Browsing All Posts filed under »Travel«

Gare de Tours France

Jul 5, 2017 by


The Gare de Tours is quite simply wonderful. It was built between 1896 and 1898 during what is now known nostalgically as La Belle Époque, a time of peace and prosperity when France was the cultural centre of the world.


May 6, 2017 by


The Loire Valley has many common or garden châteaux but Loches is a Royal Château which means it was owned and lived in by French Royalty. One of the most important, historically speaking, in France, it still has the feel of what it was, a mighty fortress.

A Tale of Two Houses

Apr 9, 2017 by


Off to The Smoke via Liverpool Street Station to visit Two Temple Place to see an art exhibition on The Bloomsbury Group. Having spent time at Charleston, one of their many homes, we know quite a bit about them.

The Mini-Châteaux of Amboise

Dec 15, 2016 by


There are model villages and then there are model villages and then there’s model châteaux, thirty-three of them in one park, the perfect introduction to the Loire Valley especially for those poor souls who visited in the summer of 2016 which saw the worst flooding seen in a century. Unable to visit the real châteaux […]

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. […]

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.

Off Piste in Amboise

Apr 26, 2016 by


Despite its small size, Amboise in the Loire Valley has three very unusual Last Resting Places. Tourists who flock to the magnificent Royal Château are in for a treat because it is here the mighty Leonardo da Vinci, at his own request, was buried. He lived just down the road in Clos Lucé, the childhood […]

Nancy: France Fails To Work Its Charm

Nov 16, 2014 by


We arrive at Nancy station. Oh dear. ‘Heart’ Nancy posters, cards, key rings, the usual tat. Would rather make up my own mind, only just arrived. So American. So Un-French. The taxi is dirty. Does it reflect the city? Afraid so. Unkempt. Uncared for. Inelegant. Unloved. No gawping in estate agent windows here. And what’s […]