Browsing All Posts filed under »Article«

Christmas in Amboise

Dec 14, 2016 by


  Christmas in Amboise is, unfortunately, getting more like Christmas in the UK but there are a few merciful respites. Decorated Christmas trees and Father Christmases do begin to pop up in December but on the whole, things are much more low key. There is no spending frenzy. The French do not go into debt. […]

Soul Food. Loches

Nov 26, 2016 by


Off to Loches to look at some art. The first exhibition was in the wonderful Lansyer Museum. To go there is to go back to the 1830s. The lovely old house still has its original parquet floors, fireplaces and many other period features. The museum is dedicated to Emmanuel Lansyer, architect turned artist who inherited […]

Château de Saché – The Balzac Museum

Nov 11, 2016 by


Thanks to the sterling efforts of Monsieur Paul Metadier and his son Bernard-Paul, even those who have never heard of Balzac will enjoy Saché. This delightful, homely, house is almost as the novelist left it after his last visit in 1848.

Château Cheverny

Oct 7, 2016 by


The original Château Cheverny was, by fair means or foul, taken from the family by Henri II. He gave it to his mistress Diane de Poitiers who cynically sold it back to the family.

Château Amboise (2)

Aug 13, 2016 by


The terrible tragedy of Charles’ death threw a pall over the Château and the town. Anne was only twenty-one. Already heartbroken having lost seven children to early deaths, she was devastated. She couldn’t wait to leave Amboise and went home to her beloved Brittany.

Château Amboise (1)

Aug 7, 2016 by


Way back in Neolithic times, the mighty rock where Château Amboise now stands was a defensive fort. The natural promontory at the confluence of the Loire to the north and the Amasse to the south, was and is still, a perfect observation point.

Château Gaillard

Jul 23, 2016 by


Foolish to condense five hundred years of history into one blog. However, fools rush in, so here goes. The Renaissance arrived in France via Amboise in 1495 when King Charles VIII, came home from Italy. The fact he went there at all was something of a fluke. In 1489, to punish Ferdinand, the King of […]

Château Chaumont

Jun 13, 2016 by


When children draw fairy tale castles with moats, drawbridges and pepper pot turrets, Château Chaumont overlooking the river Loire in France is what they imagine. When Diane de Poitiers (more anon) infamous mistress of Henri II first set eyes on Chaumont (an unwanted acquisition) she conceded that it was pretty. The interior was quite a […]

Strawberry Hill House

May 3, 2016 by


Life is dull when you are up to the withers in paint. Matte, gloss, silk, satin, emulsion you name it, sugar soap, sandpaper, brushes, big rollers, small rollers on and on day after day. Lordy, lordy, time for a Jolly. When did we last have a Jolly? So long, can’t remember. Where shall we go? […]

Château Beauregard

Apr 28, 2016 by


Beauregard, a small, privately owned chateau in the Loire Valley, is well worth a visit. If it were not for two very special attractions it might have disappeared into the jaws of time because it was not built as a château or a manor house; it was built as a hunting lodge for Francis I. […]