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
Catherine de Medici’s bedroom in her usual somber hues
Modern stained glass art installation in attic niches filled with restoration materials
Grand dining room
Huge stables filled with carriages and harnesses
The chateau’s floral borders
Garden Festival entry portraying top of home sunken by nature’s forces in this future themed competeition
All that is left is the attic with the survivor’s few precious belongings
Another unusual entry
Look closely for Maggie popping up in this one
And on to lunch at Le Grand Velum
Cushion of veal cooked like a boiled ham, with grilled bacon from the same meat, seasoned with lovage. Heads of broccoli and duxelles of finely sliced chard served on home-made wholegrain bread roll
Beef eye-of-round and Carrots cooked in mild
“ices (Voatsiperifery pepper, paprika and turmeric), cumin potato bubbles and saffron
yellow zucchini, beef gravy and cress shoots
Milk chocolate and pollen flavoured
streusel biscuit, organic honey parfait, served with a smooth peach-apricot cream.