There’s one surefire way to feel like a princess – get married in a castle. And not just any castle, but a beautiful French château nestling deep in the Loire Valley
Words Sandy Cadiz-Smith
Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé has had many faces since it was built by Baron de Lucé in 1764 – a hospital, a cinema and a holiday home. It has survived a fire in the village, the French Revolution and World Wars, despite a bunch of The Louvre’s paintings being hidden beneath the ballroom floorboards. Now a wedding venue, this year it is being reborn as Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé.
The short journey from Tours airport takes you through an Arcadian world of sunflower fields, picturesque villages and rampant wildflowers until you reach the dreamy town of Le Grand-Luce. Passing locals queuing up at the boulangerie, narrow streets take you to the grand black metal gates which open slowly to reveal the neoclassical château.
There are 80 acres to explore, with sweeping green lawns, lush flower, herb and vegetable gardens a lake and white oak forest. There’s a quirky spherical swimming pool beside the orangery and a ballroom of royal proportions set in the former stables. The garden is dotted with statues given as a gift from King Louis XV and crystal chandeliers hang from the avenue of trees. With multiple courtyards and secret gardens, there are plenty of corners to escape to for a romantic tryst.
Opulent interior includes the grandest of pink dining rooms. Each bedroom is uniquely decorated and the views over the gardens, through majestic high windows, are fit for a king and queen.
Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé is perfect for the ultimate alfresco wedding, with a wide choice of romantic settings. Dine under the stars before dancing the night away in the grand ballroom beneath dazzling crystal chandeliers. Or you could cosy up inside the palatial dining room with its ornate furnishings and glorious decor after outdoor photography. Great local food (some of it grown in the château’s own gardens) and world-class wine produced in the nearby vineyards are on hand for creating the gourmet wedding banquet of your dreams.
Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé opens in June 2019, and room rates will be from €1,000 a night including breakfast. There are several options for wedding parties, depending on the size of your group. You can hire part of the hotel or go for broke and book the entire hotel (17 bedrooms and suites plus two in an adjoining building). With either option, this gives you use of grounds. If you book the entire hotel, you will also have access to its grand reception spaces.
Hotel Chateau du Grand-Luce is less than an hour’s drive from Tours Airport. The local train station of Le Mans is some half-an-hour away, and trains to Paris take less than an hour.
Find out more
Location: Hotel Chateau du Grand-Luce, le Grand Luce, Loire Valley, France
Contact: +33 6 37 07 15 28
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