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The Stables at Chateau de la Fuye. A 15th century chateau gite that screams luxury living.

02/04/2024 by .
The Stables at Chateau de la Fuye

Michael Edwards luxuriates in Chinon chic at The Stables at Chateau de La Fuye

There are gites. Then there is The Stables at Chateau de La Fuye. This tuffeau-stone stables conversion, sleeping six in three spacious bedrooms, elevates gite-living to Sotheby’s elegance. It is a wannabe chateau.

Forget previous disappointing gite experiences: one threadbare tea towel and a “welcome” pack of two teabags. The Stables at Chateau de La Fuye’s welcome is a French foodie tsunami: butter with salt crystals, cheese, freshly laid eggs from the estate’s hens, milk, pear tart, wine and of course, a baguette. All sourced from within 10 kilometres of this beautifully restored Monument Historique.

The farmhouse kitchen could host a Waitrose French lifestyle photoshoot. A dreamy promotion of brioche, olives, quiche, pain-au-chocolate et al. Amongst the countless olive green drawers you will find expresso cups, forks for snails and a truffle shaver. It goes without saying that there are hanging copper saucepans. Incroyable.

The Stables at Chateau de la Fuye

The Stables at Chateau de la Fuye

During the challenging renovation of the 15th century chateau, owners Rowena and Simon Michaels lived in the gite decorating and furnishing it as their home. Consequently there is connection and continuity between the timbered beams and ancient lintels of the seven bedroomed chateau and the gite. No flat-pack furniture here.

For Rowena and Simon it was not so much the trials and tribulations of “A year in Provence” but “A decade in the Loire”, a constant quest for good electricians and plumbers. Eventually, two upstairs bathrooms, were perfectly fitted out with Brooks Lefroy showers, while super-fast optic wi-fi gives digital nomads the opportunity to WFH (work from holiday.)

Now, after renting out the gite on Airbnb for almost six years. Rowena has achieved “Superhost” status.  An indefatigable scourer of auction houses, she has curated a relaxed chichi feel that is as warmly inviting as the antique wingback chairs.

The Stables at Chateau de la Fuye

The Stables at Chateau de la Fuye

For those who rent both the gite and a romantic tower that sleeps two, seating eight for meals is straightforward. The loggia, overlooking the lavender framed boules court and wild-flower garden, has a table for eight, as does the kitchen and also the lounge. Pas de problème. 

Ironically, surrounded by chateaux, foie gras and Frenchmen who carry a baguette as a fashion accessory, Rowena has sourced art and furniture from England to pep up this slice of historic Touraine.

Think of the gite as an eclectic art gallery. It pays homage to thick-oiled takes on the old masters, vibrant still-life, light-touch pastoral water colours and some flashes of the avant-garde. Plump the cushions, polish the silver candelabra, throw open the white wooden shutters and you have a welcoming home.

Adjacent to an 800 oak truffle garden, looking out on a Renaissance-style walled formal garden and within songbird calling distance of acres of woodland, the gite, like a rare black truffle, is a precious gem of a find.

A grand shaded tunnel of soaring lime trees is an invitation to a French lifestyle where peace of mind and serenity come as standard. Where Marie, a guardian of The Stables at Chateau de La Fuye. alongside Des, knocks at the kitchen door to deliver freshly laid eggs.

Rowena’s on-site guide to Chinon and beyond is the bible of Touraine opportunities. If you experience the ultimate French crisis, running out of baguettes, the manual will tell you where to find the nearest emergency baguette vending machine. It also features, almost Michelin-like in its insider knowledge, advice on restaurants in and around Chinon.

The Stables at Chateau de la Fuye

The Stables at Chateau de la Fuye

Wine barrels, dotted around the estate as impromptu tables, are a reminder that The Stables at Chateau de La Fuye. is surrounded by over 80 appellations. A panier of wine in the kitchen, half a dozen bottles available for purchase, introduces Chinon’s organic viniculture.

A La Pause Rabelaisienne, in one of Chinon’s cafe/wine bars, take time to ponder over the town’s literary poster boy. A 16th century prose satirist and wit who veered between the devout and the anti-clerical.

Every Thursday, traders converge on Chinon to create one of the region’s prettiest markets by the side of a statue commemorating the remarkable Jeanne d’Arc. A 16-year-old Jeanne met King Charles Vll in Chinon and persuaded him to give her an army to drive the English out of Orleans. She gained an epic 100 Year War victory.

The Stables at Chateau de la Fuye

Charles was one of the region’s wiser monarchs. History reveals that France was not always as fortunate with its monarchs: Charles the Bald, Louis the Stammerer, Charles the Fat and Charles the Simple make the point.

The nearest chateau, but far from the grandest, is the fairy-tale towered Usse. In fact, the super fit, beginning from La Fuye, could plan a lengthy day’s walk that takes in eight chateaux. Once home to Catherine de Medici, Azay le Rideau’s history exemplifies both enlightened Renaissance thinking and Machiavellian politics.

Restored for the English by the English, as a quintessential taste of French country life, there is an irony that Parisians are now competing with the English to stay at the gite and tower of The Stables at Chateau de la Fuye.

Tell Me More About The Stables at Chateau De La Fuye, Chinon, France

The Stables at Chateau De La Fuye  1 Rue de la Fuye, 7500 Chinon, Touraine France.
E: hello@lafuye.com

In October 2024 a night at the gite begins from €375 per night, minimum two-nights booking whilst a night at the tower begins at €130 per night.

Guests should book through Airbnb — Chateau de La Fuye


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