Postcard Wednesday – Loire Valley, France Part 1

Welcome to Postcard Wednesday , I hope you enjoy a peek at some of my favourite places from my recent trip. The first in this series is the Loire Valley. I have done this in two parts as to be honest I had too many favourites to share in just one post.
The medieval town of Chinon was our base for exploring. We stayed at a delightful B & B in a beautifully restored and decorated house. Our genial host Maurice made us feel right at home , to say nothing of the most delicious breakfasts complete with freshly made crepes and apple compote.
If you ever find yourself in this region I would highly recommend Au Relais Saint Maurice.

Our room was spacious and comfortable and as you can see by the ceiling, we were nestled in the attic. The bathroom had a view of the castle as you sat on the loo.

This is the breakfast room – I loved the beautifully set table with its fine china, glassware and silver.

I have always been a fan of Citroen’s 2 CV’s , particularly this one which is a Charleston , so when it was parked in our street in Chinon I just couldn’t resist a shot. Behind the blue doors is a wonderful restaurant , the name of which escapes me, where we enjoyed the best dinner. I am vegetarian and nothing on the set menu was for me so the chef made me the best plate of various vegetables I had ever had. It truly was a work of art, I only wish I had taken a photo.

This is the medieval quarter of Chinon with its narrow , winding streets and white tufa house with their slate roofs.
The town sits on the Vienne River , with many vineyards stretching along its banks.

Fortresse Royale de Chinon overlooks the town and dates from the 11th. century, founded by Theobald1, Count of Blois. In 1156 Henry 11 of England , took over the castle from his brother Geoffrey, Count of Nantes. Henry favoured the chateau as his residence. Most of the standing structure can be attributed to his reign and he died there in 1189. After a siege in 1205 lasting several months the castle returned to French control.Used by Charles VII in the 15th century, the chateau became a prison in the second part of the 16th. century but then fell out of use was left to decay.
It was recognised as a historical monument in 1840 . The castle underwent a restoration and is now a major tourist attraction.

Visiting Villandry had been on my wish list for some years and it certainly exceded my expectations.
Villandry was built around 1536 and is the last of the great chateaux built along the banks of the Loire during the Renaissance. For the construction , Jean Le Breton, razed an old 12th. century fortress of which nothing remains today but the foundations and the keep.
The descendants of Jean Le Breton owned Villandry until 1754, when it became the property of the Marquis de Castellane. He built the classic style outbuildings and redesigned the interiors
In 1906 the castle was bought by Joachim Carvalloborn, a Spanish scientist. He restored the castle and re-instated the Renaissance gardens.

I really was in my element in the Villandry gardens. I say gardens because there are six different garden spaces. The decorative kitchen garden with its boxwood, roses, arbours and fountains, the ornamental salons with its boxwood shaped into hearts, spirals, crosses and spirals planted with flowers, the sun garden with the roses and perennials, the herb garden and the labyrinth , with the greenhouse and children’s garden.

The vegetable garden has two planting schemes, one in Spring , the other in Summer. The garden uses organic methods . I loved all its details, such as this one on one of the arbours.

This is the love garden , comprising four different squares, Tender Love, Passionate Love, Flighty Love and Tragic Love.

I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse of Loire Valley through my eyes.

Joining Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for Share What You Like.



  1. a vanderven
    January 9, 2019 / 2:44 pm

    Dont know if you visited the castle in my hometown Saumur which is also on the Loire river I am partial to it by saying it is a much more beautiful one than Chinon!!!

    • Jill James
      January 10, 2019 / 9:36 am

      Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. Unfortunately I didn't make it to Saumar this time but I do hope to return one day and will definately visit then.

  2. Nancy's Fashion
    January 9, 2019 / 7:27 pm

    Beautiful! We love to visit those old beautiful castles! So full of stories!

    • Jill James
      January 10, 2019 / 9:38 am

      Thanks so much Nancy. As you can tell I loved them too. You are lucky it is a little easier for you to visit, no long plane trip.

  3. Penny Kocher
    January 10, 2019 / 9:46 am

    Yes, beautiful, haven't visited Villandry but must. Lovely pics.

    • Jill James
      January 10, 2019 / 10:14 am

      Thank you Penny , Villandry is most certainly worth a visit.

  4. Suzanne Carillo
    January 12, 2019 / 10:41 pm

    Wow! What a spot! I'm definitely going to keep this in mind the next time we visit France. Suzanne

    • Jill James
      January 14, 2019 / 10:34 pm

      I would highly recommend a visit Suzanne so much to see in the area. We didnt manage to see all we had hoped, maybe next time.

  5. Natalia Lialina
    January 20, 2019 / 6:02 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your travels with us, Jill! I really enjoy this new series full of wonderful photos and stories from the part of the world I haven't been to just yet. The garden and chateau are beautiful, and I am glad to hear that they took a good care of you away from home!

    • Jill James
      January 23, 2019 / 7:04 am

      It is my pleasure to share my travels with you Natalia, I am pleased you enjoyed seeing them through my eyes. This area of France really is so beautiful.

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