Friday, 7 October 2011

The Loire Valley: Château de Chaumont

We drove up through the Loire Valley towards Chateau de Chaumont for the Chaumont sur Loire Garden Festival (more about that later). The Loire Valley is stunning, cliffs and caves and gorgeous villages hugging the wide river. 

A view of the chateau at Amboise

Amboise is home to Le Shaker cocktail bar, a great bar/snack place with brilliant views over the river towards the Chateau. There is a huge cocktail list and if you order one of the house cocktails they arrive in massive vases - bit on the pricey side but worth it for the view and a glimpse of the 80's cocktail interior

A mirror imaged tree in the grounds of Chateau de Chaumont

The Chateau du Chaumont is not your average gorgeous but slightly boring chateau, it houses fantastic collections of permanent and temporary modern art installations within the chateau and extensive gardens. This year the theme is art and nature

Hidden in the lofty heights of the chateau is an installation of 72 stained glass pieces by Sarkis depicting the life and history of the chateau through light, a mixture of modern scenes with ancient technique. It was the setting of these pieces that made them so interesting, tucked up in dusty storerooms and surrounded by strewn antiquities or all alone in rooms that looked like they hadn't seen signs of life in a long long time.

There are lots of artworks situated within the grounds of the Chateau overlooking the Loire, some of my favourites were the woven organic pieces by the french sculptress Dominique Bailly 

Les Spheres by Dominique Bailly

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