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Loire Valley - Saumur

 

 

 

 

In the bright summer sun the pretty town of Saumur on the banks of the Loire river, gives off a yellow glow as its buildings of white tufa stone reflect the light. Whatever way you choose to enter the town it is the graceful chateau you will appreciate first because of its dominant position overlooking the Loire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The town itself is one that immediately gives you a welcoming feeling and a desire to stop and rest a while! There are a number of restored older town houses and around place St-Pierre you will find several inexpensive restaurants with menus to suit most pockets. You cannot fail to be impressed when walking along the riverside with the chateau overlooking you on one side and the river on the other. 

 

 

 

 

Saumur has a long history with horses as it was home to the French Calvary Academy, and is home to the Cadre Noir horsemen, based at the French National Riding School, whose performances of riding tricks and skills only helps confirm their status as some of the best horsemen in the world. The annual Carousel (an equestrian show that takes place in July) draws thousands of visitors.

Website : http://www.cadrenoir.co.uk/

 

Saumur is also home to the Armoured Academy (which replaced the Calvary) and there is a tank museum- Musee des Blindes- with the largest display in Europe and perhaps the world. The collection offers an opportunity to have an uninterrupted technical and historical overview of the tank since its first appearance on the battlefield.

 

 

 

The chateau originates from the 14th century but it was in the 15th that it was made into a comfortable residence by Duke Rene d’ Anjou. During its long history it has been the governor’s house, a jail before the town purchased it in 1906 to restore and turn it into the tourist attraction it is today. The former royal apartments now house two museums – ‘Musee des Arts Decoratifs’ and Musee du Cheval’. The first houses European china and tapestries with the second located in the attic of the chateau being dedicated to equestrian pursuits where you are taken into a world of saddlery from across the world –all lovingly worked. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Saumur has its annual 'Vintage Velo' weekend in June

 

 

See our blog post here

 

Official website for the festival...here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Wine Lovers...

 

Within the Anjou region 28 different wine labels happily live together with two grape varieties dominating the scene: Chenin for white wines like Saumur, Saumur-Champigny as well as rosés: Cabernet d'Anjou, Rosé de Loire and Rosé d'Anjou. The Saumur wines never fail to please with their sparkling variety being just what you need, well chilled, on a hot summer’s day to get that light feeling that allows you to slip into ‘French mode’ easily. About 7km from Saumur at Parnay, you can taste and buy red and sparkling Saumur-Champigny wines from the troglodyte caves of the Château du Marconnay. 

The Grande Tablée of Saumur Champigny

31st July and 1st August :                                                    
At Place de la République in Saumur for two nights only, the biggest restaurant in the world is formed using two kilometres of tables. 3 tonnes of galia melons and red fruits, 2,5 tonnes of cold meats and 3000 bottles of Saumur-Champigny are served. Numerous musical presentations help make this evening a rousing success. The food is not brilliant but the occasion is amazing - and the wine's not bad, either.

You need to book in advance.

 

http://www.saumur-champigny.com/grandes-tables

 

 

 

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"Author: Jim Craig"

 

 

 

 

Rentals

 

Choose a house to rent in the Loire Valley direct from the owners.

 

 

'The Country House'

Sleeps 10 to 16

Saumur

 

house to rent in Le Grand Pressigny

'Les Balcons'

Sleeps up to 6

Le Grand Pressigny

 

Great barn conversion in village of Barrou

 

'Le Bourg'

Sleeps up to 6

Barrou

 

 

'Old Walnut Mill'

Sleeps up to 4

Barrou

 

 

'La Belle Vue'

Sleeps 2

Barrou