Let’s Talk Wine: Lovely Loire Valley reds

The Loire Valley, referred to as the Garden of France, is known for its magnificent chateaux and rich history, and runs at the heart of France with five distinct wine regions – Pays Nantais, Anjou, Saumur, Touraine, Centre-Loire – each with its own characteristics of grapes, appellations and styles. The wine-growing regions dotting the Loire’s banks feature about 4,000 wineries, 170,000 acres of vineyards and 61 appellations of origin, making the Loire Valley the third largest French wine-making region, producing [ . . . ]

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10 of the best foodie retreats in rural France

These charming B&Bs, guesthouses and gîtes offer comfortable pitstops on a French adventure, but with their mouth-watering regional food and wine they may prove hard to leave

Le Mas des Grès, Provence

Ideally placed for a visit to the antiques markets of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and the “perched villages” of the Luberon, Nina and Thierry Crovara’s Provencal mas is the epitome of rural Provence. The couple met at hotel school in Switzerland and Thierry later trained under Anton Mosimann at the Dorchester in London. The meals Thierry cooks depend on what catches his eye at the market each day. Often appearing in pink braces over a pink shirt, he chats to guests before disappearing into the kitchen to prepare dishes such as red snapper and basil, Mediterranean meatballs, fried courgette flowers, rabbit with garlic and thyme or sea bass with ratatouille. Their cat, Rokey, spends most of the day sunning himself on the terrace, where two huge trees acts as giant parasols for outdoor meals. The mas is in the heart of peach, melon and honey country, so buffet breakfasts are delicious and there is always a fridge full of drinks beside the pool. The couple also run cooking courses in March and October.

Doubles from €120, +33 4 90 20 32 85, masdesgres.com

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