What’s New In The Loire Valley In 2022

The Loire Valley is home to France’s iconic châteaux, gardens and wines. This year, the region is beckoning travelers with new hotel openings and exhibitions.

Fleur de Loire, a new five-star Relais & Châteaux hotel and restaurant helmed by two-Michelin-starred chef Christophe Hay, is set to welcome visitors on June 13. A lifelong project for Hay, the property is housed in a 17th-century building designed by the brother of King Louis XIII. It will have 44 rooms, including 11 suites, a restaurant, bistro, pastry kiosk, swimming pool and Sisley spa. Hay’s restaurant will showcase the best of the region, including produce from local farmers, wine from Cheverny and produce from the on-site garden.

Le Bois des Chambres, touted as the first hotel at the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, is set to open this spring. Designed by architect Patrick Bouchain, the hotel will have 39 rooms and suites, a restaurant and original artworks on display throughout the property. Rooms are divided between a restored farmhouse and a new build, each of which has a different theme. In addition, yhe Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the International Garden Festival, which has showcased contemporary creation and landscape design since 1992. This year’s theme is centered around “The Ideal Garden,” questioning our current relationship with nature due to global warming, urbanization and more. Designers have been encouraged to showcase their innovative visions by using new materials, plants and techniques. The exhibition is open from April 21 to November 6.

Villa Monin, a new exhibition space dedicated to Monin gourmet flavored syrups, is set to open its doors this summer. Located in the medieval city of Bourges, this space will offer an immersive tour of the syrup production, cooking classes and workshops, as well as a syrup-tasting bar. Local Bourges confectioner, Daniel Mercier, will also offer a chocolate-themed tour within the space.

The Château Royal de Blois, a favorite residence of seven kings and ten queens of France, is hosting an exhibition dedicated to three of its former residents: Catherine de Medici, Diane de Poitiers and Marguerite de Valois. Titled “La Renaissance des Femmes” (“The Renaissance of Women”), this exhibition highlights the power—sometimes restrained, marginalized or even forgotten—of these iconic Renaissance figures. The exhibition is open until July 10.

The Château de Loches is celebrating the 600th anniversary of the birth of Agnès Sorel, mistress of King Charles VII, who gave her the domain of Loches. To mark the occasion, the exhibition titled “Agnès Sorel, l’influenceuse” (“Agnès Sorel, the influencer”), aims to offer a better understanding of the role and influence of this “Lady of Beauty” in the kingdom’s politics and society. The exhibition is open to visitors until November 6.

Titled “Rois et reines en armes, entre réels et fiction(s)” (“Kings and Queens in Arms, Reality and Fiction(s)”), the new exhibition at the Forteresse Royale de Chinon honors kings and queens, both real and imagined. Historic armor and relics will be on display, besides props from movies and TV series such as “Conan The Barbarian” and “Game of Thrones.” The exhibition will be open to visitors from May 21 to November 6.

For more information, visit www.loirevalley-france.co.uk.

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