France has a well-earned reputation for its obsession with food and wine, and that is no less true here in the Loire Valley. Local specialities include 'terroir' dishes - made with respect to their origins in the land and water - these include terrines and patés made from game and wild boar, the freshest river fish, and a broad range of goats cheeses. The markets are the theatre of everyday life in small French towns where sellers passionate about their produce regale their customers with tastings, recipes, serving suggestions and accompaniments...
Here at Château de Chargé, we provide 'table d'hôte' meals for adults and children (by reservation, and open only to our residential guests.) Our French chef Philippe joined us in September 2011 and cooks six evenings per week (Wednesday exception). He serves a 2 course childrens' tea for under 11's at 6pm (€9) and a delightful 4 course adults' dinner at 8pm (€26) using a combination of French traditional recipes, local specialities and the herbs, fruits and vegetables we grow at the chateau.
Breakfast at Chargé is available between 8.30 and 10.30 every day (although we can provide take away breakfasts for those who need to leave early.) The buffet features a range of cereals, yoghurts, fresh fruit, freshly baked croissants and pain au chocolats, ham, salami, smoked salmon and cheese as well as an egg boiler and fresh eggs. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milk and juices complete the line up.
As we do not serve lunch at Chargé, we do permit guests to 'picnic' on the courtyard terrasse at lunchtime. Many food producers sell direct to the public from their premises including goats cheese from Vazereau just 2kms from Chargé. The best local markets include Chinon (every Thursday) and Bourgueil (every Tuesday), but we can recommend a market for just about every day of the week within a half hour drive.
There is a wide range of restaurants in and around Chinon offering everything from traditional local fare, to 'special occasion' restaurants, and a mixture of foreign cuisines. In Chinon's medieval town centre, Au Chapeau Rouge, Les Annees 30 and L'Oceanic are among the 'must try' restaurants for food fans. Good every day choices with a realistically priced 'menu du jour' and 'plat du jour' include the Café des Arts and the Café de la Paix, while the Jeanne de France Pizzeria is sure to please the younger members of your family.
We will be pleased to advise our guests on their choice of restaurant in Chinon or further afield, and to make table reservations.