Happy New Year !!
Chenonceau has fabulous Christmas decorations.
They’re on display until this coming weekend. I suppose like everywhere else they’re taken down on twelfth night.
I first visited the Loire in 1994, twenty years ago. In all that time I have only been to Chenonceau twice before and never before at Christmas. It's worth the effort!
On both of my previous visits I was completely blown away by the flower displays in all the rooms, so I knew the Christmas decorations would be amazing.
It was also very good value for money. At 11€ each to see the house and gardens it was a bargain.
Every room was filled with the glorious perfume of fir trees and lilies. The flower arrangements were huge, almost architectural, yet imaginative and tasteful in the extreme.
We were lucky with the timing of our visit too. It was not exactly deserted but relatively quiet when we arrived just about 1.15pm. I imagine a lot of people were still having lunch ~ it was a Saturday. On both my previous visits it was midsummer and heaving with visitors.
We were able to wander round in relative comfort and with a little patience could get all the photos we wanted. Just as we completed our tour of the château, what seemed like hundreds of visitors swarmed down the drive towards the house. Several coachloads of people had just arrived.
While they piled into the house we wandered around the garden, having it almost (not quite) to ourselves.
Chenonceau is one of those places where you never see everything first time round. You would have to be there for hours to notice every detail, apart from the fact that if it’s busy you physically can’t get to see it anyway. It’s stuffed full of little treasures such as this jelly mould, which was in one of my favourite rooms, the kitchen.
In a lot of rooms there were real fires burning in the grate. It was a lovely touch on such a cold winter’s day.
I hope 2014 brings you lots of good times and good things. Your visits to the blog and comments are very much appreciated.