France has many beautiful castles and the Loire valley is one of the top destinations if you like to visit them. We passed the Loire valley when we were driving from Paris to Bordeaux and I would highly recommend to make at least a short stop here. Chateau du Rivau is one of the most fascinating castles in this region, and if you like to stay the night you can rent one of the rooms of the property. In this blogpost you will find out about our experience at Chateau du Rivau!
The gardens of Rivau are known for its statues, art piece and humor. I cannot really explain how a garden can have humor, but it is truly a quite humorous visit making it also very suitable for kids. Visiting a castle and garden can be tedious for kids, but I can assure you that Chateau du Rivau is very kid friendly. Tickets for adults cost € 11,50 per person and for kids from 5 years € 7 per person. The gardens are particularly lovely to visit with kids in the age-range 5-10 years old as there are many activities organized for the kids. When we visited we saw kids dressed up as knights and they were about to go on a tour. The chateau organizes all sorts of events that you can participate in, so make sure to check the website before you go.
Chateau du Rivau has two restaurants: Fairies Feast and Secret Garden. We decided to book a lunch at Fairies Feast, which is the informal a-la-carte restaurant. Fairies Feast offers a small menu with local dishes and they even serve wine of the chateau. We had a lovely charcuterie board, quiche and the Rivau wine. Secret Garden offers a set multiple course menu and is more fancy. I noted the greenhouse of Secret Garden next to the castle and it looked super lovely. I would advise to make a reservation if you want to have lunch at the castle as it was very busy when we visited. Fun detail about Chateau du Rivau is that they have several peacocks walking around, who also come to greet you at the restaurant (note the white peacock in the picture below behind Huug).
If you want to upgrade your stay even more, you can also book a room at the Chateau. The castle offers several rooms in modern chateau-style. Prices start at around € 200 per night and it looks like a great experience.
We of course came for the gardens, so I will spoil you with some pics. The restaurant was very busy, but in the garden all the visitors can spread out easily. The garden is constructed of lots of little gardens, changing scenery and style with each garden. You will also find hammocks to relax, an enormous chessboard and a maze, with some fun nods to fairytales. The landscaping is incredibly unique, but despite all the efforts the garden still felt a bit wild. Definitely not as perfect as the gardens at Chateau de Villandry (one of the rivaling castles in the Loire Valley) and we found that it suited the castle very well.