Northern France’s beautiful UNESCO-listed valley, home to heart-stoppingly beautiful historic chateaux, authentic village life, world-class wines and fascinating troglodytes.
Travel bucket list idea:
Gardens of Chateau Bourdaisiere
Tours, Centre-Val de Loire, France|www.labourdaisiere.com
The 55-hectare grounds at this lovely 16th-century chateau contain a selection of horticultural delights. Cooks and gardeners will be fascinated by the kitchen garden, which includes 150 vegetables and a remarkable ‘conservatoire’ of almost 630 varieties of tomato collected by ‘gardener prince’, Prince Louis Albert de Broglie.
There’s also ‘Dahliacour’, a contemporary garden filled with a hundred varieties of dahlias, a medicinal plant garden, an orchard with 76 fruit trees, and collections of cedar, redwood, chestnut, and oak trees.
Stay and cook
La Bourdaisiere is a hotel with 29 romantic rooms spread over the chateau and its dependencies. You can also book in (well in advance) for cookery courses at La Bourdaisiere, using the garden produce. Available whether or not you’re staying at the hotel.
Getting there & doing it
Take the train to Tours (about 10km) or St Pierre des Corps (about 7km).
You are free to wander around. The pathways are lined with educational boards. Guided tours with the gardeners run twice a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, 5 days a week.
When to do it
The chateau is open daily from April to mid-November. The hotel is open from March to November.
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