Old Mar 3rd, 2002, 08:33 PM
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We are currently researching and planning a driving trip through the areas listed above. Do you have any personal recommendations on vineyards, restaurants, chateaux, hotels, or side trips that we should shouldn't miss?
Old Mar 4th, 2002, 04:10 AM
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Of all the Loire chateaux, my favorite is Chenonceau. It is like living a real life fairy tale. The setting is beautiful, the gardens, the walk along the river. Don't miss it!
Old Mar 4th, 2002, 07:17 AM
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Can't argue with Pierre. Very nice hotel there, the Bon Labourer. My second favorite would be Valencay. It is a little off the tourist circuit and offes a better experience than some of the others.
Old Mar 4th, 2002, 08:49 AM
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Hi, check out this hotel located in Onzain in the Loire. We stayed there twice, beautiful place, excellent service, excellent restaurant. It is called the Domaine des Hauts de Loire. It is part of the Relais & Chateaux. Also the town of Amboise is very charming, worth a visit. Good luck!
Old Mar 4th, 2002, 06:19 PM
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Another hotel in Onzain (and one that is quite a bit less) is Chateau des Tertes. Ihave stayed there twice and really liked it. Fodor's book - Hotels and Country Inns of Character and Charm in France (1996) has a picture of it on page 211.

For an ordinary meal (one that is nice but won't take 3 hours), I ate at Chez Collette across the river from Onzain in Chaumont.

30 years ago, I stayed int he Charteau du Gue Pean - don't know if they still take guests. It was an interesting stay in a real castle - not just a mansion. Even ate dinner with the Marquis!

My favorite castle is Chenonceaux but have also liked Azay-le-Rideau, Cheverny, Usse, and Villandry. Amboise is interesting for its castle and its Leonardo di Vinci connections.

Drive only on roads colored yellow ( or preferably white ) on a Michilin map.
Old Mar 4th, 2002, 09:04 PM
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Try a one or two day visit to the city of Angers. The Château de Angers in impressive, there are some beautiful gardens and walking the old streets is pleasant. I spent four days there last September and enjoyed every minute of it. If you do go, I would also recommend having a meal at Le Grandgousier restaurant. 7, rue St-Laud, 49100 Angers tel: 02 41 87 81 47 for reservations.
Old Mar 5th, 2002, 04:12 AM
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The Chateau de Rochcotte in St. Patrice near Saumur is a wonderful place to stay in the Loire. It was a gift from Talleyrand to his niece who was apparently also his paramour. It is beautifully appointed in somewhat modern furnishings while still preserving the feel of an ancient chateau. The surrounding grounds are covered in baby violets. It has its own chapel on the grounds. Dining room is romantic and lovely. Superb all the way around. Nicely situated for exploring chateaux of the Loire.

In Burgundy L'Esperance in Pere sous Vezelay is the restaurant and mini-hotel of Marc Meneau, one of the premier chefs of France. Food is superb, be sure to have the fois gras croquettes that you pop in your mouth whole while the fois gras oozes down your throat, the single most memorable food experience of my life. A real treat to finish a lovely meal here and trundle off to bed upstairs in one of thier lovely rooms. I believe both of these suggested places are currently Relais and Chateaux properties so they are costly but worth it.
Old Mar 5th, 2002, 08:01 AM
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Another hotel is Grand Monarque in Azay. I have also stayed there twice and they were very friendly. It is one listed in the rants and raves section
Old Mar 9th, 2002, 03:01 PM
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Hi Boogies,
next April we are going to travel in these regions that you mentioned.
First, we're going from CDG airport direct to Reims. We'll stay two days. One night we have a reservation at Les Crayeres (chef Boyer). Many expectations !!
Then champagne maisons, in Reims and Epernay.
Going south, Troyes and its magasins d'usines. After, Chablis and a degustation. We'll sleep in the outskirts of Avallon, at the Relais Fleuri, where we'll dine.
After, Vezelay, Sully sur Loire, Lamotte-Beuvron for the Hotel Tatin and the Tatin sister's tarte.
Three days in Blois, visiting chateaux and wineries.
Going to Bordeaux, we'll have lunch at Richard Coutanceau (**), in La Rochelle and Cognac for Hennessy.
Then three nights in Bordeaux and wineries visits.
To Paris by TGV, first class, with luch aboard.
Paris four nights with visits and two restaurants already reserved: Latitude 95 (Tour Eiffel) and Chalet des Illes (bois de Bolougne).
Then coming back home !!
Have a nice trip,
Old Mar 9th, 2002, 03:09 PM
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Chateau d'Artigny, in Montbazon. To die for!

To dine there or to spend the night. The French cosmetics giant Coty spent his entire fortune to build this place, and you get to be the beneficiary. Part of Les Grandes Etapes, and www.slh.com

Best wishes,

Old Mar 9th, 2002, 06:11 PM
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