Never say never. My sister suggested we go and see the Chateau de Chenonceau – and who am I to argue with someone who should really be writing guidebooks?
We went, and she was absolutely right (thanks, sista).
The promos say it is “a chateau loved, managed, and protected by women” and it clearly is.
Katherine Briçonnet built it in 1513, Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici added their creative flair, and later the beautiful Louise Dupin (who strongly believed in the equality of men and women) saved it during the French Revolution.
In World War I, the chateau became a military hospital for the French Resistance and the kitchen was transformed to cater for this new development.
It’s no surprise it’s referred to as the ‘Ladies Castle’. It’s stunning structure, intimate interiors and the gardens, labyrinth and moats surrounding it all bear the touch of a woman.
It is lovingly preserved, with fresh flowers in every furnished room – and stepping into the kitchen takes you back a few centuries. It even has probably the world’s first pizza oven – well, a baker’s oven, but it’s not much different from the ones we see today.
And there are only a couple of deer and boar heads hanging around the place. Which is so much more restful than those drafty hunting lodges…
Yes, yes, men can be so dull at times. But they do make good drivers, apparently.