After visiting George Sand’s family chateau at Nohant, drive a mere eight minutes to the village of Sarzay and sleep in the castle used as a setting for George Sand’s novel Le Meunier d’Angibault. The enchanting Chateau de Sarzay, classified as an historic monument by the French Ministry of Culture, is one of the most photographed medieval castles in France.
The Barbançois family who had distinguished themselves in the battles of the Hundred Years War built the castle in the middle of the 14th century. It remained in their family until 1720. Originally a medieval fortress with 38 towers and three drawbridges, much of the castle remains intact. Richard Hurbain, an average Joe working for France Electricity had a dream of owning and living in a castle. In 1982 he bought Chateau de Sarzay for 790,000 francs—rough translation $200,000. Richard has lovingly and single-handedly refurbished much of the castle and its grounds.
Stay in the castle’s charming Bed & Breakfast (Chambres d’hôtes) bursting with antiques and ancient books or in an independent small house (Gîte) in the outbuildings of the castle’s courtyard. Guests are free to mingle with the peacocks on the castle grounds and visit the medieval castle at will. There are no guided tours, but there is an abundance of literature in all languages and the Hurbains are happy to talk over a refreshing beverage in the garden and answer any questions.
Room rates are very reasonable. A breakfast of freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee and toast with homemade jam is included. For lunch and dinner, there is the Restaurant du Chateau, a wonderful local restaurant just outside the castle walls. In the evening, you can sit outside on their terrace and taste a local delicacy, Andouillette sausage, accompanied by an excellent glass of Saumur-Champigny Cabernet Sauvignon as you admire the sun setting behind the castle towers.