The Château is a privately owned château located near the village of St Philbert en Mauges, in the department of Maine et Loire. It is set in 20 acres of rural parkland which affords guests a high degree of privacy.
The château has been restored to an excellent condition, and whilst it retains the feel of a traditional French château, it also provides guests with a high level of comfort and all modern conveniences.
Interior and grounds
The château has 9 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and sleeps a total of 20 guests (excluding infants in cots) in spacious comfort. A large heated swimming pool, which is entirely enclosed by a hedge and gates, is for the exclusive use of the guests. There is a fully equipped kitchen, laundry room, dining room and 2 reception rooms, one of which is a games room. In addition there is a large entrance hall, a downstairs shower room and WC, separate downstairs WC, a lift, a mirrored dance studio and two spacious porches for storing swimming things, shoes and bike helmets.
The large outdoor pool is heated by solar conduction, and there are plenty of lounge chairs for guests to relax on. The pool is surrounded by a hedge for privacy and also for safety reason, and there is access through two gates. The pool has an electric cover which is key operated. There is a built in barbecue which guests may use. Briquettes are available from the local supermarkets. Whilst linen and towels for the chateau are included in the rental cost, guests are required to provide their own swimming towels.
There is disabled access by way of a lift, installed in one of the turrets. The lift goes to a 1st floor bedroom.
There are 6 double bedrooms (1 super king, 1 king and 4 double beds), 2 twin bedrooms and 1 family room (a queen bed plus 2 singles), which provides flexible accommodation for family groups. There are 7 bedrooms on the first floor and 2 on the second floor - one of which is a twin and is the only one without an ensuite bathroom; there is one next door. It is well suited to being used as a children's room as there is a large underwater mural.
The kitchen is a large and light room that seats 8-10 at the table, though there is additional seating by way of window seats and the breakfast bar. The kitchen has an electric range oven with gas hob, and separate ‘croissant’ oven and griddle plate. There is a full size fridge and freezer, a microwave, 2 sinks, dishwasher, a mixer/blender and a wide variety of saucepans, frying pans and cooking utensils. There is a separate pantry for storing food. Adjoining the kitchen, in a turret, is a well equipped laundry room that also houses a full size wine fridge. There is a side porch from the kitchen that can be used for storing shoes, bike helmets and swimming things.
The dining room leads off the kitchen and seats 14 at a bespoke table (16 could be seated if necessary). The dining room has an impressive glass chandelier which adds a touch of luxury.
The first reception room has 3 comfortable three-seater sofas, 2 occasional chairs, and a television and DVD player. There is a good selection of adults and young children’s DVDs for guests to use. There is also an Ipod docking station and speakers, which may be moved to the kitchen, or any other room, if guests prefer.
The second reception room is used as a games room and has a table tennis/pool table as well as a wide selection of children’s toys and games, some puzzles and board games for adults. Access to the lift is from the games room.
The dance studio is on the second floor and has a wall of mirrors. It has an ensuite shower room.
The parkland is available for guests exclusive use and provides wonderful opportunities to observe birds and wildlife in their natural habitat. There is plenty of room to mess around on bikes.
Location and local information
The nearest village with shops is Villedieu la Blouère, which has a post office, a bakery, a small supermarket and is only a 2 minute drive (and an easy bike ride). St Philbert en Mauges is a similar distance but has no shops. St Macaire en Mauges is about 10 minutes away by car and has a bakery, a patisserie and a much larger supermarket. Cholet is 20 minutes away and has all the usual amenities you would expect to find in a large town, including a hypermarket and a fantastic leisure centre with several pools and an ice rink.
Aside from enjoying life at the château and its surroundings, guests have plenty of options when it comes to excursions. The following are just a few suggestions:
Enjoyable day trips include the famous cities of Nantes, Angers, Tours and Saumur, where you can visit their châteaux, abbeys and museums amongst other attractions.
The Saumur region is famous for its troglodyte caves and many have been turned into fascinating tourist attractions. These are a fantastic option if the weather is wet or too hot as the caves are dry and maintain a constant temperature year round. Among these, the Zoo de Doué, home to 500 animals, is sited in an old quarry and has made excellent use of the caves in forming the zoo. The Museé du Champignon (mushroom museum) at St-Hilaire-St-Florent has made innovative use of the caves through mushroom production. Nearby (in fact it is worth buying a combined ticket), the Parc Miniature Pierre et Lumière is an unique attraction. Many of the most well-known sites of the Loire valley have been carved out of tufa stone by a Breton sculptor. Châteaux, towns, villages and churches have been sculpted in the finest detail, with the most dramatic being a bas-relief of the nearby town of Saumur, 12 metres long by 2 metres high.
Saumur is also home to Le Cadre Noir, one of the most prestigious horsemanship schools in the world, whose equestrian display team holds regular performances.
It goes without saying that there are many vineyards in the Loire region which you can visit for wine tastings, and they range from large commercial wineries to small farms who catch passing trade.
One of France's major tourist attractions, Le Puy du Fou, is less than an hour away. Its medieval theme ‘park’ includes an impressively large Roman amphitheatre with chariots and fighting gladiators, jousting knights on horseback, falconry and much more. In the summer they have evening sound and light shows.
Whilst the Loire is famous for its river, wines and 1001 châteaux, for those who wish to dip a toe in the Atlantic it is about an hour and a half to Pornic, the nearest seaside resort, a trip to which makes a fun day out and provides an opportunity to sample wonderful fresh French seafood – speciality moules et frites.
Cyclists can take advantage of the ‘Loire á vélo’ – currently 400km of maintained trails and cycle routes along the Loire River. The plan is to extend the route to cover 800 km. There are many bike rental places along the route for those who haven’t brought their own bicycles with them. The trails are easy to follow, and it is a carefree way to pass the day through the unspoilt rural towns and villages of the Loire Valley.
Clisson is a medieval town which has a popular food market on Fridays and is a picturesque place to wander around and has a ruined château open to the public.
Shoppers will be thrilled to discover La Séguiniere, an enormous factory outlet village, home to 80 major brands from fashion and sports to kitchenware as well as a chocolate shop which offers free samples.
The Japanese Gardens (Parc Oriental) at Maulévrier are a wonderful place to visit, especially for young families as children under 12 go free. Originally built in 1899 but then left to decay, a restoration programme started in the1980s has resulted in stunning garden filled with Japanese architecture, bridges, water features and traditional Japanese trees. The gardens are the largest of their kind in Europe.
The GlisséO leisure centre in Cholet offers spectacular sports facilities, including an ice rink and an 8 pool indoor/outdoor swimming complex, with slides, diving pools, fun pools and a beach.
Catering and services
For catering, cleaning and babysitting services please ask while reservating.