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

4 months ago


  • Text
  • Good life france
  • Loire valley
  • French food
  • Brittany
  • Normandy
  • Paris
  • Provence
  • France
  • Wines
  • Alsace
  • Vineyards
Brimming with fabulous features combined with stunning photographs – inspiring, entertaining and informative destination features - Provence, Loire Valley, Normandy, Lyon, Brittany, Alsace and more. Delicious recipes, culture and history, what's new, the best tours and much, much more...

workshops and wine

workshops and wine caves, and in the village of Rivarennes you can taste the famous local Poire tapée – dried and flattened pear. In spring don’t miss the beautiful village of Crissay-sur-Manse and the Vallée de la Manse, famous for its host of golden daffodils. This area is so rich in history you come across one gem after another. to go to Reims to be crowned King Charles VII, a defining moment in French history. His mistress, the beautiful Agnes Sorel died at Loches aged just 28, and her alabaster tomb in the castle is exquisite. At Loches the nasty King Louis XI, son of Charles VII, hung small iron cages from the ceiling which he would lock up for years those who displeased him. The overflow of prisoners ended up in the dungeons including Ludovica Sforza, Duke of Milan and one time patron of Leonardo da Vinci, who lived the last years of his life not far away in Amboise, a guest of Francois 1er. Montrésor © Leonard-de-Serres Château de Villandry has gorgeous gardens that are guaranteed to give you garden envy. Explore a living tapestry of plants and flowers, but don’t miss a visit inside the castle which is also utterly glorious. Still lived in, it’s sumptuously furnished and beautifully decorated. The castle shop is brilliant, full of superb souvenirs and packets of seeds grown on site so that you can take a little of Villandry’s magic home with you. Top tip: Lunch at EmmaGine, in nearby Berthenay which serves local and seasonal dishes, flavoured with edible aromatic plants – the food is heavenly. Take aways, lunch, dinner, events, a lovely restaurant and pretty terrace garden. What to see and do nearby: Have a picnic in the forest of Chinon or wander the pretty village of Saint-Benoît-la- Forêt where Louis XI kept his falcons. Take a detour along the route de Trogladytes. The tufa stone that was dug out to create castles, abbeys and mansions left behind a labyrinth of underground passages, some of them have been turned into homes, Beaulieu-sur-Loches Loches Strangely, the Royal City of Loches which sits on the bank of the River Indre, isn’t at the top of Loire Valley must-sees – and yet it is utterly enchanting. Most people are swept off their feet by the Renaissance glories that pepper the Loire Valley such as Chambord and Chenonceau, so the older Chinon and Loches tend to be overlooked. Loches Hotel de la Ville Montrésor An imposing 1000-year-old castle is perched atop a hill dominating the pale stone medieval town spread at its feet. There are no modern buildings here, it really is pickled in the past, even the town hall is in a 500-year-old building that looks like a castle. It was here, in the great hall of Loches Castle, that, after her victory against the English at Orleans, Joan of Arc persuaded the Dauphin The upper town is reached by a chestthumping walk up a hill but it’s worth it. It’s a town for wandering, with sloping cobbled streets, walled gateways and elegant squares. Wednesdays and Saturdays are market days. Don’t miss: The Lansyer Museum, former home of artist Emmanuel Lansyer (1835-1893, considered to be one of the best landscape painters of his time. The museum feels as though he still lives there, and presents many of his paintings. There are great views over the city and the Royal Gate Terrace from the romantic gardens. What to see nearby: Nip to neighbouring Beaulieu-les-Loches to explore the tiny town which was once more important than Loches. Home to the 11th century Holy Trinity Abbey, now the town hall. You can reach the village by bike or on foot, via the Prairies du Roy (King’s meadow), an eco-tourism site. It’s an enchanting village where you’ll spot Maison Agnes Sorel and the gorgeous allotment gardens kept by the locals. Vineyards are being reintroduced to the area around Loches - at Montrésor for instance, a plus beaux village de France. This little gem has an ivy-covered castle with gorgeous gardens. In July and August as dusk falls, wander along the river to enjoy the free light show – the Nuits Solaires. Smell the roses at the lovely village of Chedigny near Loches, famous for its display. 12 | The Good Life France The Good Life France | 13