|Chateau du Rivau as seen from the gardens.|
There are many privately owned chateaux in the Loire. The upkeep must be astronomical in both money and time. Chateau du Rivau is one such place. The chateau and gardens have been refurbished. To pay the bills, they do several things. A delightful cafe is opened for lunch, serving good food at reasonable prices. The place was full the day we were there. They make their own apperitif spirits to add to wines, Rose du Rivau. They still breed horses, one of the ways they have always made money, since the original owners were breeders of war horses for the Kings of France. There are, of course, the paying visitors, who come for the day, like us, or for a fete which happens several times during the year. One can also have their wedding in the gardens.
|Among the many trophy heads is Rudolph!|
|Whimsical art interspersed with trophies from the hunt.|
The owners, who have a long and respectable history, while showing family heirlooms, also display their collection of modern art by artists from around the world. Several of the artists stayed at the chateau while producing their works. It ranges from small pieces, to enormous garden sculptures. This place leaves you with a smile on your face, that will return every time you remember your visit.
|Dragons abound in France.|
|One of the garden inhabitants.|
|These are the wellies one needs when it really rains.|