Thursday, 9 January 2020

Christmas at Chenonceau

A bizarre series of events, this one...

Susan and I had made plans with Antoinette and Niall to visit Chenonceau on Christmas Day. A Christmas expedition has become a bit of a tradition in the past 5 years, ever since we visited Chenonceau 5 years ago. As it happened, Antoinette and Niall didn't feel like they had the energy after a big Christmas evening dinner so we rearranged the visit for Saturday. Then on the Friday, Susan and I were stricken by Norovirus (the winter vomiting bug) and all plans were off.

The Christmas tree in the long gallery was themed on birds.

Luckily, we had accepted a very rare winter booking, not something we normally do as the Tractions aren't set up for winter - no heater, no demisting, and you have to keep the windows wound down slightly the whole time. We decided that as the visitor was a friend and neighbour of Susan's uncle in Australia we would accept the tour but hire a comfortable modern car.

A life sized table ornament

This meant that we were able to see the Christmas decorations at Chenonceau, surely the highlight of winter in the Touraine. I have no idea how much time and money is spent decorating Chenonceau at Christmas, but it is certainly well worth it, as the effect is spectacular and even on a midwinter morning there was plenty of people visiting.

The theme in the chapel was owls.

Eeek! A red Christmas tree in a red room.
Not the most sucessful of the decorations.

If you are in the Loire Valley at Christmas remember that some of the chateau are open every day, so Christmas afternoon is a great opportunity to see some of the iconic sights of the Loire Valley without the crowds


Katie Zeller said...

We spent a Christmas in the Loire valley when we lived in Andorra (before moving to the Vendee) and visited Chenonceau. It was open but we were the only visitors, and there were no decorations at all. When we left a tour bus pulled up. There was very little to do on Christmas day then. Apparently times have changed lol

Susan said...

I've been on Christmas day itself, about 5 years ago. The decorations were stonking, yet I could have counted the visitors on my fingers.

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