We decided to stay in Chenanceau on our trip to the Loire valley and chose Le Bon Labourer primarily because they have a very good restaurant that has a Michelin star. The town of Chenanceaux has a different spelling than the château due to Louise Dupin de Francueil, owner of the chateau during the French Revolution, who is said to have dropped the “x” at the end of its name to differentiate what was a symbol of royalty from the Republic. As a result of her good relations with the village, the Château was spared the iconoclastic damage suffered by many other monuments during the Revolution. The population of permanent residents hovers about 400, as of 2012, but there is a large influx of tourists during the summer months, because the village adjoins the former royal Château de Chenonceau, one of the most popular tourist destinations in France.
The village is also situated in Touraine-Chenonceaux wine-growing area, and bordered on its northern edge by the Forest of Amboise. They also have many beautiful fields of sunflowers throughout the region.
The hotel is divided among several buildings with the intimate charm of a bed and breakfast.
The table setting was very beautiful, country with a crinkled linen tablecloth and napkins. I must admit to hours of ironing to get the wrinkles out of linen but these crinkled cloths were really beautiful and added a rustic but also elegant touch to the table setting. The amuse bouche was a poached foie gras I think.
For our starters, Lisa had the langoustines and I had the lobster. This was accompanied by an absolutely delicious warm olive loaf bread.
For our main course, Lisa had Roasted Saddle of Lamb in a Herb Crust, Filet with Lamb Juice and Garlic Cream. I had the Roasted Saddle of Rabbit Enclosing a Fresh Pea Mousse, It looked beautiful and was just as good to eat. Great wine list, too. Both dishes were delicious.
For desert we had a small bowl of raspberry purée and their take on a Mille-Feuille with raspberry sherbet which was beautifully plated and also tasted great.
We stayed at this hotel for one night and absolutely loved it. Our room was in a separate building across the street. Very nice large room with wood rafters and a modern bathroom. The bar area or lounge is really comfortable and is a great place to just sit and enjoy a nice glass of wine. The town is small but quaint with a great little store to get baguettes, pain au chocolat or just a plain croissant. They also have beer, wine and cheese. The hotel itself is a grouping of little buildings. This is a Relais de Silence Hotel, they are a member of 200 charming hotels across Europe. There is a pool across the street that is surrounded by trees and a relaxing break after seeing the château. The restaurant was loved by just about everyone on TripAdvisor. The menu is exquisite and the food, service, staff, and attention to detail is easily the equal of the best in Paris. We also were pleasantly surprised by the very affordable price. The château is just a 5-10 minute walk down the street, at 9 PM they have an evening promenade where the château is lit up. Our only regret is that we did not stay longer, we are already planning a return visit. Just about everywhere you look both inside the hotel and in the town reminds you of the exquisite loveliness of the area. If ever there were ever an enchanted kingdom, this hotel, town, château and it's environs would have to be it.
Official Website: http://www.bonlaboureur.com/
Relais de Silence Hotels: http://www.relaisdusilence.com/EN/
Château Chenaceau: https://traveltoeat.com/chateau-chenonceau-loire-valley-france/
Château Chenanceau Gardens: https://traveltoeat.com/chateau-chenonceau-gardens-and-forest-loire-valley-france/
Château Chenanceau Interior: https://traveltoeat.com/chenonceau-chateau-the-interior-loire-valley-france/