To round off the week, there is the unmissable chance of a trip to the Château d’Usse, an edifice that might seem strangely familiar with even if you have never previously visited the Loire Valley. This is probably via you having read Sleeping Beauty for when Charles Perrault visited the Château in the 17th century it served has his inspiration and today the tower is surrounded with glassed-in rooms displaying wax figures in scenes from his story.
Those who are slightly less whimsically inclined will probably have a greater interest in the Château’s magnificent architecture, which combines elements of the Renaissance with the later Flamboyant Gothic period. There is also La Salle de Roi bedchamber that was built for a visit by Louis XV and features a somewhat flamboyant red-silk, canopied four-poster bed.
The sight of the blue slate roofs and Gothic turrets framed against the Forest of Chinon is one of the major photographic opportunities of any holiday in France and the local residents will proudly claim that the terraced gardens are the aesthetic equal to those at Versailles. IT is in the summer the Château d’Usse truly comes into its own, and the experience of strolling through the grounds s lined with orange trees should not be missed. Try to stay until the late evening, for then the Château d’Usse is floodlit – a sight that, put simply, should never be missed.