When most people think of the Loire Valley, they think of its world-class wines, but this verdant region also produces some wonderful foods; from rich rillettes to tangy goats cheese. As a result, a trip to this beautiful area is not complete without a local brunch. From majestic spreads overlooking the Loire to nostalgic Nutella crepes with childhood superheroes for company, here are ten great brunch spots in the Loire Valley.
Located in Saint Avertin, just outside busy Tours, this quirky set up is gaining quite a reputation—so we advise that you pre-book. Residing on the shores of Lake Rives, their brunch runs from 11 a.m. – 2.00 p.m. and features a great range of sweet treats such as lemon curd, pistachio cake, and homemade scones. However, it is the creative savory fare which we find exciting: parsnip cake, roasted tomatoes, and homemade soups. The menu is all homemade and changes daily. The place itself has a great vibe and communal books and magazines make you feel instantly welcome. On sunny days grab a table on the dappled terrace and enjoy their infamous classic hot chocolate!
Chenonceau's sweet treats | Courtesy of Château de Chenonceau
L’Orangerie is on the list not for bottomless drinks and endless platters, but for its spectacular setting. Open daily from mid-March to mid-November this large comfortable dining room sits in front of the chateau’s Green Garden, designed by Bernard Palissy.
They serve breakfast from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. and for €12 you get a hot drink, three pastries, and a juice. Alternatively, for something a little more decadent, order from the a la carte menu, which has a delicious salmon.
This indulgent brunch takes place on the third Sunday of each month, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Each event has a different guest chef, ensuring an exciting and fresh spread every time.
Expect the basics; eggs, salads, desserts, and tasty pastries. Alongside the standard French brunch fare you will find caviar and asparagus from Sologne, and fresh oysters and an intriguing selection of sauces and condiments, like cranberry vinegar cream.
The hotel breakfast room overlooks the Loire and in summer their terrace is the perfect place to perch.
This trendy modern restaurant is, unsurprisingly, accessed by a lift. It has magnificent views of the Loire and a large terrace dotted with chic white parasols overlooking the gardens and attracting the morning sun.
Their popular brunch is refreshingly seasonal and takes place every Sunday 12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. They have an impressive egg selection with everything from a chorizo omelet to scrambled eggs with salmon or bacon. All non-alcoholic drinks are included too.
Translating as “Mummy’s Boys,” this quirky haunt is perfect for nostalgic comfort food in a fun setting. Standing on an old Roman road in Orléans’ old town center, close to the cathedral of Sainte Croix d’Orléans, Les Fils à Maman offers a little taste of childhood. Lurking around the wooden bar you will spy Super Mario figures, Superman comic books, and even the odd Rubik’s cube. Its menu is scattered with the likes of Babybel croquettes and Kinder Egg tiramisu. Every Tuesday evening a local mum even comes and cooks up her child’s favorite dinner. On Sundays, they run a brunch session from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. with Nutella galore, naturally.
Let’s keep this short and sweet, just like the shop itself; Pâtisserie Bigot has been creating exquisite chocolates, decadent cakes, and pastries for over a century and a stay in Amboise is not complete without an indulgent sugar-fest at this popular patisserie. Founded by Madame Bigot’s grandfather back in 1913, this institution is at once a pâtisserie, chocolaterie, and tea room. The cakes are like pieces of art. Try ordering one of their infamous tarte tatin and not pasting it all over social media—impossible!
Situated by famous Clos Luce, Le Maître d’Art looks to the seasons when it comes to inspiration for their infamous cakes. The popular tea room and restaurant uses fresh local ingredients in all of their dishes. They are open all day and offer a wonderful range of sweet treats; from indulgent cheesecake and gateaux to delicate fruit tarts. At lunch, they serve delicious homemade quiche and local organic wine.
Their brunch is €18 and includes a hot drink, a fruit juice, organic yogurt, pancakes and toast with jam, ham, an egg, and a green salad.
Opening times vary according to the month so do check their website.
There are lots of fantastic options for brunch in the coastal city of Nantes, but this has to be one of the most glamorous. Decorated in elaborate Art Nouveau style, La Cigale dates back to 1895 and offers a flamboyant setting for a brunch to remember. “Le Brunch Complet” includes scrambled eggs with juicy smoked salmon, ash goat’s cheese and salad, local cheese with seasonal fruits, homemade pastries, and toast. Still hungry? Don’t worry, the elaborate spread finishes up with a crème caramel.
Nantes’ L’Atelier des Délices has a great terrace located on a pedestrianized street, so your cafe au lait won’t have to compete with the city traffic. Their Atelier Brunch costs €22 and as well as the usual toast and pastries it features everything from smoked salmon salad and roast pork to egg cocotte with bacon and freshly flipped pancakes. In the afternoon the tea room offers delicious sweet treats with a twist, such as crème brûlée with macadamia nut and tiramisu with caramelized apples in salted butter.
The Radisson Blu hotel in Nates |Courtesy of Radisson Blu, Nantes
Once Nantes’ courtroom, this striking building, complete with statues and grand columns, is now a Radisson Blu Hotel and is home to L’Assise restaurant, which offers an expansive daily breakfast buffet with over 70 items for just €19. Expect local cheeses, various cold cuts, plenty of fresh juices and infusions, and of course a cracking coffee.
For something a bit different book their arty brunch, which takes place one Sunday a month. Kicking off at noon, an artist will talk you through their work as you dine!