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I return every year with the same excitement to see Claude Monet's gardens, house and waterlilies. And every time, the experience is slightly different. As a green-fingered gardening enthusiast, he designed his flower garden and ponds to resemble works of art, a source of inspiration for my own garden. I always round off my trip with lunch under the chestnut trees at the old Hôtel Baudy and Impressionists' Museum, where visitors are treated to some incredible exhibitions.
An opportunity to catch your breath in the Parc du Château in the La Ferté-Vidame. Departing from the village, the road snakes its way through forest-topped hills, rolling woodland valleys, hedge-lined paths, rivers and lakes. The countryside here is untouched, the wildlife unspoilt. The Parc naturel régional du Perche, known as 'Little Tuscany', is nestled in a region that abounds with country manors, castles, gardens and abbeys, best explored on one of the many rambles to enjoy here. Set off on in a carriage drawn by the region's famous Percheron horses.
The Chocolatrium experience is pure bliss for chocolate lovers of all stripes. Expect a fascinating journey through the world of cocoa and chocolate. An educational gallery, a movie library, a hands-on workshop and a sampling session of grands crus. I seize each menu change as an opportunity to craft my chocolate creations. I worked with my pastry chef to create the Chocophyle, a 100% chocolate-based dessert and an original, fascinating experience in itself.
Soak up joys of our town and its wealth of heritage along a historical sight-seeing trail, taking in moats, canals, ramparts, wood-timbered houses, turrets, checkered flags, churches, abbeys, private mansions and the La Madeleine Tower. The Saint Nicolas abbey is home to the Maurice de Vlaminck Museum, one of the figureheads of the Fauvism movement and once a local. Add to your experience with a personalized tour led by two history buffs, in which you'll explore two churches, Saint Jean and the famous La Madeleine Tower, a stunning example of flamboyant Gothic architecture.