My home-base in the Loire Valley was the perfectly situated, Amboise. It is a quaint little village to walk in, with cute shops, great architecture, and of course the beautiful Chateau Amboise.
My original plan for my fourth day was to travel to Château de Chambord, Château de Cheverny and/or Château Royal de Blois (all highly recommended), but to be honest I was tired of driving and exploring and just needed a day to relax and read in my cozy little apartment. Our book club selection for the month was Demon Copperhead, and it’s a big book, as some of Barbara Kingsolver’s books can be. I walked down to the water and read on a bench for a bit, wandered the tiny streets, and then went back to my apartment for more reading and then made myself a delicious dinner, if I do say so myself. I put together a little charcuterie board from some delicacies I had bought at the farmer’s market, and then made some fresh pasta with pesto. It was DEEEELISH!
My last day in the Loire Valley concluded with a cave tour and wine tasting at Caves Ambacia, which was an easy walk from my apartment. I’ve been to numerous wine tastings, but this one was especially interesting, due to the pairing with select cheeses/salamis. The cave tour was so interesting, but the wine tasting was even better (okay, of course it was, wine was involved!) It was kind of amazing how a very dry white wine (I’m not a fan), on first taste, transforms into a semi-dry delicious wine when accompanied by a soft goat cheese … or how a red wine taste can change so much with the addition of spicy or fatty salami. Try it yourself!
I thought I was done looking at chateaux, but there was one that was just up the hill from Chateau d’Amboise and kind of on my way back to the apartment. Seemed silly not to go at least check it out.
Château of Clos Lucé is best known as the final home of Leonardo da Vinci before his death in 1519. I forgot to mention that Leonardo is buried at Chateau d’Amboise and that he had an extensive relationship with France’s kings Charles VIII, Louis XII and Francis I. So much history in all of the chateaux in the Loire Valley. I’m not a huge history buff, but the escapades of the French monarchy … Fascinating!
My final stop in Amboise was at Les Arpents, another amazing restaurant with a Bib Gourmand rating, and recommended by the apartment owner. It was less than 50 euro for 3 courses and an amuse bouche and my mouth is literally watering looking back at these pictures.
A couple more food recs from my 5 days in Amboise …
It was pouring on pizza Monday, but that didn’t stop me from indulging in this delicious pie. Via Roma, is right across from the chateau and the ambience was lovely. One thing I noticed more on this trip than my previous visits to France, was how bright the lights were in all the restaurants. There were a few I wanted to say, “turn down those lights!”
There was another restaurant named Paul, also right across from the chateau. Paul, I later found out is a chain restaurant, with outposts in Paris too. It may be a chain, but the food was really good!
Well, that’s it for Amboise! Such a quaint little town with great food choices, beautiful architecture and the perfect place to wander!
You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!
Happy Cinco de Mayo!