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No one could resist the charms of this mill, the cascading waters that surround it and the tranquil reservoir that they flow into; a reservoir whose depths you can gaze into, admiring the reflections of the hundred-year-old trees that shelter it. Here, you can live out your dreams of lunches and naps on the grass, chasing butterflies by the pond, Sundays in the countryside and long hazy days in the region of Touraine that is bursting with water and wine. The Moulin du Fief Gentil certainly lives up to its name. Charming and simple, this property is the perfect prelude to discovering the famous Chateaux of Chenonceau just twelve kilometres away in Amboise.
Great lovers of the heritage and light in the Garden of France, we had always hoped to come back and live in the Val de Loire, where we were born, after spending several years living in Paris for work.
This former mill has been transformed little by little. A residential building, followed by a stable and barn, were added to the mill itself and the mechanical room that was adjoined to the wheel. Despite the mix of buildings in various shapes and sizes, the property has maintained a certain harmony that distinguishes it from other mills that are often built vertically. The mill itself was built using the same stone that the surrounding castles and beautifully constructed homes are made from. As for the other buildings, they were constructed with rubble and stone plaster.
A document on the history of Bléré indicates that the mill came under the fiefdom of Gentil in the 13th century. It was sold to Pierre de Montplacé (the abbot of Saint-Julien) in the 14th century and was then attached to the châtellenie of Chenonceau in the 16th century. It can be found on the maps of Cassini and on the atlas of Trudaine (18th century). Originally, it was only the mechanical room that was built in stone, the mill was initially made of wood but was rebuilt in stone after a fire, which is very rare for and industrial building in this region. It seems that the paddlewheel that initially operated the mill was later modified when the banks of the reservoir were raised in order to increase the power of the mill with the bucketwheel that was installed. All that remains of the mill today are the reservoir and the waterfall, unfortunately the last vestiges of the wheel disappeared in 2008 and the mechanism was dismantled over the course of the 20th century.
The trees that surround this property (of over two acres) provide some privacy from the neighbouring houses, creating a sense of seclusion without feeling isolated. The former mechanical room has now been converted into a communal living area for our guests to use when they are not relaxing in their spacious rooms. There are lots of attractions nearby and they are all close to one another which allows our guests take their time and make the most of the area. Guests often enjoy relaxing by the reservoir or in the dining room that overlooks the waterfall with its ever-changing reflections. We offer helpful advice on the area and the local gastronomy as well as smalls dishes that we prepare for our guests on request.
The region is, of course, known for its famous castles but there are plenty of other gems to be discovered such as the Chateau Gaillard in Amboise which recently opened to visitors, the rose covered village of Chédigny, the troglodytic site of the Magnanerie and the underground gallery of Troglo Degusto – a whole host of hidden treasures. The Association Millière Raboton offer a lovely way to discover the Loire with traditional boat rides on the river, or you can pass under the arches of the castle of Chenonceau with Bélandre on the Cher. We would also suggest some of the nice restaurants in the area such the Cheval Blanc that is just a ten-minute walk away in Bléré or the Cheval Rouge with its pretty summer garden in Chisseaux. On the way back, it’s lovely to take a stroll along the green banks of the Cher.
90 € - 140 € per night
The guest building, with an independent entrance, has four bedrooms – three of which are located on the ground floor with two that have direct access to the garden, the fourth bedroom is located on the first floor. All four bedrooms have their own ensuite bathroom with a shower and toilet. The suite, with separate access to the main building which is also our home, includes a bedroom, a living room, a bathroom with a bath and a separate toilet. A communal living area has been set up in what used to be the mechanical room with a table, sofas, chairs, a fridge, a microwave, a kettle and an espresso machine for guests to make drinks and snacks (coffee, tea and cupcakes are offered free of charge).