Wining, Dining and Sleeping in the Loire

ORLÉANAIS


In and around Loiret
Whilst Orléans is flush with tourists and enjoys a position as a conference venue, there are very few individual hotels to choose from, and little that I can recommend, which is a shame given it’s an attractive town with plenty of local attractions. Unless you need accommodation centrally, my recommendation is to stay in Beaugency some 30 kilometres downstream.

Beaugency  

Hotel-Restaurant – Hostellerie de l’Ecu de Bretagne
Place Martroi
Beaugency
T: + 33 2 38 44 67 60
F: + 33 2 38 44 90 19
Ecu-de-bretagne@wanadoo.fr
This pretty half-timbered coach house dates back to 1607 and can be found in the centre of the town. I haven’t stayed here, but given the general upkeep of the hotel, I would suggest that it is a worthy of a stopover. The fairly formal restaurant offers classic regional cuisine. They also have a very good wine list, with plenty of options from the Loire , although they are not great supporters of the two local Orléans appellations, with only one grower represented. Recommended and offers relatively good value.
(Last dined 02/09)  


Hostellerie de l’Ecu de Bretagne

 
Hotel – Grand Hôtel de l’Abbaye
2 Quai de l’Abbaye
Beaugency
T: + 33 2 38 45 10 10
F: + 33 2 38 44 98 14
labbaye@wanadoo.fr
www.grandhoteldelabbaye.com
If your desire is to sleep in an historic monument, this is the place to stay. The abbey was established between the 11th and 17th Centuries and the rooms are old dormitories for the monks. The hotel was created in 1930, with the connecting doors to the abbey being bricked up in 1945. The rooms are large with comfy beds, although the bathrooms are nothing more than functional. It sits right on the banks of the Loire next to Beaugency’s ancient low bridge. Best described as different, it makes a novel and suitable overnight stop. Breakfast is served on a terrace overlooking the river in summer, and whilst there is no restaurant, there are plenty of inexpensive dining options just a few moments walk away in the centre of town. (Last stayed: 02/09)  


Grand Hôtel de l’Abbaye


Restaurant – Le P’tit Bateau
54 Rue Pont
T: + 33 2 38 44 56 38
F: + 33 2 38 46 44 37
lepetitbateau@wanadoo.fr
The restaurant is to be found alongside an old mill race that runs through the centre of the town, disappearing from time to time under the road and buildings. Inside there are two dining rooms, one with lovely old beams that opens onto an enclosed courtyard. The food is here is both ample and traditional, if a little outdated. It is run by an elderly couple; he’s in the kitchen in his chef’s torque whilst she controls front of house. The cooking here is competent, but nothing more. The wine list is basic with little of real interest and disappointingly, no local wines featured. If your in the town for just one night, l’Ecu de Bretagne (above) would be a much better option.
(Last dined: 02/09)

Olivet 
Olivet is a suburb of Orléans, on the south bank of the Loire. 

Restaurant – La Laurendière
68 Avenue du Loiret
T: + 33 2 38
51 06 78
F: + 33 2 38
56 36 20
www.lalaurendiere.new.fr
I haven't eaten here, but it comes recommended. The restaurant was opened in 1993 by Nadège Bouton. The wine list has over 1,000 references, including 300 wines from the Loire. The menu offers three options, the most expensive being around 50 Euros. The cuisine is French traditional. Closed Monday and Tuesday night and all day Wednesday, plus most of July and the last two weeks of February.  

 

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