Think about sleeping in a priory the place nuns as soon as tended lepers, sipping an aperitif within the former chapel, eating within the cloister. L’Lodge at Fontevraud, close to Saumur within the Loire Valley, pronounces itself so discreetly that it’s arduous to differentiate from the remainder of the nice French abbey advanced of which it varieties half. Till you get inside. Then it’s Apple meets the Center Ages. On arrival friends are given a mini iPad which serves as a distant management, a supply of knowledge and permits them to make free inside and exterior cellphone calls – even internationally.
The bedrooms have a monastic look however with out monastic discomfort. There’s a hairshirt colored angled mattress head and spotlights completely positioned for studying. The mattress has a breathable mattresses from a Nantes-based firm, Biosense. The tv is hidden behind a sliding display screen so you’ll be able to simply wish to ignore it. You get BBC 1 and a pair of for those who don’t. The Fontevraud TV channel offers data on the Abbey.
The lavatory has a rain and handheld bathe heads. I believed that the wash basin was fairly giant for a lodge claiming eco credentials – however cherished the domestically made honey cleaning soap with slightly sisal sack so you’ll be able to take it away fairly than waste it. There are heating controls however no air-con.
Excellent for lovers of European historical past and foodies. The Abbey, based at the beginning of the 12th Century, is a UNESCO World Heritage Web site. It was uncommon in that it was run by Abbesses and welcomed each sexes. Among the many tombs within the nice abbey church are these of Richard the Lionheart, Henry II and his Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Napoleon turned the Abbey into a jail. It has since been restored to a approximation of its authentic state. You may wander round it at night time after the opposite vacationers have left, or e book a modestly priced, guided tour by means of the lodge.
The bar has contact display screen tabletops enabling friends to mug up on the historical past of the abbey and people related to it, or play chess. There’s a absolutely outfitted seminar/convention/occasion rooms for 20 – 1000 individuals.
Chef Thibaut Ruggeri’s cooking is ingenious and thrilling. Assume radish sorbet, lemon and black olives for dessert, pigeon fillet with almonds and a cognac marzipan. It doesn’t price an arm and a leg, both, with menus at €20, €58 and €95. Water comes from the spring after which the abbey was named. Like dinner, the buffet breakfast is about up within the cloister – a stunning French choice together with croissants, contemporary bread, pastries, eggs – and scrumptious honey from the abbey’s personal hives.
What’s close by
In case you’re staying a couple of night time the Chateaux of the Loire and the vineyards and caves of Saumur are inside simple attain.
Free Wi-Fi is accessed with a code which adjustments day by day.
Double rooms from €125 – €185 relying on season; household rooms (2 adults, 2 kids €150 – €195; suites €170 – €230. Breakfast is further at €15.
Worth for cash
Real worth for the entire expertise – room, cooking and intimate entry to the abbey.