Your own chateau in the Loire Valley in France – Robb Report

The recently restored Chateau de Môh captures the languid luxury of the French countryside.

It’s lunchtime on a cold January day when I arrive at the Chateau de Môh. Moments after arriving at the estate – a restored 15th century chateau overlooking the confluence of the Vienne and Loire rivers in the village of Candes-Saint-Martin – I am seated at a long farm table next to a log fire. chimney. A French still life offers itself to me: local cheeses, a crispy loaf of bread, a salad from the castle’s vegetable garden and a bottle of Cabernet Franc from a neighboring vineyard. It’s as if this chateau, with its old wooden beams and weathered stone walls, is a country idyll created just for me – and that’s precisely the point.

Former summer residence of the bishops of Tours, the Chateau de Môh was uninhabited when French hoteliers Monique and Didier Pignet stumbled upon it almost a decade ago while visiting friends in the Loire Valley. . The couple were on their way to retirement, a project that the chateau quickly put on the back burner. “What are we going to do with Chateau? “Monique remembers asking her husband, although she concedes that she fell in love with the” soul “of the place. Les Pignets also felt an immediate connection with her guardian, Francis Katchatouroff, a talented ceramicist and son. from the previous owner, so in 2009 they bought the chateau and embarked on a 7-year restoration involving more than 100 local artisans.

Completed this year, the Chateau de Môh is the newest property in the Pignets collection of private rentals across the French-speaking world, which includes 15 villas on the Caribbean island of Saint-Barth and six chalets in the region’s snow-capped woods. from Charlevoix in Quebec. Unique among the group, the castle consists of a castle of seven suites, a tower for private dinners, a pool house and a spa, a place for weddings and other events, and 11 apartments, houses and suites adjacent to the castle. The estate, available either for purchase or rental of outbuildings for two to six people, is still supervised by Katchatouroff, whose attachment is deep. “I like this castle because it is on a human scale,” he says.

The property’s intimate scale owes in part to Monique, who herself directed the interior design, filling the chateau with contemporary amenities and artistic installations that harmoniously coexist with centuries-old elements. Its design embraces the exterior as well, with large windows that overlook the storybook landscape. “The castle is like a big tree that clings to the village and the river below,” she says.

Center of activity from May to September, this part of the Loire Valley is home to several of the great French châteaux, including the Chateau de Chinon, the Chateau de Saumur and the Chateau de Montsoreau, which reopened in April as a museum of ‘contemporary art. Guests can also visit Michelin-starred restaurants and antique fairs in local villages and sample vintages at estates such as Domaine de la Paleine, which hosts sublime wine-tasting floats on the Loire. Whatever the activity, the Pignets hope to provide an experience that is both luxurious and simple, capturing the essence of the Loire Valley and the hearts of their guests.

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