La Prieure de la Chaise is with a wonderful fourteenth century priory, based in the heart of the Loire region of France. I initially visited whilst researching In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn, following her early years in France. If you want to do the same, using In the Footsteps as your guide, of course (!), then I can highly recommend this as a place to make your base.
The young Anne Boleyn was, of course, in the service of Queen Claude, travelling with the itinerant court; it was my job to uncover the French locations that she would have once known intimately, and to begin to understand the forces at play in the French court that shaped the woman she would later become. After some searching on Trip Advisor, I uncovered this little gem, La Prieure de la Chaise.
When you see a picture of the old fourteenth century priory, it is not hard to see the attraction; its mellow stone walls sculpted into fairytale turrets, the pitched leaden roof so evocative of the grand châteaux of the region – and then there is the tiny chapel, original to the priory, tucked away under a bower of trees.
Five characterful rooms are available on a bed a breakfast basis, with breakfast itself being served in the grand salle, the heart of the ancient priory. It is a wonderful way to start the day, enjoying fresh baguette, croissant and madame’s home made conserves, surrounded by an appropriate grandeur that sets the tone for the day ahead.
The chambre d’hote (bed and breakfast) itself is situated right in the heart of the Loire. The magnificent Château of Chenonceau, (probably most associated with Catherine de Medici and also Mary, Queen of Scots), is literally a five to ten minute drive away, whilst the key centres associated with Anne Boleyn (Blois and Amboise), are also easily accessible by car. So it really does make for the perfect location.
Situated just on the edge of St Georges-sur-Cher, La Prieure feels rural, but there is easy access to the small supermarket in town, the local post office and patisserie, (just in case you need to replenish your energy reserves at the end of the day with a delicious raspberry or strawberry tart). In fact, my travelling companion and I soon found a rhythm to our evenings. We would return home – via the patisserie, of course – laden with other picnic goodies we had bought during the day, then decamp to the marquee overlooking the garden, there to enjoy our French delicacies, all washed down with a bottle of red wine. Did I mention the fact the La Prieure de la Chaise owns the vineyard next door? Another perfect reason to book yourself in toute de suite (straight away)!
If you want to know more about the La Prieure, please visit their web site. (Note it is in French, but Madame Therizol does speak some, limited English: