Two Weeks in the French Interior - Summer, 2007

11 Saintes (above Bordeau) to Langeais (Loire Valley)
Thursday, August 23

We woke in our Blue Room, went to sepulchrally quiet breakfast in the Green Room, read, showered, packed, and left Saintes towards the Loire Valley. The plan was to find a "quiet" town within 4-5 hours of the return airport by nightfall, and book it for two nights to allow Friday to be lived without rain, without driving, and in a place of interest. This plan worked, and it provided some of the nicer events of the trip. We stopped for lunch in an enormous restaurant on a strip-mall section of car dealerships, etc., outside Poitiers (but only 3 minutes off the autoroute). The restaurant, nearly empty when we arrived at 12:00 was packed by 12:20, and the food was quite good. We exited the autoroute in Tours, then headed west along the Loire river to an area with several small towns that had intrigued F.

We had no plan to cruise all the châteaux, but needed a town with character. Heading towards Angers, we stopped in Langeais, a town near a confluence of three rivers, and found just what we were looking for. Lodging was not immediately easy. The chambres d'hôtes were full. A lakefront auberge 20 miles north (Rillé) seemed creepy in its isolation and decrepitude. We finally tried the premier hotel of the village, a 3-star hotel with a restaurant of good reputation, the Errard, owned by Yannick Errard, head chef, and his wife, and were surprised (after the shabby and eccentric style of the hallways and stairs) to find beautiful, clean, and roomy accommodations with a window onto the main square of the town for a very reasonable price. A bonus was the fact that one of the major Loire châteaux--the one in which Brittany was joined to France by the marriage of Anne-de-Bretagne (then British) to Charles VIII, King of France--was standing there just 200 meters from our hotel. The published Errard menu out front sealed the deal. This place would be our grand last hurrah/splurge of the trip.

F. took pictures, then we went for a very nice dinner in a nearby Italian restaurant, Au Coin des Halles, (we were saving our dinner at Errard for the next evening) before sweet sleep.



Websites devoted to some of our former travels in France:
Spring, 2003 - Winter, 2003 - July, 2004

Copyright© 2007 - Darrell Taylor