The Experience

Chateau de la Barre

ELEGANCE, HERITAGE, REFINEMENT & EXCLUSIVITY characterize this private CHATEAU of the Loire Valley, which has been in the family of the Comte & Comtesse de Vanssay, 20th generation, for more than 600 years! Virtuoso guests are personally welcomed by the owners themselves : thus at Chateau de La Barre, they truly experience a private view of France and the Loire Valley, with all the gracious hospitality of French aristocracy. The precious collection of antiques and paintings and the vibrant designer fabrics have been reviewed by many international art&design publications.

Comtesse Marnie de Vanssay will work closely with you and your clients in organising not only their stay at the family Château, but help coordinate your travel plans in France, transfers, special insider tips etc.

Exclusive rental of the entire château for small groups (8 to 15 guests) can also be arranged, around themes such as Gardens, Castles, Wines, Race cars, etc or also a wedding, anniversary and other family celebrations. For Virtuoso groups of guests, Marnie de Vanssay can request that owners of neighboring private estates of the Loire, normally unopen to the public, host Chateau de La Barre guests for visits and luncheons or cocktails.

Located in the midst of its own 100 acre park and garden, midway between Chartres Cathedral and Chenonceau Castle, Chateau de La Barre is a mixture of beauty, refinement, understated luxury and authenticity. The quality and the warmth of the welcome extended to guests by the the Comte and Comtesse de Vanssay (she is Anglo-American, he is the twentieth generation to live in his family chateau) are exceptional.

Château de La Barre is also a perfect base from which to discover the untouched nature of the small Loire Valley countryside and the world famous historic sites in the Loire Valley, a UNESCO heritage site. Guy and Marnie de Vanssay will be pleased to assist Virtuoso guests with all their timetables, rental car bookings, train and airport transfers, maps, etc.

The bedrooms, all ensuite, combine elegance and comfort. Each bedroom has its own decor, with designer fabrics, XVIIIth century antiques, embroidered linens and bathrobes, and complimentary flowers and port wine for Virtuoso guests. All the rooms offer beautiful views either over the garden and park, or else onto the family chapel and XVIth century fortifications.

The reception rooms, adorned with portraits of family ancestors and majestic fireplaces, offer one of the largest private collections of XVIIIth furniture on view in a private château. The prestigious dining room, a veritable chef d’oeuvre of the 18th century, complete with its monumental buffet, welcomes guests for candlelit dinners.


Between Chartres and Tours, at the entrance to the Loire Valley

  • 3 km North of Saint-Calais off the D1 towards La Ferté-Bernard
  • 30 km N.W. of Vendôme
  • 43 km from the renowned Le Mans 24 hours circuit and beautifully restored old city
  • Fast Train (TGV) from Paris to Vendôme (43 minutes)
  • Tours is the nearest airport with direct flights from London Stansted (Ryanair)
  • Paris 170 km – Tours 68 km – Chartres 100 km – Angers 140 km – Orléans 100 km


5 Double Rooms, 2 Single Rooms, 1 Twin Bedroom:

Chambre Marinde Vanssay – The memorable Chambre Marin offers a king size canopy bed, an immense oak wardrobe and an important XVIIth century Florentine mirror towering over a magnificent XVIIIth century French Régency commode. Chambre Marins’ three windows overlook the garden and park. The en-suite bathroom is more than ample.  Adjoining, for guests needing a suite, and sharing the bath, is the elegant Chambre Louis XV, with a double bed and exquisite marquetterie signed furniture dating back to 1750.

Chambre aux Fleurs – In the oldest part of the château (14th century) this lovely queen size room is now brightened by stripes and an exquisite floral patterned fabric contrasting the antique Georgian furniture.  The adjoining stern watch walk, with its deep arrow slots, has been transformed into an ensuite Italian marble bathroom replete with Jacuzzi.  Adjoining, for guests needing a suite, is a small single room, the Chambre Directoire, with walls livened by scarlet Napoleonic fabrics and a view onto the family chapel overlooking the defensive walls.

Chambre Esprit de Jouy Verte – Here our guests enjoy the romantic art of French life of bygone times, as they overlook the garden and park from a small balcony. The comfortable king size four poster bed, XVIIIth antiques, oil paintings and ‘toile de Jouy’ fabric covering the walls offer complete elegance. The ensuite bathroom overlooks the family chapel.

Next to this room, The Chambre Esprit de Jouy Bleue, a large single room with an authentic Louis XVI double bed, blue toile de Jouy fabric on the walls, and an ensuite shower.

Chambre Jaune – With a view over the garden and the meadow beyond, this room with its’ boiseries and walls covered in mellow golden yellow Esprit de Jouy fabric, splendid Louis XV antiques and a queen size bed inside an alcove dominated by a huge XVIIth century Flemish painting is often a favorite. Ensuite bath.

Chambre Bleue – This charming room has a queen size bed (a king size as of July 1st), a small balcony overlooking the garden and park, turquoise blue boiseries with oil paintings, Louis XVIth furniture and an en-suite shower.

Chambre aux Oiseaux: – A twin bedroom with beautiful fabric depicting pheasants inside the salmon coloured boiseries, this room has a small balcony overlooking the garden and park, and en-suite shower facilities.

Dining Experiences:

Dinner – Dine as if you were in the XVIIIth century, in the company of Comte & Comtesse de Vanssay and our other guests, enjoying the family silver, crystal, precious china and embroidered linen. With the wines of the Loire, carefully selected and presented by your host, guests discover one of the many jewels of our region. Dinner begins at 8pm with a drink in the salon rose or on the terrace, then anentrée, a main course, salad and a selection of cheeses, and finally dessert, with two different wines being served. Then adjourn to the drawing room for coffee, tea or herbal tea and brandy. The dress is casual chic. Dinners are served twice a week, upon prior reservation.

Breakfast – Using the freshest products of the country, breakfast is made up of rare teas and espresso coffee, or hot chocolate upon request, fruit juice, home made jams, fresh eggs from the farm, scrambled or sunny side up upon request, different breads and croissants from the baker, cereals, yogurts, and fresh fruit, etc…served daily from 9h30 to 10h30, unless specifically requested otherwise.

Supper – An informal buffet supper consisiting of local charcuterie, various salads, a selection of cheeses, a fruit tart or chocolate cake, with wine and followed by coffee, can be layed out either on the terrace, in the small dining room with its collection of impressionist paintings or in the XIVth century billiard room.

Picnic – Hop on one of our bicycles or take a stroll into the garden with a wicker basket full of French treasures. In your picnic hamper discover local charcuterie, hard boiled eggs from the farm, fruit, cheese and baguette.

Activities on site:

In the billiard room by the XIVth century monumental fireplace, guests may enjoy a game of billiards with a warming glass of cognac, or a programme of their interest on the satellite wide screen TV.

On the second floor, a library and an internet room, with a fast speed connection and a computer, is available exclusively for Virtuoso guests’ use, complimentary.

The large terrace overlooking the garden is the ideal spot for a game of croquet, and on sunny afternoons, tea and coffee are served under the centennial elm trees.

Four themed gardens surround a fountain and a rose garden inviting you to linger in a romantic setting to complement your visits to the Loir and Loire valley gardens of Sasnières, Le Petit Bordeaux, Valmer, la Possonnière and of course, Villandry.

Other activities (upon prior reservation) include:

     .  Possible visits of private châteaux of the region, normally unopen to the public, with a hosted reception (lunch or tea) by the owners

  • Total immersion French language and culture weeks in the winter months
  • Special vintage wine and cheese tasting suppers at the château
  • Shiatsu and reflexology massages in your own room in the château
  • The complimentary use of cycles for Virtuoso guests
  • Possible wedding venue for small, chic weddings up to 60 guests, 3 day exclusive rental

Activities nearby:

We spend time advising each Virtuoso guest according to his/her individual interests and needs. Complimentary maps and guidebooks are provided, all reservations and chauffeur service arrangements all handled free of cost by us for Virtuoso guests.

  • 3 beautiful golf courses
  • Horseback riding
  • Hot air ballooning over the Loire
  • Unique Historic sightseeing: the famed Loire Valley castles and the Loire Valley, a UNESCO heritage site and cradle to the French kings, the many picturesque and untouched villages of the little Loir valley, with their romanesque XIIth century churches and unique frescoes, the magnificiently restored old city of Le Mans, home of the Plantagenet kings and stageset to numerous films.
  • Special Renaissance lunches in Leonardo da Vincis home “Le Clos Lucé”
  • Visits of recommended vineyards and wineries of the Loir region with special vintage wine and cheese tastings in a troglodyte cave
  • Driving a race car on the Maison Blanche track in Le Mans
  • Visits of wineries of the Loire
  • And of course, many gourmet restaurants and local country bistros to discover!
At Château de la Barre, you will experience true aristocratic life, being personally welcomed by Comte and Comtesse de Vanssay, 20th generation unbroken lineage since 1404. The château is replete with precious antiques and family portraits, but doesn’t compromise on modern comforts in the eight elegant en suite bedrooms, each unique. Airport transfers can be arranged, as well as full assistance for discovering the famous Loire Valley and also the lesser-known parts of western France, with a myriad of insider tips from your hosts.Twice a week, a Grand Siècle Dinner is hosted in the 17th-century dining room, with all the family silver and crystal.
In the Know
Privatize the entire château for a wedding or a small group. Exclusive visits can be arranged at neighboring châteaus normally closed to the public.Distance from Paris Airport (CDG): 120 minutes Guests Receive:

  • For 2014 & 2015
  • VIP welcome by owners, Count and Countess de Vanssay
    • followed by tea and coffee and drinks taken with our guests, as we would with friends, time during which we also share with them lots of hidden gems and tips for their sightseeing.
  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests
    • served in the restaurant
  • Fresh flowers from the fragrant chateau garden
  • Daily afternoon tea
  • A voucher for wine tasting at local troglodyte winery nearby
  • A private visit of the chateau with the Count de Vanssay
  • For Stays of 2 or more nights:
    • the amenities above, plus: An elegant gift hamper of local products in their room plus the opportunity to enjoy a hosted Grand Siecle dinner in our XVIIth century dining room with family silver and crystal. (dinner available at a discounted rate)
  • For stays of 3 nights or more:
    • the amenities above plus: A complementary cheese plater with a glass of wine served by the monumental XIVth century fireplace on one of the nights
  • Early check-in/late check-out
    • subject to availability
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