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Official Guide to the Most Beautiful Villages of France

The Official Guide

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Hotel des Trois Marchands in Cour-Cheverny

Relais Trois Chateaux

Relais Trois Chateaux

Emergency assistance call from an old friend touring the Loire Valley who needed to find a nice hotel with a decent restaurant not far from Blois – No problem!
As part of our wine-buying trips we frequently traversed the Loire Valley, both as a destination in its own right, and also as a conveniently placed last night stay before heading for the Channel ports and home.
One of our “discoveries” was the Cheverny appellation – well, actually it is 2 appellations Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny AOC. We had never heard of it back in the 1980s – and many still have yet to stumble upon it. Using our trusty “Guide Hachette des Vins de France” we had booked a visit to a winery, only to fail to discover it!! Road names and signposting in France can be notoriously difficult, and in those days our French was not so good – and mobile phones an expensive and heavy luxury! After about an hour of seemingly going round in circles, we gave up and started to head north – only to find a sign to another Domaine off the road towards Blois. So by serendipity we arrived at the Domaine des Huards to a fantastic tasting of wines served by Michel and Jocelyn Gendrier. I particularly liked the Cour-Cheverny AC Cuvee Francois I – 100% Romorantin grape from old vines – very dry, very aromatic with hints of lime and honey!
Relais Trois Chateaux, Cheverny
Our discovery of Relais des Trois Chateaux (then known as The Three Merchants or Trois Marchands) was a recommendation from Michel Gendrier – and we have been back at least half-a-dozen times since. As a hotel it falls into the OK category – neither luxurious nor spartan – comfortable, affordable en-suite rooms in the French style (although heavy flock wallpaper is absent!). It is the restaurant that (as usual) is the main attraction – especially if you feel up to tacking the Menu Gastronomique! Always good food – with a wide range of choice – excellent local wines and friendly service. We have never had a bad meal there – even when turning up late and unannounced with a party of 8!!
But wait – that is not all. For some culture you can visit the nearby Chateau de Cheverny – an impressive Renaissance chateau within walking distance of the hotel.
And a little further south you can try the excellent Sauvignon Blancs at Domaine Octavie at Oisly in the Touraine (they also produce good red, rose and sparkling wines)

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