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

7 months ago


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  • 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...

Janine Marsh visits two

Janine Marsh visits two great Loire Valley cities, home to royal fortresses – Loches and Chinon, stopping off en route to discover fairy tale castles and indulge in the gargantuan gastronomic riches of the region… Oh la LOIRE 2 There is an area of the Loire Valley known as Touraine, one of the traditional provinces of France whose capital was Tours. During the political reorganization of French territory in 1790, Touraine was divided between the departments of Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, Indre and Vienne. It’s a land of castles, picturesque villages, historic towns and a tapestry-like landscape of vineyards, forests, apple and pear orchards and fields of flowers. Touraine is home to the royal castles of Chinon and Loches. An hour apart by car on a road that was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte, the route between them is peppered with chateaux and detour-worthy sites… Chinon Chinon has been fought over, conquered and besieged. Its hilltop fortress has been lived in by Kings and queens through the ages including Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton of the 12th century – great when in love with each other, destructive when not. They spent Christmas 1172 there with their son Richard the Lionheart before it all went very wrong for this rather dysfunctional family and they fell out and went to war with each other. Then Henry imprisoned Eleanor in Chinon. They never made up and had one of the messiest separations in history. Henry II died at Chinon in 1189. 240 years later in February 1429, a 17-yearold peasant girl called Joan from Lorraine in northeast France, arrived at the great castle of Chinon and changed the course of French history. The Dauphin (son of the deceased King) was staying there, out of the way of the English who had taken much of France including nearby Orléans. Joan persuaded him to let her lead the French army against the foe and her victory then led her to Loches which we’ll come to in a minute. Chinon Chinon © Peter Jones Loches Castle 8 | The Good Life France The Good Life France | 9