jeudi 14 juin 2012

Ideal Rental Accommodation for Couples Visiting the Loire Valley

I am so very fortunate to have been invited to stay with Fraussie from the Aussie in France blog at her Loire Valley home, Closerie Falaiseau. Only one hour 20 minutes from Paris by train, the house constructed in 1584 (this is older than settlement in Australia!!!) is conveniently located in Blois making it ideal for visiting the châteaux in the region. The closest bus stop is a very pleasant 10 minute walk from the house and the picturesque ride into the centre of Blois takes about 10 to 15 minutes. It was quite straightforward taking the bus to visit the Château Royal de Blois. The bus driver chatted away to me about my impressions of Blois and explained in detail the best way to access the château. To visit the Château Royal d'Amboise I borrowed Fraussie's car but it is possible to get there by train. Tomorrow I am hoping to visit the Château Chaumont-sur-Loire. Chenonceau, which I have previously visited, and Chambord are also readily accessible by car from Blois. If you don't have a vehicle you can still visit towns such as Amboise, Tours, Saumur and Orléans by train and there is a châteaux shuttle bus (Navette des Châteaux) serving Blois, Chambord, Cheverny and Beauregard. 
Enormous bedroom at Closerie Falaiseau
Closerie Falaiseau provides the best of all worlds. It is only 5km from the centre of Blois and yet it has the benefits of being in the countryside. It is situated not far from the banks of the Loire River and backs on to a small wood. My bedroom, which looks out on to the enclosed garden, is very generously proportioned with its own entrance and ensuite bathroom. I am extremely fussy about accommodation but Closerie Falaiseau ticks all the boxes. It has a 'proper' shower not just one of those handheld sprays in a bathtub that some French people call a shower. Bathrobes and hairdryer are provided. The towels are soft and fluffy. One of my pet gripes are those tiny thin scratchy bits of rag that some owners think are adequate as towels for their guests. The sheets are luxurious, fine cotton and the bed and pillows are all very comfortable. No lumps, bumps or sagging bits here. There is ample hanging room in the large mirrored wardrobe (with lots of coat-hangars) as well as plenty of drawers for other items. Bedside lighting and plenty of powerpoints for recharging all my electronic bits and pieces are thoughtfully provided. Fraussie provides all the little things that guests appreciate and ensures that everything is spotless.
View of bedroom looking towards front of house
The private lounge area is equipped with computer, tourist brochures and books. WiFi is also provided and I found works very quickly. The lounge area leads on to the dining area and well-equipped kitchen. It is easy to see that Fraussie and her husband Relationnel are keen cooks. Unlike some self-catering accommodation places in France, the knives are sharp, there are lots of chopping boards, herbs and spices, bowls, frypans etc.

Lounge room
If you are looking for a base to visit the Loire Valley I definitely recommend Closerie Falaiseau in Blois. The lower part of the cottage is available to rent and is ideal for a couple, providing plenty of room in which to relax and enjoy yourselves.

Fraussie in the dining room

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