Review: The Stables, Chateau de la Fuye, Chinon, France

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This is the Versailles of gites.

Within the shadow of the fifteenth-century Château de La Fuye sits a romantic tower for 2 and an expensive three-bedroom gite sleeping six. Imaginatively transformed from the chateau’s former stables, this historic and classy self-catering gite captures the very essence of the Loire.

Dressed in white tuffeau stone, so typical of Loire chateaux, the rose-clad gite’s inside design recollects aristocratic magnificence. Booking each tower and gite is a well-liked choice for household or buddies gatherings seeking to sleep eight.

But the Chateau de la Fuye is as a lot a frame of mind, a blissful escape to a French idyll, as a bodily location of silver candelabra, assertion mirrors and Kashmiri rugs.

Super-host house owners, Rowena and Simon Michaels have searched public sale rooms for antiques and textures to deliver a homely Cotswold really feel to a quintessential French scene. For them, as they’ve labored on their challenge, it has been extra “A decade in Touraine” than “A year in Provence.”

On the gallery-like partitions, artwork slips from hefty oils harking back to Old Masters via lighter water-colours to the modern avant garde. Imagine an eclectic Soho House look exported to Touraine.

Set in a 10-acre truffle orchard of some 800 oaks, 5 acres of personal woodland and walled gardens, La Fuye is a songbird rural retreat.

Yet, debatably, La Fuye’s best charms are subterranean. Black gold. Come late Autumn, canine sniff out truffles sure for Paris’ best eating places.

The welcome

Marie, the guardian of La Fuye, has set a fireplace for us and ready a welcome hamper. A baguette, cheese, a taster pot of La Fuye honey, eggs gathered from the property, a nice bottle of crimson and an immaculately layered, glazed pear tart.

Everything has been considered: butter, milk, Nespresso espresso capsules, balsamic vinegar, additional virgin olive oil … even dishwasher pods.

The bedrooms

Beds within the three bedrooms are adorned with nice linen. The partitions of a king double, double and twin-bedded room are embellished with classic canvases and materials.

Every room contains a desk. Super-fast optic WiFi makes this an idyllic WFH (Work from Holiday) vacation spot.

The bogs

Two bogs have Lefroy Brooks showers, Bioderma merchandise and Fine Scottish Soaps.

The services

Dark olive-green cabinets, within the final farmhouse kitchen, comprise every little thing you should bake, cook dinner and create. Even a row of cookbooks, if you’re in want of inspiration earlier than you get arms on with the retro crimson Kitchen Aid.

Above the reclaimed tomette ground tiles, shades of terracotta weathered by the centuries, is a chef’s paradise. An alternative to work with meals and wines sourced from the native boulangeries, boucheres, fromageries, markets, patisserie and vineyards all inside a ten kilometres. La Fuye is a gourmand heaven.

Through the kitchen door, a timbered loggia hosts a grand al fresco desk for eight, subsequent to a BBQ. Beyond the loggia is a boules court docket framed by lavender. That leads into a fairly wild flower meadow bordered by the outdated stone boundary wall, heavy with espaliered gentle fruit bushes, together with apricots and peaches, and vines which have been educated over an outdated oak doorway entrance to the Truffle Orchard.

Come Spring, it’s time to head for the sun-loungers surrounding the pool or take pleasure in a recreation of croquet.

The location

La Fuye, as one in every of round 300 chateaux dotted via the Loire and its tributaries, is strategically positioned for exploring one in every of France’s favorite areas.

A seven minutes’ drive takes visitors to Chinon. By the large River Vienne, a considerable black statue reminds guests that sixteenth century Rabelais is the city’s poster humanist. A prose author of wit and satire who veered between the religious and the anti-clerical.

Take a half hour drive to really feel the burden of historical past at L’Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud, the ultimate resting place of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry ll and Richard the Lionheart. Stripped of its wealth and furnishings by the French Revolution, Fontevraud grew to become a jail earlier than its remaining restoration as a grand Abbaye. For a spectacular day trip, purchase a mixed ticket for the abbey and its surprisingly fashionable artwork gallery.

Fairy-tale towered Usse is the closest chateau to La Fuye. Azay-le-Rideau, its grandeur mirrored in a mirror of a lake, as soon as residence to Catherine de Medici, epitomises Renaissance influences. Whilst, Villandry offers the best instance of intensive formal gardens. Trivia word, its house owners as soon as owned Chateau de La Fuye for weekend getaways.

Or for the last word day trip, combining automotive and rail, get to Paris in round 90 minutes.

Other good touches

If you’ve taken the tower in addition to the gite, there are tables for eight within the kitchen, within the lounge and below the loggia too. The kitchen with devoted drawers for each picket spoons and kitchen knives has every little thing you want from expresso cups via a nutcracker, forks for snails and naturally a truffle shaver.

Guests can buy native natural wines, from a hamper that features a Chinon rose, a Vouvray white, one thing glowing, plus a Beatrice and Pascal Lambert Les Terrasses crimson. That comes with opulent hints of summer season gentle fruits.

There’s at all times somebody round to assist out. If Rowena and Simon, who generally stay within the neighbouring seven bed room chateau, usually are not in residence, then La Fuye guardians Marie and Des are available

The price

For a typical keep within the gite for October 2024, minimal keep of two nights, charges start from €375 per evening.

Whilst the tower, accessible for single evening stays, begins from €130 per evening.

The greatest bit

At La Fuye, the sheer adrenaline inducing lottery of truffle searching, discovering the black gold that could possibly be price €2,000 per kilo, turns into a dramatic spectator sport between November and January.

Even after working the land, coupled with laborious pruning, truffle prospecting is at all times extra probability than science. Three generations of women, arrive early morning with their canine to smell out truffles rising amongst the roots of the oak bushes. There’s neither rhyme nor cause to when the women will arrive. Nor whether or not or the place the truffles can be discovered.

The remaining verdict

La Chateau de la Fuye is the last word French depart getaway, set in a bucolic panorama of rivers, vineyards and woodland. Whether visitors discover by bike, automotive, conventional flat-bottomed boats, kayak or are guided via the wine terroir by a personal information, the Loire is magically irresistible.

This is an uber-stylish hideaway whether or not it’s for a blissful lengthy weekend, per week’s vacation or an extended spell as a digital nomad.

Disclosure: Our keep was sponsored by Château de La Fuye.

Michael Edwards

Michael Edwards is a journey author from Oxfordshire, UK. Although Michael had his first journey items revealed practically 4 a long time in the past, he’s nonetheless discovering new luxurious locations to go to and write on.

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