May 13th, 2000, 02:26 AM
George & Carol
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Has anyone been to the village of Chinon? We're looking for nice places to stay, good food (vegetarian preferred) and things to do. We'll be there for only 2-3 days.

May 13th, 2000, 11:50 AM
jo ann
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Hello! I am wondering when you will be there. We stayed for 2 nights just outside of Chinon proper last July. I had been there as a single about 18 yrs ago and loved the run down chateau, and the history of the town.
We truly loved it there -- we were in the area over Bastille Day, and I had purposely chosen to be a bit away from the mainstream of the chateaux area, figuring that July would be so overwhelmed with tourists, and indeed if there were many other americans, we weren't aware of them. But, I don't know if that is what you are looking for, since it really isn't as close to the "major" chateaux as some other towns. (Of course, we just hit several of them before getting to Chinon).
My main memory is how much we wished we had more time there, and mainly to wander the town.
We were splurging and stayed both nights at the Chateau de Marcay (Relais & Chateau) a few minutes away from town and everything was of course just wonderful.
We had a memorable dinner at the hotel one night, the other at Le Plaisir Gourmand in Chinon -- had heard great recommendations about it, and I have this weird idea that I even remember vegetarian main courses. Beautiful "garden patio" entrance, high marks for the ambiance, service, etc. (And of course, the wines and food of that area are quite memorable!)
We also had a delightful lunch in town, in an old red tudor building -- if you end up staying there, feel free to e-mail me and I will wade through my stacks of photos and get the name for you.
Also, we had just left Paris where I was unable to find artwork that I cared for. Well, after Chinon I carted around 3 oils that I still love from an artist down an alleyway in Chinon -- I could search that too, altho I bet you would also stumble on his shop.
We really enjoyed the tour of the chateau, altho it was a bit odd: since the history is tied in so with Joan of Arc, the docent did a great job explaining how divided "France" was at that time, the various divided loyalties, England's influence etc. but then got into her personal beliefs about people who believe in God, etc. hmmmm. Not what one expects from your tour guide....
Overall, my memories are of a delightful small town, with a beautiful river view, very few Americans even in late July, a relaxed pace, in short everything we wanted!

May 13th, 2000, 02:34 PM
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There is a ton of stuff to do/see in and near Chinon. Biking, hiking, horseback riding, nearby Chateaux, wine tastings... and a lot of history.

I stayed at the Hotel Agnes Sorel, which is very near the "Fortress" as well as the Caves Marc Plouzeau (wine caves - very good wine). It overlooks La Vienne (river) and is right off the D751. It is very pretty and reasonably priced too.

Catherine Raoust is a very bubbly, cheerful hostess and she is a wonderful cook too - the breakfasts are wonderful! (I love the simple French breakfasts - lots of different pastries and du chocolat chaud). You can also rent bikes from her.

It actually is very convenient to a few chateaux, although you may not have the time to bike to them all. Azay-le-Rideau is an absolute jewel and is maybe 15 miles away, and Villandry is a nice drive away too - don't miss it, coming or going. Usse is supposed to be pretty (the Sleeping Beauty castle) although I did not go there...

You are definitely in the middle of a lovely wine area, I hope you plan to try many wines! Try to visit Vouvray on your way back to Paris (assuming that is where you ultimately are heading...)

I can get you the number to the hotel if you like...

May 15th, 2000, 01:09 PM
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We stayed at the Best Western Hotel de France. It was a rather small room overlooking the square, but it was spotless and well maintained.

In addition to the other posts, I would highly recommend the home of Leonardo Da Vinci. He lived in Chinon at the end of his life.

Jul 3rd, 2000, 10:17 AM
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Hi George & Carol,

Chinon's a great home base for travels and wandering. Our hotel recommended La Saladerie, specializing in (yeah) salads. We ate most meals there . . . just watch out for the rillettes . . . !

Have fun!
Jul 3rd, 2000, 04:35 PM
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DaVinci's home is called Clos Luce. When we visited there, IBM Corp. had an exhibit of several mock-ups of his legendary inventions. What a wizard! It is an interesting stop on your agenda. Chinon wines are well-made and sought after here in the US. Even little things in the area were lovely....we saw wild bushes of Queen Annes Lace....didn't realize it was named after Anne d'Bretagne.....Stop nearby for a gargantuan meal.
Jul 3rd, 2000, 07:37 PM
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Try the Logis-de-France website. I have always found their hotels to be very nice
Jul 4th, 2000, 08:23 AM
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I am going to stay in Chinon in Sept at an old castle called Hotel Giraudiere. It looks wonderful from their web site and I hope it pans out well. I also have heard good things about the Plasir Gourmand restaurant!

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