Chateau de la Ruche

Teillé, Loire Valley, France Book from Book from £179 per night

A beautifully restored 18th-century chateau where deep luxury, relaxed informality and delicious food rule an irresistible roost
You sweep up a long drive, leave the world behind, then find this handsome house wrapped up in 15 acres of parkland and woods. Inside, stylish interiors are the result of a mega renovation. Incredibly, Tim and Rebecca, who swapped Lincolnshire for the Pays de la Loire, did most of the work themselves, featuring on Channel 4’s Escape to the Chateau: DIY. The results are hard to beat. Big rooms are flooded with light, an open fire warms the sitting room, original fixtures and fittings have been brought back to life: high ceilings, marble fireplaces, gilded mirrors, wood floors – luxury at every turn.

The three plush bedrooms have crisp linen and wool duvets on upcycled antique French beds, then original fat radiators and elegant windows. As for Rebecca’s irresistible food, it’s local and seasonal, with four-course dinners you won't forget. Children will love it here - there's an on-site playground and a tree house, plus two very willing playmates (Tim and Rebecca's children). Elsewhere, hills to climb, rivers to swim in, bike tracks to follow, beautiful Chateaux to explore. Take the whole place with friends or come to get married - the grounds look particularly spectacular in spring. Rural luxury at its very best.

Highs

  • The house is the stuff of fairytales - so good looking it features on television!
  • Tim and Rebecca are fantastic hosts and go out of their way to make your stay special
  • Rebecca’s food is delicious: happiness on a plate
  • Children are very welcome; both suites have second bedrooms for two children or adults, and the vast gardens are perfect for playing in
  • Le Mans, for culture vultures as well as speed freaks, is 20km south and well worth a visit

Lows

  • If you want to eat out you’ll have to drive, perhaps to Le Mans, where you’ll find more choice; dinner is not available Wednesdays and Sundays
  • Rooms aren’t cheap, but they’re worth every penny
  • Book early – the house features on Escape to the Chateau: DIY so is attracting lots of attention
  • You have to cross the hall to get to the Garden Suite bathroom
  • Rates increase around Le Mans motorsport weekends and for special events such as retreats

Best time to go

This is a sleepy pocket of France that comes to life in spring and summer, when several national parks are at their prettiest and all sorts of festivals – jazz, theatre, art, food, wine, motor racing, even roses – take place. But autumn in France is always special, as is Christmas, so just come whenever you can. Note that the Chateau is closed in April and November each year.

Our top tips

If you fly via Tours, take a day on your way home to explore this beautiful city. It stands on the Loire, surrounded by vineyards, and the historic centre is a Unesco World Heritage site - its cathedral dating back 950 years. But that’s not all Unesco notes about Tours; it is also listed as a ‘Cité de la Gastronomie,’ with food of ‘intangible cultural heritage,’ so make time for a slap-up meal before heading home.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Boutique Chateau
  • 3
  • Breakfast + dinner on request
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

Rooms are indulging: garden flowers, antique furniture and tear-drop chandeliers, then crisp linen, coffee machines and flawless bathrooms. All have pretty crockery for your tasse de thé.

The Meadow Suite, on the ground floor, has double aspect windows that flood the room with light and a door that opens onto the garden. A second bedroom has two sleigh beds for children and adults alike. No bath, just a vast walk-in shower.

The Garden Room has half-panelled walls and period art, plus views from the window across the lawn to an avenue of trees. Two steps across the hall, a very fancy bathroom with a roll-top bath awaits, with white robes on hand to get you there.

The Honey Suite has country views over the garden and a separate sitting room, so lots of space. A dressing room doubles as a bedroom for two children, and there's a gorgeous bathroom with an inviting claw-foot bathtub.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Fridge
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Toiletries

Eating

Breakfast is served in the sitting room. Choose from a tempting selection of yoghurt and granola, fresh baguettes, croissants and patisserie, cheese and charcuterie, homemade jams and local honey, tea and coffee.

Dinner is served by candlelight in the sitting room or out in the garden in summer. Rebecca whisks up four-course feasts by arrangement (not Wednesdays or Sundays), perhaps warm goats cheese with figs, chicken with rosemary and garden vegetables, a plate of French cheeses, then chocolate croissant pudding. Children's dinners are served earlier at 6:30pm; adults dine at 8pm.

If you want to eat out, try the excellent Restaurant Mariette in Saint Marceau or head across to Beaumont-sur-Sarthe for good bistro fare at Auberge de la Croix Margot and family-friendly Aux Mille Pizzas. Some small gems open at weekends only - Tim and Rebecca can advise. Alternatively, head down to the old town in Le Mans (20km) for a good buzz and a wider choice: pizza to Michelin stars and everything in between.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Fridge
  • Minibar/fridge
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Head northwest into the national park for Saint-Ceneri-le-Gerei, said to be one of the most beautiful villages in France. It sits on the River Sarthe amid rolling hills: a beautiful area to explore.
  • In summer, try the sandy beach on the lake north of Sillé-Le-Guillaume. You’re surrounded by forest, with paths for feet and bikes and good restaurants for lunch.
  • The Loire’s famous chateaux and wine fields are an easy day trip for culture vultures.
  • Check out local brocantes (flea markets), several of which helped furnish this chateau. Tim and Rebecca know them all and will point you in the right direction.
  • Le Mans is more than a race track, its beautifully preserved old town home to an excellent market (Friday and Sunday) and St Julian’s Cathedral. Don’t miss the Musée de Tesse for fine art, the relaxing Jardins des Plantes and the various small theme parks and Go Ape-style adventure playgrounds - the latter a big hit with children.

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Art classes
  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Wine tasting

Kids

This is an extremely family-friendly B&B. Baby baths and cots are available, as are earlier meal times. Outside, there’s a playground with swings, a trampoline and a treehouse, then the grounds and woods to explore - hide and seek would be great fun here! Tim and Rebecca’s children, aged 7 and 9, are willing playmates, as is their dog Monty.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The two suites (Meadow and Honey) both have second bedrooms that sleep two children (or adults). A baby cot can be added to the Garden Room on request.

Baby equipment:

  • High chair
  • Baby bath

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

A children's tea is offered at 6.30pm every evening except Wednesdays. Older children are welcome to eat with their parents at 8pm but must eat the adult menu.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Playground
  • Trampoline
  • Tree house
  • Rowing boat
  • Large grounds and woods to explore

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Lake beach in Sille-le-Guillaume
  • Shallow river for paddling and catching crayfish at St Leonard de Bois
  • Horse riding
  • Zoo
  • Theme parks

Families Should Know:

Children are only allowed by the lake with adult supervision.

Distances:

  • Airport: 75-minute drive
  • Hospital: 25-minute drive
  • Supermarket: 10-minute drive
Kid Friendly:

Location

Chateau de la Ruche is in the small village of Teillé in the Loire Valley. It's five miles from Beaumont-Sur-Sarthe and one mile from the A28, the main north/south road.

By Air:
Tours Airport (126km) is the closest, but most people fly into Nantes (215km) or Paris Charles de Gaulle (245km) and drive to the chateau.

By Car:
We'd recommend hiring a car to get here, partly for ease and mainly so you have the freedom to explore the Loire Valley. See our car rental recommendations.

By Train:
If you'd prefer to travel overland from the UK, you can get the Eurostar to Gare du Nord in Paris, then a TGV fast train to Le Mans where you can hire a car at the station for the final leg or hop in a taxi (35 mins' drive).

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Val-de-Loire 126.0 km
  • Nantes 215.0 km

Other:

  • Beach 99.0 km
  • Shops 5.0 km
  • Restaurant 5.0 km

Rates for Chateau de la Ruche

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