This post is less ‘what to do’ or even ‘where to go’ and more just a visual celebration of one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever stayed.
Late on a Friday at the end of July, we came charging down the French freeway from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, after a delayed flight from Edinburgh. To keep our spirits high (and brains awake) we blared Oasis almost all the way there, every French village from Paris to Le Mans was feeling pretty supersonic that night.
We arrived in the tiny town of Le Grand-Lucé at midnight, located the Chateau du Grand Luce on the edge of the village and watched as huge gates opened into the estate. We drove up the gravel driveway and heard glasses clinking, soft music playing and warm summery candlelight tumbling out of a huge dining room. I’m sure I couldn’t smell them, but there were beautiful huge bouquets of flowers, giving off that delicious floral aroma. It was like a fairy tale.
We were staying at Chateau du Grand Luce for my beautiful girlfriend Peony’s 31st / end of 30th birthday. We wandered into the dining room and everything, and everyone, was beautiful; enjoying their first night in this beautiful chateau. We saw a little of the estate that night, but the real surprise came the next morning.
The Chateau, located in the Loire Valley, dates from 1760-64, and every little detail has been lovingly restored and considered. It is available to stay as a hotel now, or you can rent the entire place for weddings / parties. There were 20 of us staying for the weekend and it was magical from start to finish.
The beautiful grounds include a large formal garden and cutting garden, orangery and green house. The pool, based on the original reflecting pool, is round and simple, just perfect for its setting. Each bedroom had it’s own flavour, thoughtfully decorated with a distinct colour palette and theme. I wasn’t able to get any shots of the rooms but Peony has some exceptional photographs that really do the different rooms justice – see here.