The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No. 20

Inspiring, tempting and gorgeous, this issue is packed with destination features - Chartres with its gothic cathedral, the French Riviera, the Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau, the Tarn region, Valence - gateway to the south and more. Mouth-watering recipes, plus useful guides for those dreaming of living in France...

Must-sees in Chartres

Must-sees in Chartres Chartres isn’t just home to the majestic Cathedral, there are more than a dozen churches in the town and close by dating to between the 11th and 17th centuries (get details from the tourist office). The International Stained-Glass centre is the only one of its kind in France. Next to the Cathedral, housed in a listed monument is the stained-glass museum, you can get up close to ancient panels of stained glass, join in workshops and discover the history of stained-glass. Maison Picasiette, a little bit out of the centre, but well worth the detour and fans of Naieve Art will adore it. The house was decorated with pieces of broken china between 1930 and 1962 by Raymond Isidore, an iron foundry worker. His decades of laborious love are astonishingly bright and vibrant, every inch of surface covered and sparkling, like an enormous mosaic jewel box. Top tip: Pick up Le Pass from the tourist office for 10 euros and get discounts and saving at 50 of their partners including shops, hotels, restaurants cultural and tourist sites and more. What to see nearby: 800-year-old Chateau de Maintenon, home of Madame de Maintenon, the secret wife of Louis XIV. Open all year with several events, the most fabulous of which is the Christmas event from end November to mid- December with a performance involving 800 volunteers in costume who bring to life the history of the castle and its inhabitants. You can reach the chateau by train from Chartres

Far left: Maison Picasiette; left: the elegant Chateau de Maintenon, it belonged to Madame de Maintenon, the secret wife of Louis XIV. The gardens are lovely and the chateau is beautifully furnished. The main events There are loads of events year-round, of course The Sound and Light show is the no. 1 but there’s also the quirky Henri IV weekend each February. A celebration of Henri IV, the only king to have been crowned in Chartres, in 1594, sees restaurants put on “poule au pot” menus, plus wine tastings. When Henri IV got sick, he declared “If God allows me to live, I will make sure that there is not a single labourer in my kingdom who does not have the means to enjoy a boiled chicken on Sundays”. It’s still a popular dish more than 400 years later! There are also wine events, music, stained glass and medieval festivals as well as flea markets, art and craft events and a grand Christmas market. Practical information Chartres is perfectly doable as a day trip from Paris with the train taking from 59 minutes. Chartres station is very close to the Cathedral. Getting around in Chartres is easy - you can walk to most of the sites in Chartres, hire a bike, or jump on the free shuttle bus (Monday to Saturday), or the Flilibus network (MyBus Chartres app gives you all the bus timetables, schedules and status). There's plenty of choice for hotels and B&Bs in Chartres. If you're looking for luxury then you won't do better than to splash out at Le Grand Monarque - pure indulgence and utterly lovely. By the way, you may see the name Grand Monarque everywhere in France, it refers to Louis XIV! Eure-et-Loir Tourism: