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Le Canard au Parapluie Rouge, Celon, Centre, France

Le Clos Rabelais, chambres d'hote in the Loire Valley

Le Clos Rabelais, in the Loire ValleyThe Loire Valley, steeped in history and renowned for its good food and crisp and elegant wines, has long been a favourite destination for francophiles. Far enough south to feel properly French yet within comfortable reach of Britain by car, train and plane, the Loire is ideal for anything from a short break to a longer stay. And if there is a warmer welcome to be had than the one at Le Clos Rabelais, which offers chambres d'hote in the picturesque riverside town of Langeais, then Paws For A Walk would be very surprised.

AN oasis in August

A shady corner

From the moment we arrived, Shaun, our host, could not have done more to make us (and border collies Fynn and Jack) feel at home. No sooner were we through the gates than a well-chilled drink was in hand, a shady corner of the garden became an oasis from the 30-degree heat of an August afternoon and Fynn and Jack swiftly made friends with resident canines Ponga, the dalmatian, and Lottie the spaniel.

an eclectic mix

Bedroom at Le Clos RabelaisOur first-floor room, one of five (all with bath or shower) offering bed and breakfast, was beautifully presented, and furnished, like the rest of the house, in an eclectic mix of classical and more rustic styles. Images of horses and dogs abound, reflecting both the interests of the owners, Shaun and Patrick, and the building's own past as a one-time stables. The ground-floor rooms feature high ceilings with huge oak beams, flagstoned floors festooned with rugs, and an air of calm, broken only by the inevitable sound of laughter as Shaun's mischievous sense of humour ensures nobody takes themselves too seriously for long. Breakfast (croissants, crusty bread with jam and marmalade, fruit and yoghurts, and endless tea and coffee) is served in the comfortable and impressive surroundings of the main ground-floor room.

great hospitality

Le Clos Rabelais is located just a couple of minutes' stroll from the centre of Langeais, but with its spacious grounds has the feel of a country home rather than a townhouse. The gardens feature mature trees, flowering shrubs and even a kiwi fruit climber providing both shade and a touch of the exotic. There are numerous corners where you can relax and enjoy Shaun's hospitality, which in our case included a chilled bottle of rose left for us to enjoy when we returned from an evening exploring the numerous restaurants Langeais can offer, from provincial French fare to pizzas and pasta.

Collage of pictures from Le Clos Rabelais

Land of chateuax and wine

The pottery market in Langeais

Langeais is a popular destination for those keen to soak up the historic and cultural delights of the Loire valley. The town has its own impressive 15th century chateau and is just a few miles from Villandry, Usse, Tours, Azay Le Rideau, Amboise and many other historic locations, as well as renowned vineyards at Saumur, Chinon and Bourgeuil. Many visitors forsake their cars and take to the roads on bicycle, exploring the rolling countryside, tree-lined lanes and pretty villages of the area. Our visit coincided with a pottery market in the main square, with local artists selling a wide variety of their work.

Le Clos Rabelais
34 rue Rabelais
37130 Langeais
Telephone: 0033 247 966 505
or 0033 664 368 671
Email: loirechambres@aol.com
website: www.langeais.co.uk
A quiet corner of the garden at Le Clos Rabelais
Contact Paws For A Walk 01233 861337 info@pawsforawalk.co.uk
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