February 2020 News from France

This is the Blog Version of our February news which is distributed to members of our mailing list. If you wish to join this list and receive other such communications about Gites, Chateaus, Family holidays, Wines and France please CLICK HERE.

Image of Chateau Chambord
Château Chambord (Sunny Day)

You may have noticed that, whenever tourist venues and places of historical interest are advertised, they are always shown beneath glorious blue skies and with their gardens in colourful full bloom. We suppose that’s a natural human need to show these places at their best. We certainly do that when advertising our Gites and so do many others. However, during the winter places are not always as warm as cosy as you might think.

We visited Château Chambord recently on a freezing cold and foggy day. It was sunny and warm here at La Richardière and we thought the day out would be a good opportunity for us to see the newly renovated gardens. As we travelled North, the weather deteriorated and became cold and foggy. On arrival we could see very little and so our first port of call was the warm cosy restaurant for an excellent lunch and a pause in our day in the hope that the weather would improve. It didn’t. See more on this short video “A Foggy Day at Chambord”.

Château Chambord on a foggy winter’s day.

Although Château Chambord is outside of our 1 hour recommended circle of places to visit, many of our guests make the 1 hr 40 mins journey and are pleased to have seen this iconic Château. It is probably most famous for its double-helix staircase which is right in the middle of the building. Two staircases in the same space, but completely unconnected. It was designed and built by Leonardo da Vinci when he was in his retirement in Amboise. A town, close by on the river Loire.

Mobile artwork by Japanese Sculptor, Susumu Shingu

Inside of the Chateau there was lots to see including some seasonal Christmas decorations. We were most intrigued by the exhibition of mobiles in one area of the Château which were fascinating to watch. They were designed and made by the Japanese sculptor, Susumu Shingu. He made the mobiles to be perfectly balanced with many colourful flat surfaces which act as sails in the lightest of air movements. Consequently these sculptures, even though they were indoors, continuously moved with the currents of air in the building. Our short video shows how these sculptures have a mesmerising nature and are quite hypnotic and calming.

February 5th: International #BOOKDIRECT DAY.

Whether you are planning to book with us or not it is always worth making an effort to #BOOKDIRECT with your preferred accommodation in order to achieve the best prices and to get the best deals directly from the property owner. We are launching a short campaign, starting on Sunday 2nd February, on our Facebook Page. Please take a look and maybe like and share the posts. Those booking during February for a summer week in our Gites will receive a small, but special gift on arrival!

New promotional video:

We just released our 2020 promotional video which has been enhanced this year by Mark Brown (yes – he is related to us!) who came and took some stunning Drone videography for us. We think these pictures make an excellent way to appreciate the calmness and isolation of our Gites which is great for people looking for tranquil holidays.

Thanks again for reading and/or sharing.

Best wishes for now and for 2020,
Dave and Patience