Hotel Diderot

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Jun, 2013

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Last summer my husband and I enjoyed a wonderful driving holiday in France. For the first few days of our holiday we stayed in the beautiful château city of Chinon on the banks of the river Loire at the delightful Hotel Diderot.

Diderot is owned by Laurent Dutheil and his sisters Francoise and Martine, and is a beautiful 15th century building filled with quirky furniture and antiques ( a real draw for my antique loving husband!) The bedrooms are typical French, style with simplicity, matched with sparkling modern bathrooms. Rooms look out over a beautiful courtyard garden, lovingly tended by Laurent. After a day sightseeing it is a lovely place to sit with a glass of wine, before taking a short stroll into the city centre for the bars and restaurants.

In addition to fantastic service ,Hotel Diderot take great pride in providing their customers with the finest produce, sourced from highly valued local suppliers. On the staircase at Hotel Diderot there are a series of large, stylish, black and white photographs of the hotels local suppliers. The baker, the fresh fruit supplier, the honey supplier, the walnut supplier … the list goes on! I think it’s great. Pride of place for all their local partners on the main hotel stairway !

Talking of fruit, the hotel requires tons of it as the hotel breakfasts are famous for showcasing Laurent’s home-made jams … around fifty different flavours, all laid out for the guests delight each morning! Too bad we have only booked for four nights! Too many flavours to get through! ( I think I managed to try seventeen though I have to admit the flavours did start to merge by the fourth morning! ) Some of the jars were labelled with riddles or quotes rather than the jam flavour. Breakfast became a game with Laurent as we tried to guess his varieties! Apple pear and quince; green tomato and lemon; persimmon; apple and lavender; pear and vanilla.

I loved our stay at the Diderot. Run by a family who treated their guests as family! We will be back should we return sometime to Chinon!

We left, full of jam, smiles on our faces, with a copy of Laurents recipe book “L’ARMOIRE A CONFITURES” (JAM IN THE CUPBOARD) and a little gift from Laurent- a jar of my personal favourite, Aniseed!!

Geraldine Smith

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