Hotel Le Bussy, Montsoreau – Restaurant Review

Hotel le Bussy, Montsoreau

Since we moved to the region in 2001 one of the things that we have noticed is that it is actually quite difficult to eat anywhere with really great views of the Loire.  There are some restaurants of varying standards but they are few and far between.  However, one that we have found only recently, (don’t know why because it’s not far away), is the Hotel Le Bussay in Montsoreau, just the other side of Saumur.

Montsoreau is one of the “Plus Beau Villages de France” and worth a visit just for that.  It has a famous Chateau and a stroll on the “coteaux” the narrow, winding streets on the hillside opposite the chateau, is well worth the time and effort.  The hotel is just past the Chateau, heading East towards Candes-Saint-Martin on the higher road which passes in front of the Chateau although there is a track up to the restaurant which goes from the road alongside the Loire.  It starts just past the Chateau again heading East.

The Hotel is one side of the higher road and the restaurant on the other, overlooking both the river and the Chateau and the views are truly stunning. We have only eaten there at lunchtime because we called in on the last day before it closed for the winter so we can’t say what the full evening dinner is like.  Lunch was the typical three course formula which is so common in these parts.  For around 12€ it was extremely good value, simple local produce mostly cooked on a giant BBQ outside the kitchen.  As in any eating establishment around here it provided good, well made wine from local producers.  So, well prepared and tasty, to be fair, not exactly a gastronomic masterpiece but, then again, what would you expect for that price.   Certainly when the restaurant re-opens at the start of the season, we will be eating off the menu and, if it is as good as the ambiance, I’m sure that we won’t be disappointed.

Brian and Sheila

Restaurant Reviews

Loire Holiday gites and Wine Tours



Le Puy Notre Dame centre

Le Puy Notre Dame Centre


This is a story about previous American guests, Lea Duffy and Andy Kosusko from Oregan, who enjoyed staying in our “Le Sauvignon” gite at Le Clos des Guyons in Le Puy Notre Dame, a wine producing village with its own appellation Saumur Puy Notre Dame, in the Saumurois, along with their Belgium friend Aurore.

Here is the picture of us altogether in the Loire sunshine sharing a few glasses of Saumur Rouge, along with our other regular gite guests, Geoffrey and Doreen, very sadly Doreen has since passed away since the photograph was taken but Geoffrey still returns and we are looking forward to seeing him in July this year for the fabulous Bastille celebrations!

Lea and Andy at Le Clos des Guyons

Lea and Andy at Le Clos des Guyons

We did not know of Lea and Andy’s future plans after leaving France and so it came as quite a surprise when they told us about their adventures. This is a testimony from them, telling us they have built their own dream hostelry back in  Oregon, USA, using the charming wine village of Le Puy for its name!

Their hostelry is so called  “Le Puy – A Wine Valley Inn”  built on a hill-top with 8-bedrooms, in the Willamette Valley.

The Story from Lea and Andy:-

“So many people ask us why the name Le Puy?  I think most people look at it and think … why would you name your inn that?  Well, thank goodness there is a good story behind it.  First of all to put to rest the mystery of how to pronounce it… think “pwee”.  Le Puy.  Easy! 

We toured the Loire Valley in France with our home base in Le Puy Notre Dame, a quaint French countryside village. 

The land surrounding us was full of vineyards and where the soil was deemed unsuitable for grapes, there were rolling fields of sunflowers.  Inspired by the beauty of the Loire region and the simple sweetness of the name Le Puy, we looked further into the origin and meaning.  Basically, it is old French for “isolated hill” or “volcanic hill”.  There are several Le Puys throughout France.  They are most often ancient worship sites which contained a dolmen (sacred stone) and were usually replaced by Christian churches.  Le Puy Notre Dame contains bones of Mary or a saint, I think. (Actually for the record, the Collegiale holds a relic of the belt of  the Virgin Mary which was brought back from Palestine by William IX, Duke of Aquitaine, from the Crusades.  Le Puy Notre Dame is hence on the traditional pilgrim route through to St Jacques de Compostelle and on many village houses you can see the symbol of the pilgrim which is the scallop shell embedded above the door).

Our own property, although located in wine country, is not really suitable for grapes, so that is why we infused the sunflower theme into our name.  We sit on a hillside with spectacular views of the Chehalem Ridge and peeks at the Coastal range, Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson.  We feel the mix of nature, spirituality and deep rooted history behind the name, fits into our dream for creating a holistic, sustainable Inn.  Thus, “Le Puy, our Wine Valley Inn” was born”.

And voila!  ……… Lea and Andy have recently added two new builds to their Inn,  the Saumur Room, named for the city closest to the village of Le Puy Notre Dame, which they use as a wedding venue and the Loire Room used for wine tastings, meetings and parties.

We exchange Christmas cards reminding us of  happy memories at Le Clos des Guyons and guess we will be friends for life now with our shared Le Puy connections!

One day they hope to return to France to visit their namesake village and you never know, perhaps we may pay a visit to Le Puy – A Wine Valley Inn that would be nice!  

Anyway, it’s complimentary they took inspiration from the spirit and life of the village of  Le Puy Notre Dame (but that’s not hard to do!) and the Loire Valley region of France, all the way to Oregon for their dream Inn!

A wonderful story.

Sheila and Brian

Take a look at our NEW website 

We have two fully renovated and charming, well equipped, self-catering holiday gites to rent on the edge of the village within walking distance of the Collegiale, Boulangerie, Office of Tourism, , Wineries, Café and two Restaurants:- “Le Bouchon Ponot” and “Le Puys a Vin” plus the Mushroom Caves St Maur (albeit 2 kms).


Two generations of wine makers

Happy New Year from ourselves with Robert and Jeanette Guyon and Franck Bimont. The old and the new winemakers at the Domaine des Guyons in Le Puy Notre Dame.

A Happy New Year  to you all from Le Clos des Guyons!

It’s true that the 31 December in France marks the last day of the year but it also marks the beginning of a very long night of eating and drinking!  The New Year’s Eve called ‘Saint Sylvester’ celebrations are between friends as Christmas was for the family.  And so last night there was another food orgy in local restaurants and village salle de fetes, with  all the decadent food ‘encore‘ of foie gras, oysters and many bottles of Saumur wines including Crémants de Loire!  Traditionally Saint Sylvester finishes around dawn with Onion Soup, that is if you have the stamina to keep going that long, usually in Le Puy that will be  5.00 or 6.00 am!  And, on New Years Day, it’s not over in Saumur and Angers as many restaurants continue working with a specially prepared ‘Menu du Fete‘!.  Another guarantuan meal if you are up for it.

This period is  followed by Epiphany and the tradition of sharing the ‘Galette des Rois’ – or known also as the ‘Twelfth Night Cake’ or ‘King Cake’ celebrating the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem. This cake is in all French Boulangeries and is made of puff pastry and has a small porcelain hand painted charm called the féve hidden inside.  The cake is usually filled with frangipane (a cream made from sweet almonds, butter, eggs and sugar) but it can be fruit or chocolate and is shaped as a crown  with a cardboard gold paper crown placed on the top.  Whoever the lucky person is to find the little féve in their slice of cake is then named King or Queen of the New Year and wears the gold paper crown – it is then that persons turn to buy a cake and repeat the occasion.  January is a very sociable time and endless aperitifs are going to be held with the Galette des Rois accompanied by glasses of Coteaux du Saumur and delicious bubbly from Saumur.  Ah a wonderful tradition!  The sparkling wine houses in Saumur are many and include the prestigious Gratien and Meyer located high above in the cliff rocks on the route to Montsorea and Ackerman, Langlois Chateau, Bouvet Ladubay to name but a few in Saint Hilaire Saint Florent, just outside the centre of Saumur,  so you see we are really spoilt for choice and all these alongside Le Puy’s fantastic fizzy sparklers as well!!  All are well worth a visit when here in the region!

Brian, Claire and Liz doing the first wine tasting of 2014

Brian, Liz and Claire doing the first wine tasting of 2014 in the first week of January.

We had our first winery visit in 2014 this week! Here is a picture of our guests at Le Clos des Guyons, Claire and Liz from the UK, enjoying an afternoon with Brian on a wine tour and tasting in the cosy and chic atmosphere of the tasting room at the Domaine de la Paleine! As ever, many wines were sampled from their diverse and superb range.

Hoping you have enjoyed some memorable wines over the festive period and here’s to a Very Happy and Healthy New Year to everyone!

We are looking forward to welcoming both old and new guests to our home in 2014 and sharing some interesting Loire wines together.

For now bon apetit!

Sheila and Brian

If you are thinking about a holiday in the Loire Valley in France this year, relaxing and enjoying some lovely Loire wines, then visit our new website for more details of our wine tours (with or without accommodation) and charming self catering holiday gites:- “Le Sauvignon”(4-6 persons)/“Le Chenin” (2-3 persons), at Le Clos des Guyons, a former Wine Domaine, in the medieval village of Le Puy Notre Dame.