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Gardens Illustrated: The French Rose; Paris to the Loire

If you love the perfume of roses on an early summer’s day and have always promised yourself time to discover more of this vast and varied genus, then this is the tour for you; an unmissable opportunity to stroll from rose to rose discussing the merits of under-planting, mulching, pruning, budding, training, and even ‘the name of the rose’ in the company of a great rose enthusiast & expert. We will stay one night at Hôtel Les Pléiades, in the village of Barbizon before travelling down to the Loire to Hôtel Le Choiseul, Amboise. Both hotels offer good food and hospitality: dinners with local wines and bed & breakfast all included. Michael Marriott is senior rosarian of David Austin Roses and is one of the world’s most esteemed rose experts; Maïté Delmas has over thirty years’ experience of managing plant collections (including roses) gained at Kew, Bordeaux and Paris Botanic Gardens. Maïté has worked with Boxwood for many years and is a well-respected tour leader familiar to many of our travellers.

Your Tour Includes

  • One night with dinner at Hôtel Les Pléiades, Barbizon
  • Three nights at Hôtel Le Choiseul, Amboise, bed & breakfast and dinner with wine included
  • Five lunches
  • Return tickets on Eurostar
  • Private coach transfers and excursions
  • Guided visits to sites listed in the programme
  • Services of the Leader and Tour Host
  • Detailed programme and garden notes
  • All entrance fees, taxes and gratuities for coach driver
  • Tour of the roses at Roseraie Val-de-Marne in L’Haÿ-les-Roses
  • View the comprehensive collection of wild rosesLe Manoir de la Javeliére Park
  • Fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of Les Roses Anciennes André Eve
  • Private visit to the Loubert Rose Collection at Château Rivau
  • Lunch and Vouvray wine tasting at Château de Valmer
  • Visit the gardens of Château de Villandry
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Itinerary

Overview

We take the Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord. On arrival, we travel by coach to Roseraie Val-de-Marne in L’Haÿ-les-Roses, where we start with a delicious light lunch followed by a tour of the roses with the garden’s curator. Initiated in the late 19th century by Jules Gravereaux, a private collector and owner of the Parisian department store Le Bon Marché, the garden now has more than 11,000 rosebushes and nearly 2,900 species and varieties of rose, making it one of the largest collections of old roses in the world. We then drive to Hôtel Les Pléiades, on the edge of the Forêt de Fontainebleau with time to settle in before an evening meal together.

Overview

Though André Eve (1931-2015) is well known in France for his work in hybridising old roses, few people know of his own small garden in the Pithiviers. This garden, full of his favourite roses planted with compatible herbaceous plants - is a joy to see and is maintained to high standards by a group of skilled volunteers. At Le Manoir de la Javeliére Park, we are invited to lunch by the owner, Patrick Masure, and to view his comprehensive collection of wild roses. Next, we visit the nursery that was originally set up by André Eve for a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of Les Roses Anciennes André Eve where work is still underway creating beautiful new French roses. We then journey on to Hôtel Le Choiseul overlooking the River Loire in Amboise, with time to settle in before dining in the hotel restaurant.

Overview

The fairy-tale Château Rivau has a remarkable garden with a remarkable owner. Patricia Laigneau has planned her colourful garden to wrap around the château. With a particular passion for roses, she will take us on a special tour to show how roses are interwoven into all corners of the garden before a delicious lunch together. In the afternoon we have a private visit to the Loubert Rose Collection where over 2,500 different speciesand cultivars of the genus Rosa comprise a French National Collection, its main purpose to preserve and display Rose species as well as old and rare varieties. We then return to Hôtel Le Choiseul for dinner together.

Overview

In the heart of Touraine, we find Chédigny, ‘village des roses’, the only village in France to be ranked as a ‘Jardin Remarquable’ for its extraordinary collection of roses and Rose Festival. We are then invited to lunch and Vouvray wine tasting at Château de Valmer owned by the same family for five generations. Today the Count & Countess de Saint Venant still live in the château, their son, Jean de Saint Venant managing the property and vineyards. Later, we visit the gardens of Château de Villandry a unique testament to Renaissance architecture with decorative potager and symbolic ornamental garden. Villandry has long been the epitome of decorative vegetable gardens; the standard of horticulture, attention to detail, and clever design remain a total delight; we meet the head gardener to discuss the standard roses that give the rhythm and the high notes to the potager. We then return to Hôtel Le Choiseul for dinner together.

Overview

Moving up-river we pass the village of Cormeray to find a small rose garden, product of the full-blown passion of owner, Brigitte Chiron- Charaud. We then find Les Jardins de Roquelin where Stephane Chassine, who previously worked for André Eve, has created a very beautiful cottage garden full of his favourite old roses on the banks of the Loire. The coach will then drive to Paris, Gare du Nord for our evening Eurostar service to London St Pancras.

Accommodation

Travel Options

When it comes to getting you to your destination. Leger Holidays make it easy, with a selection of travel options for you to choose from

Meet us at the ship

Meet us at the ship

For complete flexibility, make your own transport arrangements to and from the ship. We will provide you with times and locations as well as some useful information for you to make your own arrangements to join your cruise.

If you require any further information to assist with your travel plans, please contact our Holiday Advisors who will be happy to help.

Meet your Coach at Dover

Meet your Coach at Dover

Travel down to Dover and jump onboard your coach for your ferry crossing.

Alternatively, travel the day before your departure and enjoy an overnight stay, with complimentary parking for the duration of your cruise, before being collected after breakfast the following morning.

Travel by Eurostar

Travel by Eurostar

Step aboard Eurostar at London St Pancras for a fast and comfortable journey to mainland Europe. You can even upgrade your reserved seat to Standard Premier – speak to our Holiday Advisors for more information. On arrival in Paris, Lille or Brussels, you will then join connecting services for your onward journey.

Travel by Air

Travel by Air

Return flights from London Heathrow with transfers to and from the ship are included in our package on our specific arrival and departure dates. We also include one item of checked in luggage per person.

If our included flights are not suitable, alternative flights may also be available from other airports on our arrival and departure dates. These may have an additional supplement and are subject to availability at the time of booking.

More flexible travel options

Travelling by Eurostar?

Travelling by Eurostar?

Why not stay overnight in London?

For those travelling from further afield, you can also book overnight accommodation in London, before and after your holiday. Speak to our Holiday Advisors for more information.

Travelling by Eurostar?

Stay overnight near the port

For an even more relaxed start to your European holiday, why not stay overnight in Dover or nearby Ashford the night before your cruise from only £65pp? All our quoted prices include car parking for one vehicle for the duration of your cruise and cooked breakfast the following morning. Our coach will collect you and return you to the hotel on its way to/from the port of Dover. And if you don’t want that holiday feeling to end, why not do the same on your return journey?