anything that remained was sold, stolen or has not been recovered – yet. There was this beautiful stove of sorts that had been restored which would heat certain rooms. not like our wood stoves mind you, but a floor to ceiling model – that Castle was COLD! Just goes to show you, consider your climate when admiring homes from lands far away in different climates. Keeping up with the Joneses goes waaaaay back!
Chateau de Nitray
Respecting that Chateau de Nitray is a private home, I will refrain from sharing the beauty that was found on this property. It is certainly a must see!
Nestled on a lane off the main road, was our mid-day stop that included our first tasting and lunch. We were greeted by the Owner who proved to be a gracious host. We first sampled Chateau de Nitray Touraine Sauvignon – light, citrus fragrance and smooth. The smell of hearty food was in the air and our host explained that we would be served Chateau de Nitray Touraine Les Meuriers with our lunch.
I have to share – I had two helpings of the tomato’s – I did not eat stewed tomato’s….until now. Perfectly seasoned tomato’s, the potato’s, accompanied by the chicken – heaven on a plate! Did I mention the cheese board and bread?
The goat cheese just danced across the bread and the cheese round melted on my tongue…just delightful! With full bellies, we did our best to help the local economy and left with bottles of delicious wines for later. Nothing wrong with making the memory linger.
Chateau de Chenonceau
Our final stop of the day was at Chateau de Chenonceau. In my humble opinion, City Wonders saved the best of the Loire Valley for last.
First had another wine tasting…
As we left the wine cellar, we headed towards the Castle…and were in awe!
From the foyer with restored floor….
The floral arrangements were voluptuous….
The painting that brought out the beautiful attributes of the reigning wife of King Henri, son of King Francis hangs in the bedroom of Queen Catherine de Medici. Quite the contrast between Diana de Portier, Duchess of Etampes who was considered beautiful. Keeping in mind that beauty in these days was pale white skin, no eyebrows, hair plucked for the appearance of a big forehead and pale skin. I think that someone did not like the competition.
Throughout the bedroom, there were a lot of “C’s and H’s”. Talk about marking your territory…these letters were everywhere. The flowers chosen to accent the rooms from the property were outstanding!
Drawn outside where the canoes lazily graced the surrounding waters, I explored the grounds and gardens.To the gardens……
The amazement of Wisteria in full bloom…
Then, there was the other garden…..
Unfortunately, we had to head back to the bus and head back to Paris. The thoughts of the day – the Castles, the food and the wine made for quite the conversation among strangers.
Thank you City Wonders (Daniel and Kotryna) for a terrific day in the Loire Valley.
Here are a few links to find out more:
Recapping my day in the Loire Valley,
Teri, Cottage In The Court