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The history of Chateau de la Ferté Saint Aubin goes back to the 17th century. We found it a delightful place to visit not only because of the gorgeous restoration but because of all the marvelous things to see and do. My favorite was the exquisite doll museum with dioramas of antique dolls and children’s toys.
My daughter enjoyed the goats and chickens in the farm.
And we both loved the cooking demonstration of madeleines in the chateau kitchen using techniques of past centuries.
On the way back to our car we discovered how they trim those enormous hedges that surround many of the entrances to the chateaux.
A delightful place to bring children–although my granddaughters were at their Centre Loisir that day.
Of all the beautiful chateaux along the Loire, Chenonceau, built in 1513, is the one I have visited and loved the most. Which is why I can always go back again to walk that grand gallery over the Cher river, delight in the exquisite floral arrangements in each room, and read about the rivalry of Catherine de Medici and Diane de Poitiers and visit their competing gardens.Their iron, but very feminine, fists in their velvet gloves always preserved Chenonceau in times of conflict and war.
This year with my six-year-old granddaughter as my tour guide, I visited places in the 70 hectares that I had never seen before–the Maze, the extensive greenhouses and gardens where the flowers for those beautiful displays are grown and arranged (did I think they call 1-800-FLOWERS ??), the stables, the XVI century farm, and the historic display of the chateau’s use as a military hospital during World War I.
This is the third of nine posts about our visits to Loire chateaux this summer. Chaumont was distinctive for its annual International Garden Festival and a lovely lunch at Le Grand Velum which features spices, vegetable species, rare and relevant plants from eco-agriculture.
Less than 200 km south of Paris, nestling between the cities of Tours and Blois, is a haven of poetry stretching out 40 meters above the wild Loire, Whatever the season, Chaumont-sur-Loire, once the home of Catherine de Medici, Diane de Poitiers and Princess de Broglie, beckons visitors indoors to admire its cozy and lavishly furnished interior. Installations by an array of contemporary artists in the château and along the footpaths of the park catch you by surprise. Every year, more than 400,000 visitors flock to its International Garden Festival, held since 1992.
Our photos include the chateau itself with all its elegance and grandeur on the banks of the Loire, its fabled stables, its unusual eco-friendly restaurant, and, of course, the Garden Festival
Where’s Scotty when I need him? As the days count down and I’m surrounded by packing boxes, I desperately want to be beamed up to my new home. The best way to distract myself while I’m resting on the couch with various sore muscles being chilled under ice packs is to think back to some of my lovely trips to France. And look forward to another journey to my favorite French destinations next summer.
And, you MUST scroll to the bottom of the photos to see my the abode which I will share with my daughter and her husband and my two delightful granddaughters, ages 3 and 5. I know I’ll enjoy the fabulous view of the entire San Francisco bay from my little private patio. And what better than having two little people prying your eyelids open in the morning, whispering, “Are you awake, Mimi?”
Very often it’s not the grand vistas but the intricate details that are most remembered from our travels. Enjoy this array of exquisite bits of flotsam and jetsam from my travels in England and France.
From the flower market on Île de la Cité to Le Tour Eiffel peaking through the trees to the irises at a bed and breakfast in Amboise to pink tulips in the garden at Chenonceau and its wisteria covered cottage to a colorful array of tulips behind Notre Dame to touches of color at Villandry to the spring green of the cloisters at Mont Saint-Michel and, finally, to the sacred grounds of Normandy.