Last weekend we spent a crisp fall day visiting the Château du Rivau, about an hour’s drive from Loches. We had planned on going in the summer, but never made it up. In retrospect, I’m glad we didn’t get there until now. Being an overcast fall day, it was practically deserted (except for the rousing Polish private party happening in the hall — the polka music drifting through the doors was pretty lively!) and the gardens were incredible. The veggie garden was almost bursting, we were all seriously amazed by it’s abundance.
The kids checking out the amazing veggie garden.
(yes, danica’s teeth have a blueish hue — from a lollipop of course.)
Le Château du Rivau dates back to XIII and XV centuries. The sheer age of things here still blows my mind. It’s a fairly modest Château, but quite beautiful. The grounds are rather magically themed Fairytale Gardens, and the kids just really loved running around and exploring the enchanted forest and surroundings.
Giant wellies in the fairytale gardens!
The running forest is dotted with pairs of disembodied red legs.
Alice’s Labyrinth, in the shape of the Cheshire Cat.
Heading into the labyrinth, guarded by the Two of Hearts.
When we went inside the Château, there was a rather tongue-in-cheek contemporary exhibition displayed amongst the typical Château decor of taxidermy and busts. I rather enjoyed it, it was a nice departure from the norm, fun to see someone curating a less serious space in these ancient places! Here are a few of my favourite pieces.
Rudolph Paddleball amongst the skulls, by American artist Jeff Koons.
I was rather drawn to this piece, with it’s tiny skulls bedecked in intricate ruffled lace collars, seeming to grow on stems from a spiked base.
Closeup of the ruffled collar and skull. Lack of tripod and really low light = not too sharp, sorry!
This skull made of dried rosebuds and petals was pretty striking. Hard to photograph without glare under it’s glass cloche.
I have loads of photos from the day. I tried to narrow it down more, I really did, but what the heck. Here we go!
View of the Château from the far end of Gargantuan’s vegetable gardens, with The Old Lady’s Shoe in the foreground!
A nice place to lounge and gaze at the Château.
I would’ve been happy to stay here a while longer…
There’s only one playground in Loches (and it’s pretty tiny) so the kids get super excited whenever we come across any playgrounds! The teeter-totter was a big hit.
This peacock was so gorgeous, even without his long tail feathers. And, he reminded me a little bit of home.
The colour of their feathers always astounds me.
Danica under the grapevine arbour.
A view of the back side of the Château from the lush gardens, which are still chock-full of blooms.
Rapunzel’s tower on the right.
There were several persimmon trees in the garden, so so beautiful.
the rosebushes were still full of blooms, and these ones were particularly gorgeous, and the scent intoxicating!
raindrops on roses
We’re off to Bruges, Brussels, and Amsterdam next weekend for eight days, so I’ll have lots to share when we come home from our first EuroStennings trip outside of France! Cannot wait.