On our arrival in Amboise we found our accommodation, Les Fleurons, without too much difficulty, and once again we were pleased we had done our homework. This little place was in the most perfect location – nestled at the foot of the castle, with views of the turbulent Loire River. Our hosts, Tim and Carolyn Knowlman (expat Brits), were warm, friendly and helpful, just lovely people. Their efficient and cheerful assistance on a number of occasions added to the ease and pleasure of our stay.
Having forewarned them that we are vegetarians, Tim had contacted a number of fine restaurants in the town to check out options for us, ensuring they would have something to offer the eccentric visitors! Nothing was too much trouble for our hosts, whether it was making reservations for dinner or changing our hire car return point, they pleasantly got on with it, and everything was taken care of in a jiffy. After numerous meals ‘out’, we were very appreciative of them storing our cold produce bought at the markets in the morning so that we could eat in the beautiful walled garden of the B&B that evening for dinner.
Breakfasts were a delightful social event – with guests gathered around the large dining table, swapping numerous travel stories. It was great getting feedback and recommendations from fellow travellers about the area. And the ample and varied food laid out at breakfast set us up well for our châteaux explorations during the day.
We stayed in the Gabeau suite, which is configured with twin beds (the rooms with double beds were already taken), but were very happy with the extra space. Having a small sitting room exclusively ours (reached across a private landing) provided views of the castle behind us, and our bedroom gave us perfect views of the river. The antique furniture enhanced the ‘back in time’ feel of staying in such a beautiful old building, but the new bathrooms gave the modern comforts we all expect on holiday (just watch the low doorway into the bathroom if you are tall!).
Upon leaving, lengthy goodbyes were exchanged with our lovely hosts (and the cats!). Recommendations were swapped on future travel adventures, and we gained some restaurant tips for our next jaunt to Melbourne. We will definitely be staying with Tim and Carolyn the next time we visit the Loire!