Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Monday, 18 June 2012

More Valmer photos

As promised, here are some more photos of the gardens of Valmer and the special event that was taking place in the courtyard of the 'Petit Valmer', the current residence of the owner Alix de Saint Venant. But let's start with some more 'castle' photos.

The interior of the troglodyte chapel.

One of the guard towers.

A decorative brick wall overlooking the now dry moat
and a fearsome looking gargoyle.

And now up to the side-event. In the couryard of the castle we came across this line-up of vintage cars.

They belonged to the TACOT Club de Ronsard. I tried to google them, but they don't seem to have a website. The only information I could find is that they are located in the Loir and Cher department and recrute new members in that department, as well as in the Indre et Loire and even as far north as La Sarthe.

The oldest car in the collection was a 1921 Citroën (on the left in the photo above). By the time we were about to leave, most drivers had taken place behind the wheel of their spotless and shiny cars. One by one they were slowing leaving the premises honking their old-fashioned horns.

I know that some of you like vintage cars, so I'm just throwing in one more photo.

On our way back to our modern car, Mats pointed out that last year in July we visited Walmer castle near Deal in the UK. Surprisingly enough the gardens of Valmer and Walmer have a lot in common: a beautiful decorative garden, a well stocked vegetable garden and an empty moat that has been turned into a beautiful garden where exotic species can thrive in the best possible conditions, well protected from the elements. Walmer, although very comfortable inside, is a fortress, designed to dissuade invading armies. Valmer, or what is left of it, is an elegant residence. I'm sure it never had a military mission, despite its moat and guard towers.


Bob said...

Great photos. I loved the old cars. Remember seeing many of them when I was a kid in France from 58-61.

My first post didn't take.

Niall & Antoinette said...

Looks a great place to visit. We'll make a note :-)

chm said...

I especially like the picture of the chapel. What is left of the chateau is very elegant and small enough to be easily managed.

Mark said...

I'm just getting back to blogging and catching up with everyone. Just scrolled through your posts from the past two weeks and it's looking like you had a wonderful time.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

The chapel is lovely. I also love the old cars..... Have a good day. Diane

Pollygarter said...

We can thoroughly recommend it!!
The moat and towers date from the days of chateau number one which sat on the high point that is now a garden. Chateau number two, which burnt down in 1948, is now marked by the Yew hedge. The main house now is the original Dower House built in 1647.

The decorative gardens are at their most charming in late summer.
The veg garden is an ongoing affair. It is a living garden and feeds over forty on the estate. Alix has made it her 'baby' by teaming up with Xavier Mathias to trial and conserve historic veg and fruit.

We were there on Sunday [17th] and it is clear that the gardens haven't yet recovered from the 'Big Freeze' followed by the unseasonable warmth and then the late hard frost that hit everything that was just starting to bud, flower or sprout. Some veg very clearly, has only just gone in!

The wines grown on the estate are excellent... especially the Vouvray pettilant brut and the rosé.

Tim on Pauline's machine.

ladybird said...

Bob, Seeing these cars one would think that France hasn't changed that much since the early 60-ties. However ...

N&A, It's certainly worth a visit. It was on my to-see-list since 2008 and I'm glad I finally made it! :)

Chm, I wouldn't mind living there, although I'm not sure about the upkeep of the gardens ;)

Mark, It was great, but then you had a exciting time yourself while I was on vacation!!

Diane, The chapel makes you wonder about its mysteries of the past. It was beautiful but eerie at the same time.

Tim, Welcome and thank you for posting a comment. Valmer certainly has a lot to offer and is well worth a visit. We didn't taste the wine, but I'm sure it is excellent Valmer being located smack in the middle of the AOC Vouvray territory.