Tony and the Gang

May 14-May 20, 2017



We will meet you at Charles de Gaulle Airport or the Chinon rail station in the afternoon and transport you to your Manoir home for the week.

Enjoy a meet-and-greet with homemade hors d’oeuvres and locally produced wines, followed by a tour of the Manoir. Then relax on the front lawn overlooking the River Vienne and the medieval town of Chinon or explore the estate until it is time for your Welcome Dinner.  Gourmet Dinner prepared by Chef Walter and Artistic Gourmet Adventures.


After breakfast, we will visit our friends, a English-speaking wine expert and viticulturist couple, Cathy and Nigel, at Le Tasting Room in the nearby countryside. The day begins with coffee and sweets, and includes a comprehensive tasting and homemade gourmet lunch in the comfort of their old “barrel cellar”. We spend the majority of the day with them at their home which is also their business.  Built between the 16th century and 1869 it’s a typicial winemaker’s home built from the local limestone and is partially underground. During the morning Cathy leads a tutored tasting of 6 different wines from 6 appellation regions of Loire Valley wine.   This means you’ll come away with a greater understanding of the region as a whole and have tasted wines from at least 7 different producers during the day. You’ll enjoy a home cooked lunch prepared by Cathy and Nigel and served in their beautiful candlelit cellar. They use their own herbs and salads from the garden and their cheese is sourced from the specialty cheese shop Beillevaire in Angers which is a Loire based company with shops in Paris & London. 

Breakfast and Gourmet Dinner provided by chef Walter and Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Manor. Homemade Lunch provided by Le Tasting Room.


After Breakfast at the Manoir we will head out to the Château de Chenonceau.  Once a royal residence, it is truly exceptional due to its destiny: to be loved, managed and protected by women such as Diane de Poitiers and Catherine di Medici. The Château is one of the best-known of the Loire valley châteaux.  The estate of Chenonceau is first mentioned in writing in the 11th century. The current château was built in 1514–1522 on the foundations of an old mill and was later extended to span the river Cher. Today, the Château de Chenonceau is second only to Versailles as the most visited Château in France. 

We will enjoy lunch in a local restaurant*, and then we will continue on to visit the royal Château de Chambord. It is very well recognized because of its very distinctive French Renaissance architecture. The building, which was never completed, was constructed to serve as a hunting lodge by King Francis I of France who maintained his royal residences at the châteaux of Blois and Amboise.  Chambord is the largest château in the Loire Valley. The original design of the Château is attributed, though with some doubt, to Domenico da Cortona and Leonardo da Vinci may also have been involved. Far from the stress of daily life, the Château of Chambord stands completely surrounded by nature.  Chambord is the largest and most prestigious of the French Renaissance châteaux. Let this majestic stone colossus give you a real feeling for the life style of François I. 

Breakfast and Gourmet Dinner at the Manoir provided by chef Walter and Artistic Gourmet Adventures.


Breakfast at the Manoir then we visit the nearby Château of Villandry. The last of the great Renaissance châteaux to have been built on the banks of the Loire River, the Château of Villandry is renowned for the harmony of its architecture. It is especially well-known for its gardens that spread across three terraces and combine aesthetics, diversity, and harmony. The gardens include a water garden, ornamental flower gardens, and vegetable gardens and are laid out in formal patterns created with low box hedges. The lands where an ancient fortress once stood were known as Columbine until the 17th century. They were acquired in the early 16th century and a new château was constructed around the original 14th-century keep where King Philip II of France once met Richard I of England to discuss peace. During the French Revolution the property was confiscated and in the early 19th century.  Emperor Napoleon acquired it for his brother Jérôme Bonaparte.

Lunch in a local restaurant* and then on to visit the Château of Azay-le-Rideau. This Château was built on an island on the River Indre by a wealthy financier during the reign of François I. Located in a green setting and lapped by the gentle flow of the Indre in which its facades are reflected, the Château of Azay-le-Rideau fully expresses the refinement of a château dating from the early French Renaissance.

Breakfast and Gourmet Dinner provided by chef Walter and Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Manoir.


After breakfast, we will venture out for an exciting morning of shopping at the weekly town market in Chinon just down the lane from our Manoir. Amazing deals can be found in clothing, shoes, crafts and local and regional delicacies. After lunch at the market*, we head to Martin de Candre, maker of hundreds of locally made artisinal French soaps (savonnerie artisanale), once sold in Barney’s of New York and great for gift-giving. After this enjoyable stop, we will travel a short distance to Fontevraud, home of Fontevraud l’Abbaye and burial place of King Henry II, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their son, Richard the Lionheart (also made famous in the modern era by the movie, “The Lion in Winter”). Explore this charming town on your own and tour the Abbey. At day’s end, we will make a leisurely drive via the breathtaking Saumur-Champigny vineyard region on our way back to the Manoir for a wonderful dinner. 

Breakfast and Gourmet Dinner provided by chef Walter and Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Manoir.


Morning breakfast at the Manoir. We then drive through the French countryside on to our destination of Angers, capital of the ancient province of Anjou. You will have the opportunity to explore the city of Angers on your own if you wish or in a group. Highlights include great shopping, eateries, and the beautiful Château, home of the Fourteenth Century Apocalypse Tapestry, the largest tapestry in the world. Don’t miss a great opportunity for gift-shopping. Dinner at a favorite restaurant* in Angers. 

Breakfast provided by chef Walter and Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Manoir.


Breakfast at the Manoir, then transportation to the Chinon train station for your return home or on to your next destination!

Breakfast provided by chef Walter and Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Manoir.

*All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are included when dining at accommodations.