10 December 2023


The weather has been very mixed here in the middle of France, although at least we have not had the snow that we would have had if we had already gone back to the north of England.  

So, we have learned to make the most of the better days, drop everything, abandon the housework and go out and enjoy the sunshine.  Hence on a lovely sunny but cold afternoon we went to Azay-le-Rideau to see the Christmas decorations at the château.

We were not disappointed.  There were very few other visitors so we had the whole place almost completely to ourselves. What joy!

Where there was festive food the emphasis seemed to be on sweet treats!

The slices of stollen looked real to me.
Unfortunately we couldn't quite reach them to check!

Santa Claus seemed to have come early.

Even the kitchen was trimmed up for Christmas.
Plus more sweet treats.

A stroll around the grounds in the late afternoon sunshine was a delight.
Azay is probably my favourite château.
Well, one of them!

It's a joy to behold from any angle, especially on a day like this.
This is the back.

This is the side view.

The shops in town were beautifully trimmed up for Christmas.

It was a fabulous afternoon out.
The weather the following day was ghastly - strong winds and pelting rain!


  1. How gorgeous. Excuse my ignorance, but is there a French equivalent of the National Trust which you can join? Or is each chateau independently managed?

    1. There isn't an equivalent in the sense of an annual membership fee allowing unlimited entry to all its properties. Some are privately owned, some by the state, administered regionally.
      In most cases the entry fee is very reasonable, the equivalent of around £10 per person including the château and its grounds and gardens. There are often special offers on fees especially during the summer months giving a reduction or special rate for families or a number of châteaux in the region.

    2. I meant to add that students go free. There is no entry charge if they show their student union card or something similar.
      Sadly, that no longer applies to British students. When the UK left the EU they lost that privilege and now have to pay the full adult fee.

  2. I'm singing in the rain....
    Just singing in the rain....
    Just singing... singing... in the rain....
    in the rain....
    Oh dooby dap da!

    'Tis a bit humid!!
    Glub, glub, glu.....