Although we arrived in Azay-le-Rideau under the impression that we were in the middle of the sparse French countryside (which we were totally satisfied with), we would soon discover that there was more to this place than dirt roads and troglodytes.
Upon our host’s recommendation to try a restaurant “in town” called Les Grottes, we decided to check it out. We expected “town” to be an intersection (or a roundabout) with a gas station and a restaurant. What we found, just about three minutes by car from our troglodyte B&B, was one of the most charming little French villages we could imagine! We discovered that Azay-le-Rideau, described as a “commune” of approximately 3,000 residents, was also home to one of the more underrated chateaux in the Loire Valley. Unfortunately, the Chateau of Azay-le-Rideau was undergoing a significant facelift (we decided to skip it – there were lots of scaffolds and construction apparatuses). The charm of the quaint commune, however, more than made up for that minor disappointment.
First off, we highly recommend Les Grottes. If you ever find yourself in the Loire Valley, it’s worth eating there. It was one of my favorite meals of the trip.
Jolyn got the duck breast
Outstanding meal – Beef in red wine sauce with duck confit
Finish with a crème brûlée
You won’t be disappointed with the village of Azay-le-Rideau – it feels like a French fairy tale.
And there you have Azay-le-Rideau. We highly recommend a trip to this village if you find yourself in the Loire (or better yet, stay there!). As we would soon learn, our tiny commune on the Indre River wasn’t the only picturesque medieval French village – but it was our favorite of the ones we saw. We will certainly be seeking out this gem if we go back to the area!