How can one improve on perfection? Our stay at the Barn exceeded our most hopeful expectations. Arriving in Paris and driving nearly four hours to our destination, we pulled up to the front gate and were immediately and warmly greeted by our host, Tim, who was putting the final touches on our accommodations. We met Steve, our other host, a bit later. Once inside, we knew it was “home”. Everything was impeccable. The attention to detail, gorgeous linens, comfortable bed, luxurious shower, tasteful furnishings, use of space, completely stocked kitchen with everything you could possibly need to prepare meals. are but a few of the pleasures awaiting you. But even more wonderful was the feeling emanating from the place. Located just ten minutes from the town of Chinon where you can find restaurants, fresh produce, and other supplies, the Barn sits idly and ever so peacefully in a pastoral setting. In the distance, a chateau captures your eye and seduces as the light plays off of it.
Steve and Tim are simply the most engaging, kind, interesting, thoughtful people you could ever hope to meet. The consummate hosts with an unfailing instinct for their guests’ needs, they make you feel like part of the family, which amplifies an already wonderful experience. Not only was every comfort provided for, but we were also treated to a stocked refrigerator with all the fixings for a beautiful country breakfast (fresh bread, strawberries, milk, eggs, cheese, juice, yogurt, coffee, etc.) as well as a bottle of delicious local sparkling wine! Toward dinner time, we heard a soft rap on the door, and there they were bearing a tray with a gorgeous frittata, asparagus and cheesecake. We needn’t have worried about how or where to buy the essentials after our long travel day!
The Barn is a perfect place from which to base your daily excursions. We visited the chateaux of Chenonceau, Azay-le-Rideau, Chambord, Angers and Villandry with its magnificent gardens. Not to be missed is a viewing of the Apocalypse Tapestry, dating to the 14th century, at Chateau d’Angers. An interesting contrast of contemporary tapestries can be found at the Musee de Jean Lourcat a short distance away. Two places highly recommended for lunch are the restaurant at Chenonceau and Etape Gourmande, a perfect place to seek out between Azay-le-Rideau and Villandry.
Many thanks to Steve and Tim for their incredible hospitality and for providing us with rich and lasting memories.