It is, without doubt, a great experience for those who visit the Chateau du Rivau. There is so much to do and see within a short distance. A great Restaurant; fascinating artwork and sculpture in the Chateau; intriguing gardens, medieval history and other garden installations. It’s a small Chateau with something for everyone.

History

Chateau du Rivau is a medieval castle and is closely linked to the illustrious family of Beauvau. Built in 1420 the Chateau du Rivau became one of the first Chateaus of the Loire. In the thirteenth century, the Beauvau family served the kings of France and became fully allied to the royal family by marriage in 1454. As great servants of the kings of France, many Beauvau gave their lives for the kingdom. There is much more to discover on the Chateau du Rivau website. At the end of the twentieth century there was a 10-year restoration campaign which helped Rivau regain the splendour we see today.

On a recent visit we arrived at 12h30. Generally, we recommend that our guests visit Chateaus early to avoid the crowds, but on this occasion we didn’t follow our own advice and we were pleasantly surprised about how quiet it actually was.We had decided to eat lunch in the outdoor restaurant. Our table reservation was for 13h00 and there was no delay in getting menus and placing an order.

The menu was focused on a range of French style Salads, which looked sizeable and excellent. There was also a range of soups and other snacks and a limited but pleasing desert menu. We were delighted to see a local “beer artisanal” on the menu from Braslou Biere. We featured Englishman Tommy Barnes and his micro-brewery in one of our recent newsletters. We particularly liked the Berger Blonde.

This was my “Salade Touraine”. We thoroughly recommend this Restaurant.

Chateau.

After lunch we toured the Chateau. There were some very interesting article exhibits and one needed to check every exhibit to be sure that the many off-beat offerings had been clearly appreciated.Yes, this Deer’s head really did have the wings of a bird of prey in place of its ears!And Mona Lisa seems to be floating on a sunset sea. There were many other interesting and humorous exhibits which were cleverly hidden in amongst very normal looking objects.

Gardens.

Out in the gardens there is an environment which is excellent for entertaining children. Hidden in the grounds there numerous things to discover. Small elf-like creatures, animals made of clay pots, mobiles hanging in trees, a maze in the shape of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in wonderland, a tower, a giant tea-pot, and huge flowerpots, and Wellington boots!Just one of several wired elves hiding in the bushes.Find the elfin village.This Peacock’s fan is made from gardening tools and is just as interesting as the real peacocks flying around the gardens.…….and here they are – the giant Wellington boots.

All round the park land there are displays which have gentle atmospheric music playing. This really adds to the sense of tranquility in the gardens.At the end of the day this is a family day out when staying in the Loire Valley or at Gites de La Richardière.

There’s something here for everyone.Relaxing in the hammocks which are “reserved for adults.”…..and when it’s hot what better place to be than in the cool shade of the orchards.