Top things to do

Top Choice Historic Site in Fontevraud-l'Abbaye

Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud

The highlight of this 12th-century abbey complex is the vast but movingly simple church, notable for its soaring pillars, Romanesque domes and polychrome gisants (funerary effigies) of four illustrious Plantagenets:…
Top Choice Farm in Saumur

École Nationale d’Équitation

One of the world's premier equestrian academies, the prestigious French National Riding School is home to the Cadre Noir, an elite group of riding instructors that's also an equestrian display team. Superb tours tak…
Top Choice Chateau in Angers

Château d’Angers

Looming above the river, this forbidding medieval castle – seat of power of the once-mighty counts of Anjou – is ringed by moats, 2.5m-thick walls and 17 scarily massive round towers. The centrepiece is the stunning…
Top Choice Chateau in Anjou

Château de Brissac

Owned by the Brissac family for 18 generations (since 1502), this seven-storey castle, the tallest in France, has 204 rooms, many of them sumptuously furnished with antique furniture, Flemish tapestries and twinklin…
Top Choice Museum in Angers

Musée Jean Lurçat et de la Tapisserie Contemporaine

Inspired by the Apocalypse Tapestry in the château, Jean Lurçat (1892–1966) began his epic tapestry masterpiece, Le Chant du Monde (Song of the World; 1957–61), just 12 years after the slaughter of WWII; scenes depi…
Top Choice French in Saumur

Le Boeuf Noisette

Since opening in 2016, talented young chef Delphine Rémy has been earning enthusiastic reviews for cuisine she describes as française, locale et fraîche (French, local and fresh). Her flagship dish is tender Rouge d…
Top Choice Equestrian Show in Saumur

Cadre Noir

The Cadre Noir equestrian display team puts on two types of astonishingly graceful show: Matinales, hour-long training demonstrations with commentary; and – this is what it's most famous for – ballet-like Galas that…
Top Choice Gastronomy in Saumur

Le Gambetta

This is one to write home about: a truly outstanding restaurant that combines refined elegance with knock-your-socks-off creative French cuisine. Some menus include wine pairings perfectly chosen to complement the p…
Modern French in Saumur

Le Pot de Lapin

Mellow music wafts from the cheery dining room, decorated with winemaking tools, through the wine bar and onto the street-side terrace as chef Olivier Thibault works the tables, proposing perfect wine pairings. Star…
Gastronomy in Angers

Le Favre d’Anne

Chef Pascal Favre d'Anne shut a Michelin-starred restaurant in order to travel around Asia for a year – he's a Lonely Planet fan, by the way – and then opened this place. Incredibly, he got his Michelin star back al…