41700 Cheverny (33) 2 54 79 96 29 www.chateau-cheverny.fr
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A classic beauty among the Loire castles, Cheverny has been owned by the same family for over six centuries. In fact, the hand-drawn family tree encompasses an entire wall on the ground floor. A showcase for French decorative arts and furnishings, the gorgeous interiors (especially the family’s private apartments) provide an intimate perspective on castle life through the lovely staging in each room. The lawn, studded with magnificent, century-old trees (including a giant sequoia that dates back to 1870) and the various gardens (don’t miss the flower-filled kitchen garden and pergola containing scores of rare orchids) are just as impressive as the elegant castle. (Fun fact: Cheverny was the inspiration for Captain Haddock’s ancestral home in the Belgian comic book series, Tintin.) The Cheverny hunt club is one of the oldest in France, and the historic kennels are still home to about 100 French hunting hounds (daily feeding of the hounds is at 3pm in the winter and 5pm in the summer).
- Ceil Miller Bouchet