After our visit to Tanlay, we drove the short distance to the small village of Lézinnes, where Mary had reserved rooms at a gite – a French Bed-and-Breakfast. Our arrival was not without trial. First, Mary said the gite was at 4, rue de la Gare, so down rue de la Gare we drove and when we arrived at number 4, here’s what we found:
Fortunately, we (fairly) quickly saw the gite at number 5, rue de la Gare:
But one last hiccup: the woman who owns and runs the gite was sitting outside, enjoying the sun, and said she had no reservation for us – had never heard of us. But no one else was there, so she could offer us rooms. (Turns out that she did, indeed, have a reservation, but she had somehow missed it in her reservation book.) Anyway, the gite was quite nice, and had a lovely breakfast the next day.
That evening we went to a restaurant that Mary and Gilles had been to some time before (and did not have exactly good memories of, but the gite owner thought it had changed hands since then). We arrived, found it had not changed hands, but decided to give it a go. It was maybe ten tables, outside beside the Canal de Bourgogne, and was a very pleasant surprise. The food was excellent, the wine very nice, and the setting – alongside the canal on a warm evening – delightful.
The next day we made the short drive to the Chateau Ancy-le-Franc. This is another Renaissance chateau and, like Tanlay, was designed by an Italian architect, so it is pure Renaissance, and purely beautiful. A big difference between the Chateau Tanlay and Chateau Ancy-le-Franc is that while Tanlay is still owned privately and so limited in how much money is available for maintenance and restoration, Ancy was purchased by a foundation some years ago, which has poured a lot of money into restoring it.
People who know architecture say that the courtyard at Chateau Ancy is the most beautiful Renaissance construction in France, and among the best in the world. Who am I to argue? I can only say that yes, indeed, it was beautiful.
We took an audio guide tour of Chateau Ancy, which was informative. The chateau’s rooms are much the same as when they were built or redecorated over the years. Again, though, photography was not allowed inside, so I’ve got pictures of the exterior only:
And when we left, there was Gilles, who had gone a bit ahead of us, waiting patiently.
After that, it was a drive to Langres, a town we’d visited last trip and were looking forward to seeing again, and to a dinner at a restaurant we all loved last trip.