This is where I truely fell in love with France! The area is so rural, so naturally beautiful and a wonderful region to escape into the history of another time to get the feel of what living in Medieval France could be like.
Trust me, there are some incredibly marvelous chateau(castles) in France reflecting the various periods of French history. One of the most visited and, I believe, significant is the Chateau de Sarzay. It might not be grandly preserved and maintained but the story of one man's love and sacrifice to restore this important piece of French history is incredible!
It's not a very commercial enterprise though the present owners do have a bed & breakfast that operates on the grounds. More than anything, it's just a fabulous place to "just be" in the quiet countryside of LeBerry region. The town of Sarzay, which is walking distance, offers several restaurant/tavern/cafes and often hosts a variety of events such as horse shows, antique & brocante sells, and antique car shows. In the surrounding area you can find fishing, canoeing and other gites and B&B's, as well as hiking trails and historic landmarks. You will not see gigantic billboards or almost any signage but there are many things to see and do, tucked away to blend into the beautiful countryside.
I'm absolutely in love with Sarzay and the surrounding area and before Roland and I started Chef Roland Enterprises, I told him I dreamt of the day that we would return! When we took our first culinary tour, A Taste of Le Berry, we were fortunate to find a local gite (converted farm) that could house all of our tour guests and provide an excellent kitchen and dining area for us to prepare our own French home-style meals in the evenings!
I would like to introduce you to Chateau de Sarzay and the town of Sarzay:
The fantastic story of the sacrifice and commitment of the present owners:
If you love beauty, art, architecture, history, France has much to "gobble up" and is truly a feast for the eyes! My photos do not do justice to the fantastic chateaux that we had the opportunity to visit during our culinary tour, A Taste of Le Berry 2010. Hopefully, I will have my photos posted in the near future. (I am presently in Texas helping my parents move to Missouri.)
The recent movie Eat, Pray, Love is definately a wonderful example of what a personal experience of another culture can bring into your life. Traveling, experiencing the lives of other people and learning of a rich cultural heritage by immersing yourself always has its rewards.
We hope you will enjoy the various articles that are posted to introduce you to the Central Region of France, particularly Le Berry, and that you will consider the wonderful opportunies to Eat, Pray, Love while participating with us, Chef Roland Parny & Elaine Parny, on our culinary tour, A Taste of Le Berry-2011.
When Roland and I met, I was one of those people who opened the box or can and warmed up the family meal. After our marriage in 2005, I truely began to appreciate what food is really about, not only that it can taste very good, and be nutritious, but that it can be a celebration of who you are and the people that you share it with.