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With the surrounding valleys and vineyards, the slender silhouettes of cypresses lining the pool, the delicately carved stone of the loggia and the soft ambient light, one could almost mistake this manor for the home of a Tuscan noble. Yet here it stands in the heart of Anjou, with the Loire river flowing nearby. It is true that, under the influence of the Kings of France, the Italian Renaissance became the Loire Valley's faithful companion. La Groye's intimate proportions and skillfully structured gardens with lush woody plants are an elegant expression of the renaissance. Inside, touches of modernity can be spotted amongst the predominantly original materials - they serve as proof that such a place can journey through the ages without losing its soul.
Having lived in the Loire Valley for nearly fifteen years, we fell head over heals for this estate in 2016. The Manoir de la Groye is classified as a historical monument. The architecture and terraced gardens were inspired by the Italian Renaissance. The property is located in the historic, wine-making heart of Anjou, on the hillside facing the Loire Valley which is classified as a World Heritage site.
At present, the manor is composed of two wings set at right angles. The main wing, stair tower and loggia formed the original building, whilst the secondary wing by the outbuilding was added in the 1940s. The loggia - with elegant ribbed vaults, an imperial roof, a winding staircase and sculpted doors - is undoubtedly the most remarkable architectural element of the ensemble. The final touch of elegance comes from the carefully decorated skylights and the watchtower overlooking the valley. The outbuilding (a former dairy and barn from the 17th century) is characterized by its chapeau de gendarme roof - it is still in perfect condition thanks to some ambitious restoration work in the 1960s. Initially built against the slope of Mount Rude to the south, the outbuilding was enriched with a facade at the same time by pushing the hill back by a few metres. The hilly landscape scattered with vineyards and the terraced gardens planted with Florentine cypress trees reinforce the Tuscan spirit of the property.
The main house was built between 1585 and 1595 for a gentleman named Charles Rogeron. The architecture perfectly embodies the late Italian Renaissance. The manor and gardens fell into disrepair until the 1940s, they were then carefully restored over the following decades and classified as a historic monument in 1977.
As an architect and a landscape designer, we have carefully renovated the interior architecture and gardens to create a haven of peace with a subtle balance of the old and the new. The large swimming pool and Mediterranean garden are ideal for relaxing and swimming, whilst the other five hectares of the estate offer beautiful botanical walks. The large red lounge and library welcome guests to rest or read. They can also help themselves to bikes to explore the Loire in complete freedom. The village square, restaurants and bakery are all within walking distance. Our 4 star guest house and cottages are an ideal base for discovering this preserved region with a mix of nature, culture, chateaus and vineyards.
The Manoir de la Groye is the ideal starting point for discovering Anjou on foot and by bike, car or boat. Guests can enjoy a combination of leisure, walks, cultural visits and gastronomy. They could start with Le Thoureil, a port village on the banks of the Loire, before visiting the picturesque troglodyte village of Rochemenier - both are just a few minutes away. The chateau of Brissac - the highest private chateau in France - is a must-see for history lovers, as well as a detour through the historic center of Angers to visit the chateau and the impressive tapestry of the Apocalypse which is a masterpiece of medieval art and one of a kind. The small tourist road at the foot of the estate joins the "Loire by bike" route which passes through pretty villages in the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Natural Park. The Angers golf course is just next to the estate.
The manor (which is characteristic of late Renaissance at the end of the 16th century) the 17th century outbuilding with a Mansard roof, the courtyard that connects them and the French garden terrace overlooking the Loire Valley are the main features of the decor. The two lounges have a real 17th century feel with unique decorations. On-site accommodation for up to 12 people is possible, and nearby accommodation (within walking distance or a short car ride) can also be arranged.