A few weekends ago we visited the Loire Valley as friends of ours were getting married in a tiny little village near Chambord, called Suevres.
We’d heard great things about the area, including its famous wines, so we decided we’d drive, and extend the visit a few days, so we could pootle around the famous Chateaus, gardens and vineyards in the area, & hopefully pick up some delicious wine to take back with us.
The B&B we stayed in, Les Treilles, was the next village along to Suevres, called Fleury.. I chose it because the reviews all said how lovely & charming it is, not only in character, but because the owner, Annie, makes a homemade, organic breakfast for her guests each morning. Which obviously meant we thought it would be perfect for us!
And, I must say, the reviews did NOT disappoint!
We were warmly welcomed by Annie, who was watching out for our arrival (we nearly drove past the gates!) and soon had our bags settled in the super comfortable suite of rooms. I somehow didn’t take any pics of the room (Errm I ‘might’ have dumped my things everywhere & made it a mess so sort of couldn’t) so have borrowed Annie’s pic from her site..
The suite could easily fit a young family or even two couples for a night. As just the two of us it was more than ample. And the BED!! The BED! If only every hotel bed was like that. With big comfy pillows and a soft yet firm mattress, all with lovely linen. I love that bed,..I slept incredibly well in it, which is not something I can say about most holiday beds .
Les Treilles is really convenient for exploring the Loire. It’s 10 minutes drive away from the beautiful Chateau Chambord and the pretty town of Blois with its amazing Chateau perched above the Loire River is only 25 minutes away. And then, there are the vineyards to explore… Ahh… the wine! (more on that later!)
Take a look at some of the gorgeous sights nearby…..
As we were there for a wedding, that had festivities spanning 3 days we were particularly appreciative of Annie’s amazing breakfasts each morning, which set us up for the day beautifully. Each day she served us something slightly different, One day some fritters made from a local blossom, another day some gorgeous boiled eggs freshly laid by her hen, and my personal favourite, freshly made mild cream cheese, served with herbs picked from her garden, a bit like a posh version of Boursin. All these served with cherries picked from her tree, or strawberries fresh from the garden, along with Annie’s homemade bread & her special jams, in an amazing array of flavours (I’m SO inspired by these!!!)
On our last day staying in the Loire, we visited two organic, raw , winemakers. One we had come across at the Raw Wine festival in London a few weeks back.Terra Laura. The other we visited came recommended by Annie as one of her favourite local wines, Cyrille Sevin, who is a small producer but really , really passionate about organic, biodynamic wine & his particular terrior.
As I write this , I’m sipping on Cyrille’s ‘L’impromtu 2012’ A gorgeous light red that’s made from a blend of Gamay & Carbernet Franc grapes. Perfect for picnics, sunny outside dining, or , helping to write blog posts, it’s light, a little berry flavoured & fruity, but with a roundness & slight minerality that is really pleasing & drinkable. We also brought back from Cyrill some gorgeous sparkling wine Crémant de Loire that is, in my opinion, even nicer than a Champagne, and also, quite possibly, one of my favourite white wines ever, Une Lente Mélopée, which is a succulent mix of 3/4 Sauvignon blanc & 1/4 chardonnay. It’s creamy, lightly honeyed and utterly delicious. I wish we had come back with more than a half dozen bottles.. On the other hand, it’s a great excuse to go back, especially as we really warmed to Cyrille, who is utterly passionate about his wines, and took a long time with us going over his quite diverse range of wine.
We also came back with a lovely sparkling wine from Terra Laura & a light red too. Laura is a bit of a poster girl for Loire Valley biodynamic wines. Her food marketing background means she is savvy in her positioning & clever with how she presents her vineyard. It’s a tough business & she is running a slick operation, with some good wines coming out, and really helping to raise awareness of what is a really positive movement in the Loire towards a more natural & organic way of making wine.
For our final evening in France we headed to Fontainbleau, staying in a spa hotel nearby. We managed to go on the day that the Chateau itself was closed (This is a bit of a theme with me-I seem to have a blank when it comes to France & opening times for famous attractions. (Must.Try. Harder.)
On the other hand, the grounds are SO amazing that we happily spent a few hours wandering them. The scale is quite amazing, as are the views from every angle. It’s a palace to inspire awe, totally beautiful, but also slightly obscene if you think about how many people it would have needed to upkeep it for the benefit of the very wealthy & privileged.
Funnily enough, in contrast to this over display of splendour I wore a Verry Kerry dress to walk around Fontainbleau- Kerry’s gorgeous shirts, kaftans & dresses are perfect for summertime travelling, festivals & the beach. She works with light, soft cloth in gorgeous prints, all ethically made by her small scale, family run factories in India. I I wear her clothes quite often, especially in warmer weather-and The Gardener is a fan of her soft, funky printed shirts.
I highly recommend a trip to both The Loire- and to Fontainblue, they’re both beautiful, and the wine.. is simply divine.