Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Trip to the coast of Brittany 2 - Domaine de Mestré, Fontevraud-l'Abbaye

It was getting late by the time we hit the beaux villages of Montsoreau and Candes-Saint-Martin (see previous post). Following Blandine's usual policy, we started looking around for a B&B after hitting the place. This is the way we have hit upon the most amazing gems. Or not. This time we got lucky. But for a few moments, we panicked. Virtually every B&B in the villages were closed for the Christmas holidays. Then we hit on a lovely place, just outside the villages, technically in a third village adjoining the above two. So lovely, in fact, that it deserves a post all on its own.

This was Domaine de Mestré, in the village of Fontevraud-l'Abbaye. This was originally the main farm of the Abbey of Fontevraud. In 1791, the ancestors of Marie Amélie, the present proprietor, took it over and started running it as a farm cum inn for the pilgrims on the route of Compostela. So this place has been a running hotel for over three centuries, always with the same family! The buildings too date from that time. In 2013, it was renovated and made into a three-star hotel. 

Here are some pics of the buildings and farms...

In addition to the farm and inn, the family also do artisanal soap making, you can buy scented soaps and perfumes at a little shop, which is very popular with tourists. We got the best room in the hotel, this being off season, the so-called "romantic room". It is the oldest part of the property, and was part of the original Abbey farm. Here are pics of our room and the building in which it is housed

The best part of this hotel is that it has a gourmet restaurant where they serve food entirely grown on the farm. This being off season, it was closed for dinner, but we did get to have the breakfast there. A lavish affair with milk, ham, eggs, bread, jam, butter,  cakes all from the farm and cooked personally by the proprietress. Unfortunately, I was too busy eating to take a photo of the repast, but here is a shot of the outside of the building that serves as the restaurant:

Here is a photo of the family that owns this property, taken from their website:

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