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The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet - French Country Travel Life Film Maker and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to food, wine travel and Lifestyle Adventure!

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Romantic French Chateaus Part Two – Chateau Ussé


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Virtually every French Loire Chateau has -as do almost all French Chateaus – a marketable feature. A unique “something” (or something presented as such) designed to snare the attention of Chateau surfers. Something more than the age of it’s stones or how many nobles were born, died or murdered there.

Chenonceau – The rivalry between Catherine di Medici and Diane de Poitiers. Islette – The tempestuous romance of Rodin and Camille Claudel. Amboise – The Leonardo di Vinci connection.(Now the town’s major industry.) OK – you’re getting my drift. Are you not?

But, for me, the French Chateau that takes the cake(and the topping cherry) in the Chateau Marketing sweepstakes is the Chateau du Ussé.(rhymes with “Lucy”) While it’s not ON the Loire, it is in the Loire Valley in the neighbouring district of Touraine. (Pronounced “Tor- En”)Famous for it’s woodsy Gamay Wines.
Although a river does not run through it. A small but pleasant one, does run parallel to it on the opposite side of the road .

But clearly, those facts, fascinating as they may be, do not make Chateau Ussé the King of the Chateau marketing hill.The one that does begins with those classic advertising copywriting words : “Legend has it.”

And in for Chateau Ussé in particular “Legend has it” that Charles Perrault, the Author of the classic tale of the unstoppable power of love – Sleeping Beauty” was inspired to, and did in fact, create said tome at Chateau Ussé. (You probably guessed Walt Disney, right?) )

And yes, high atop the Chateau, there is an entire chambre devoted to the re-creation of the Prince placing his Princely lips, ever so tenderly, on those of the Sleeping Beauty. Sadly, you can’t enter this glassed in scene. But you can ooh and ahh through the glass.

But wait -there’s more! A whole lot more. Continuing to vamp on the “Life in the 19th century” theme, throughout the Chateau mannequins faithfully attired in 19th century costumes are presented in a variety of scenes. From drawing room to laundry room. And beyond.

Truly one of the most imaginative and authentic representations of “Life in another time” I’ve experienced in my not unsubstantial French Chateau travels.

I think visitors(and I include myself here) reasonate particularly with these presentations, because they allow us to view “Life in another time” that is much closer to ours. Not dusty,unconfirmed “legends” from 500 years ago; that soul stirring/imagination firing as they may be, don’t make the same connection.

You can make your Sleeping Beauty connection in this video:

What are ya thinkin’?

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31 Responses to “Romantic French Chateaus Part Two – Chateau Ussé”

  1. mark tison says:

    thanks to you..this incredible place is high on my list of “must see’s for my next (and first) visit to france. way to go!

  2. damien moran says:

    it’s amazing to think that out of all the chateauxs in france, you’re somehow able to spotlite the ones that are truly unique…

  3. marg fletcher says:

    you got that right damien…the uniqueness, i mean….as DA BG said : “Something more than the age of it’s stones or how many nobles were born, died or murdered there.”

  4. don wilson says:

    i’ve got several of rick steve’s travel guides. and they’re excellent. but what they don’t do, is what you do. give us a truly unique view of the french people -from all walks of life.

  5. Pat Simms says:

    absolutely Don! – and, let me add – taking us up close and personal inbto the lives of the people of ALL Nationalities, who”ve chosen France as their life destination.

  6. jennie woods says:

    it really DOES look like what we think of as a fairytale French Chateau. Thanks for sharing, and pointing us to, this fantastic place. (Loved your video too)

  7. ralph williams says:

    as other commentators have pointed out, your video (and particularly your music) perfectly transport us into this magical place. Keep it up!

  8. harriet wilmot says:

    while you didn’t reference it directly -i can’t imagine there’s even one other French Chateaux with a “19th century theme.” Let alone one that’s so
    complete and well done.

  9. simon greenway says:

    no arguement. this IS a great post. But what keeps me eagerly awaiting your “treasures of france” – is that EACH post is a great one. you never get lazy and slip in some “filler.” every aspect is totally professional and incredibly rewarding for the reader/watcher.

  10. diane dobkin says:

    simon..you said it all for me! (and much better than i could have) DA BG’s passion for France sparkles and shines through every sentence, image and video that we’re lucky enough to enjoy. that, and his obvious talent, is why he “takes no prisoners” with regard to quality and uniqueness. (at least, that’s my rant – lom!)

  11. geri walters says:

    really a tour de force! great post, great video and great music. never realized you were a pianist before. where can we find more of your music?

  12. horace wilson says:

    hey geri…..RE: “Where can we find more of your music”…..go to the top of the name and click on: “MUSIC.”

  13. geri walters says:

    thanks horace…..sorry i missed it before…..i mean it IS logical…guess i was in too much of a hurry. (lol)

  14. horace wilson says:

    no worries geri……maybe you just need stronger coffee? (lol)

  15. geri walters says:

    could be horace…i’ll give it a shot. many thanks!

  16. zanny parker says:

    just reading your chenonceau post for the first time!..amazing stuff! (like this post and your cool video!)

  17. matt danson says:

    Don’t know how you manage to find all these unqiue “treasures” – but glad that you do. like other commentators – waiting for the next installment.
    there WILL be one – right?

  18. janna parish says:

    hey matt..RE: “there will be one – right?” only da bg knows for sure…but the important point is….has ever NOT delivered? regardless of the subject?

  19. matt danson says:

    right on janna…..of course..just wanted to expression my appreciation of what he “delivered.”

  20. charles goodwin says:

    your video – while compelling is, for me, too short. you really did convey the atmosphere so convincingly…..i wanted more!

  21. emmie waters says:

    with ya there charles..i would have liked to “spend more time” at the chateaux too!

  22. karen valens says:

    hey emmie and charles….I “feel your pain”…but there IS a reason for the saying: “Less is More.”

  23. kyle martin says:

    amazing is the only word for this post and video. never imagined a place like this existed! mucho bravos to da bg!

  24. candace trumann says:

    yes, you’re right – i WOULD have guessed Walt Disney…but thanks to you, I know who the author really was..and more to the point, that he created it in 1697! (just a little bit before mr Disney – lol!)

  25. garth melson says:

    yet another classic examples of the treasures of france we never would have discovered without the bicycle gourmet in our corner. waiting for #3!

  26. mel geddes says:

    obviously great post and information…but your music is, for me, what really pulls it all together so perfectly.

  27. yap svennster says:

    really a lot to like in this post..as other commentators have pointed out..
    what i appreciated, in particular, were the links to the Chenonceau story and the sleeping beauty author.

  28. harry winston whyte says:

    yap…..no end of things you can learn from da bg….as this post (once again) proves.

  29. diane butler says:

    well worth the wait for this second installment. You’re right -this is truly a unique chateaux!

  30. susan golden says:

    great post! and your video really gives the flavor of the place. hoping for a third instalmment in this series!

  31. frank endersly says:

    have to agree with the previous comments and add my wish also for more of your unique finds, in your much appreciated down to earth style.

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