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Known as one of the most beautiful chateaux in Deux-Sevres, Aquitaine, the majestic Château de Saint Loup, which was commissioned in 1609 to honour Good King Henry; Henri IV of France, is now an intimate boutique hotel.
The chateau is a stirring sight, it still has a wonderfully medieval atmosphere and, though you may be paying for the pleasure, it feels quite a privilege to stay there, knowing that in times gone by such a property would have been out of bounds for all except the highest levels of French aristocracy.
They have just nine spacious rooms to choose from; doubles, triples and one larger ‘family room’ which has two separate sleeping quarters and can sleep up to four.
All of them are carefully decorated to maintain the medieval ambience with some lovely four poster beds, antique furniture and art pieces, and private bathrooms with old style bathtubs. The chateau has much lovely common space to explore too, with a library, a music room with piano, sitting rooms and a drinks bar at your disposal.
The estate surrounding the moated chateau covers over 120 acres and includes some stunning 18th century landscaped grounds, including lawns and flower beds, an orangerie, classic ornamental potagers and parkland.
The accommodation is B&B and you can expect a fresh, tasty and varied breakfast along with great coffee. They generally don’t do evening meals at the chateau though they can arrange external catering for you and you have a few quality restaurants and other food outlets within walking distance in the picturesque little town of Saint-Loup sur Thouet, one of the most beautiful in the Deux Sevres region.
Check out all the details – prices, reviews and more photos – on the booking page here.
Château de Saint-Loup sur Thouet, to give it its full title, is located along the borders of Pays de Loire and New Aquitaine, at the northern edge of the Deux Sevres and near the famous Loire Valley. It is an area with a rich history, and food and wine culture, and is beautifully slow paced and rural.
The chateau occupies pride of place in the village which bears its name; Saint-Loup sur Thouet, which sits by the banks of the Thouet River and canal, and is consistently thought of as one of the prettiest villages in the region. It is a charming place with a number of small shops and some nice restaurants and cafes.
There are many historical sites in the surroundings, in particular medieval abbeys such as those at Airvault, Saint-Jouin de Marnes, Melle and, most famously, Fontevraud where the bodies of Alienor d’Aquitaine and Richard Lionheart lie.
The nearest large city is Poitiers around 50km away while you can reach both Nantes and La Rochelle in around an hour an a half. The journey from Paris will take at least three and a half hours.
A LITTLE HISTORY:
The château we see today was commissioned in 1609 by Claude Gouffier, Marquis de Carabas, and laid out in a H shape to honour the then King, Henri IV, more commonly known as Good King Henry. The entire project took 17 years to complete though by which time The Good King was all of 16 years dead, and so the Gouffiers would finally move in with Louis XIII comfortably on the throne.
The estate goes back earlier though, all the way back to the 14th century in fact, when it was a defensive fortress for a powerful noble family by the name of de Dercé. Only the Keep of this original fortress remains, in the tower of which, as it happens, Edward the Black Prince of England imprisoned King Jean le Bon after capturing the fortress after the battle of Poitiers in 1356.
“Excellent! Fantastic! Would love to return some day and stay for longer. Both castles at the property and the other outbuildings are beautiful and well restored, the gardens were delightful, and the owner was so lovely and gave lots of interesting information about the place and its history….”
“Excellent will definitely be going back. Rooms were massive and nice and warm. The host Charles-Henri and Sophie were lovely. They even gave us a guided tour of the Chateau. We were the only guests during our stay but the still looked after us well….”
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- Domaine de Saint-Loup