Spend three days in the Loire Valley; I chose to start from the furthest west and back to Paris. Having experienced Le Lion d'Or, Chateau de Noizay and Domaine des Hauts de Loire previously, this luxurious mansion was yet to be tried. Arrive at the gate and let your senses guide you.
Lying at the heart of a 9-hectare estate composed of magnificent one-hundred- and two-hundred-year-old trees, cradled in the scents of the domain's walnut, cedar and linden trees, the Château de Noirieux is an exceptional Relais & Châteaux hotel that offers a setting of greenery as far as the eye can see. Fifteen kilometers from Angers, in Briollay, this royal residence reveals an elegant classical façade in freestone overlooking the Loir valley.
I was welcomed by the receptionist on duty; he grabbed my luggage, showed me to the room and invited me to dinner before the kitchen stops taking orders. The restaurant takes requests between 07:30 and 09 pm only.
The rooms offering 4-star comfort are in the Louis XVI, Louis XV and Louis XIII style at the Chateau. Its 15th-century Manor houses beautiful rooms in a Rustic style with a view over the grounds. I chose room 1, contemporary comfort and Art Deco style; I was enchanted by the charm and refinement of this room. Situated on the first floor of the Chateau, it offers a glorious view over the Loir Valley. A large room with one king size bed, two windows with a view, a vast bathroom with a tub and a setup taking you back to the days of the French monarchy.
Down the castle is a long lobby divided into several saloons. The firsts, a second then the bar before reaching the restaurant.
With one star Michelin and a good reputation I couldn't but book a table at the castle's restaurant. La Table de Noirieux serves dinner between 07:30 and 09:00 pm proposing a set menu prepared by the chef. Tonight's choice is a Salmon mi-cuit with sauce Karashi, filet de boeuf a la plancha with tanin juice. Chariot de fromages. Coque chocolat blanc and a crémeux fraise yuzu.
Round tables covered with white cloth, a set of silver cutlery, a sommelier to welcome you and a waitress running around the tables for service. Five tables are having dinner tonight, a starter, a verrine, bread while wine is served.
The ambiance is heavy around here, white space, white flowers, white candles and blue chairs to breaks that white ambiance... A severe attitude, fake smiles, I didn't feel comfortable and hoped that food would be superb for the star they have. The floor is covered with white tiles, walls painted in white, a white ceiling, white curtains and white tables... too much white around here. American music plays in the background.
After a long and relaxing night sleep, I was awakened by the enchanting tunes of chirping birds. In the middle of nowhere, surrounded by green trees, with the Loire following its path to the sea, waking up in this natural setup is priceless. Despite not having air conditioning units, I spent a very relaxing night waking up at 6 to appreciate nature and witness sun spells caress the valley.
I needed this retreat... it's so calm that you'll forget about all your problems. Living nature, experiencing luxury, appreciating the local produce while letting your senses guide you through the journey. At this movement, eight in the morning on a calm Tuesday, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!
Continental breakfast is served between 07:30 and 10:30 in the morning. A basket of fresh bread and flaky croissant, butter, orange juice, cereals, cold cuts, and cheese. Two kinds of jam, honey, yogurt, and coffee. Alone, in the middle of nowhere, enchanted by the Loire Valley, I was feeling lucky.
- Eggs are served after 9 am!
- I was not proposed to have breakfast outside in the garden.
A major plus: Waking up without hot water, the receptionist offered me breakfast. A well-appreciated gesture I didn't even ask for. The professional man opened another room for me to shower while I prepare to check out.
A memorable stay I'd surely repeat.