Chinon, Mecredi. The Best Breakfast Setting, Two Châteaux, and a Wandering Drive

It was a stellar morning at Hôtel Diderot.  The hotel is the most quaint, the most charming and the most memorable hotel we'll have stayed.  It is not because it is fancy, but because it is simply beautiful and comfortable.  We were on the fence yesterday when they asked if we wanted breakfast this morning.  Other than the simple breakfast we had at the apartment, we are normally not breakfast eaters.  But we had a feeling breakfast here was not to be missed.  We were right.  It was a blue sky, sunny morning.  The birds were all chirping and the air was mild and fresh.  Our table was beautifully set at the back right corner.

They make in the hotel, more than 1400 kilos of jam per year, with over 50 varieties.  I had a delicious sampling of raspberry, strawberry and peach jams and a giant fabulous croissant.  The apple juice was fresh squeezed from local apples, the fresh chèvre was made on a local farm, and the yogurt from local cows.  This was living.
And the hotel would not be complete without Boubi, the cat.  He chose a spot next to Chris' chair to lay in the sun.
After a leisurely breakfast, we left to visit a couple of châteaux.  The first, Château d'Azay-Le-Rideau, was a smaller châteaux, surrounded by a moat and lovely gardens.

 This is the attic.
This is the kitchen where I would love to do some cooking!

Our next stop was Château Ussé, which they also call the Sleeping Beauty Castle.  The full photo of the château is the first one on this post.  On the property was a chapel, wine cellar, stables, gardens and of course the château itself.  

Once we were finished here, we decided to just drive the countryside randomly and get our last fill before we head back into Paris tomorrow.  This has been my favorite stop because of the beauty, the peacefulness, and probably because it came at just the right time.  After a week of vacationing, we've settled into our holiday and are truly relaxed.  We are so impressed by how pristine it is here and the attention to detail.  Everything is kept up and clean.  Even the snack bar at the tourist areas are kept in perfect order and serviced as if you were at a proper café.  They certainly are doing it right here.

Here are a few more photos of the beautiful countryside.

We finished our evening with dinner in Chinon.  The food was just okay, but the walk was most enjoyable.  Everywhere we've walked around this area, there's been a sweet smell in the air and we've discovered this is due to the flowering Tilia tree.  It is just fantastic and I want to have one back home.  If you are ever in this area of the world, come to Hôtel Diderot and drive the countryside.  It is magnificent.


  1. I read your blog as the Diderot just posted it. I have been staying there regularly since 2001. To say the least, this hotel is simply extraordinary. I just spent 2 nights there en route to St-Malo. I went there because they are friends and because there is a winery that I wanted to visit. I am pleased that you went to visit Usse- it is very special too! Cheers! Gren Jones, France a la Carte Tours


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