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“An admirable idea but I'm not sure if it quite works”
Review of Chateau du Rivau

Chateau du Rivau
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Lemere
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Castle and Fairytale Gardens Le Rivau was constructed in the 15 century by Pierre de Beauvau, Great Chamberlain of Charles the 7th. It is also renown for having been visited by Joan of Arc on her way to Orleans to get some horses. This medieval private castle is animated by more than 380 art-objects. In the royal stables, an exhibit on Francis the First last king-knight is shown. Gem among the Loire Valley, Rivau Gardens are labbled 'Remarquable Gardens'. All around the year, discover our amazing flower collections of bulbs, iris, peonies, roses, lavender, dahlias, ornemental grasses and vegetables. Rivau gardens are Conservatory of Fragrant Roses and Conservatory of Vegetables that are used in our restaurant. The castle and gardens are suitable for the whole family, adults will be interested in botanic, history and contemporary art and kids will be transported in a fairytale like environnement.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
Saint-Nom-la-Breteche, France
Level 6 Contributor
675 reviews
294 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 326 helpful votes
“An admirable idea but I'm not sure if it quite works”
Reviewed 19 April 2014 via mobile

This is a very attractive chateau nearish to Chinon in attractive countryside which has been taken on by a couple with a view to restoring it and returning it to better times but with a contemporary twist . However the gardens seemed a bit unkempt although to be fair not many flowers were out as it is still early in the season . The garden is full of modern artworks- sculptures , gnomes an old fireplace , a wooden tower with a view - all very unusual !
There is a short film in the stables about the Hundred Years War with English subtitles , a history of the chateau on boards in English too set up in the old wine press ,
The chateau itself is a strange mix - part history part modern art exhibition . Just 5 rooms which manage to cram in a multitude of the beautiful the bizarre and the totally incomprehensible
Entry is 10 euros . There is a cafe open at lunchtime which we didn't try
All in all not the best chateau or garden unless you really are interested in modern art but maybe worth a visit if you are nearby and have seen the other nearby chateaux

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank JANDDBritinParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Our favorite place in France”
Reviewed 12 September 2013 via mobile

As soon as you set foot in the courtyard, you know this place is different. Other chateaus are rigid and almost intimidating. Le Rivau is whimsical and welcoming.

They do a great job of mixing history with contemporary art. And the art in the gardens was not just purchased and dumped there... these pieces were commisioned with the place and theme in mind. We could have spent 3 hours in the gardens alone. The audio tour was easy to follow and very engaging.

Don't worry about eating beforehand, the on site restaurant had delicious (and big) salads, a cheese plate, and good local wine.

Our only knock on the place would be the signage on the roads coming from the area of Richelieu... We almost passed the turn in Courdray but pulled a James Bond style drifting turn into the correct street.

-A very satisfied 35 year old from Los Angeles

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank jonsiracusa808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CarolineTouraine, Propriétaire at Chateau du Rivau, responded to this review, 16 September 2013
Dear Jon,

Thanks a lot for your kind comment ! Castle Rivau is a fairytale castle that is why it is not as rigid as most others, you never know where history ends and legends start...

Hope you will come back to see the gardens in another season, as the ambiance of the castle changes with the beauty of the blooms.
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Faversham
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Improves each year”
Reviewed 5 September 2013

We have been here a couple of times whilst in the area. If you like gardens you will love this place. If you have children they will love this place as there is lots to do. The gardens here are a delight and its quite romatic just to strole around and admire the art and design that has gone into the place. It is now recovered from a fire that badly damaged the roof a couple of years ago and even that has been made into a tableau. Its now added a audio guide that has made the visit that much better. The lunches are good as well! So its Villandry one day and this chateau the next

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank jake272005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CarolineTouraine, Propriétaire at Chateau du Rivau, responded to this review, 16 September 2013
Dear Jake,

Thanks a lot for your positive comment and thanks a lot for coming back to Rivau ! We do try to improve every year and our audio-guide is one of our improvement. Visitors can now visit the castle and garden in different languages and even a visit dedicated to families !

Hope to see you in Rivau next year with new improvements !
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San Francisco, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Enchanted garden and museum with nobly avant-garde humor”
Reviewed 4 September 2013

Chateau du Riveau appears somewhat Disneyesque in its advertising, but it is a smashingly sophisticated garden and museum of brilliant fantasy and humor. Merci a la Mme. Beauvau (sp?) for creating such intriguing gardens, including one for both benevolent and malevolent spells for those willing to pick the herbs naked on May 1. Even in Sept. the many David Austin roses perfume and color almost every garden room. The chateau rooms are filled with both priceless works of furniture, sculpture and porcelain along with art pieces of modern artistic commentary and delightful irony. The trophy room includes magnificent musk ox and moose heads along with bespectacled ducks and stuffed toys placed among the normally somber trophy displays. Many surprises abound everywhere. This house and garden are an inspiration for the wildest flights of fancy a child or adult can possibly conjure; why should garden design be proscribed? Here the possibilities for garden design are limitless.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank washoaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CarolineTouraine, Propriétaire at Chateau du Rivau, responded to this review, 16 September 2013
Dear Washoaf,

Thanks a lot for your kind comment. The garden and castle Rivau are indeed a bit crazy ! We are glad you enjoyed our sense of humor and imagination. In spite of all this craziness, the gardens have great botanical collections and we boast a collection of more than 450 varieties of Roses.

Hope you can come back to see them in full bloom at the beginning of June.
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Dublin
Level 6 Contributor
376 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 838 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
Reviewed 2 August 2013

Sorry we wasted the journey, this place is way over-rated. There are much better places to visit, e.g. Da Vinci's Clos Lucé in Amboise is much more interesting. Rivau is also very expensive for what it is.
Give it a miss.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank pgbDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CarolineTouraine, Propriétaire at Chateau du Rivau, responded to this review, 6 August 2013
Dear Sir,

Thanks a lot for your comment. I dare say we were a bit surprised to read it as we really endeavor to give our visitors the best experience possible.
Could you please tell us what disappointed you so that we may try to improve our visit ? Most of the visitors do spend a wonderful time in le Rivau.
Hope you will enjoy the rest of your trip in the Loire.

Best Regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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