The flow of readers reports on La Tonnellerie, a fine 19thC wine merchant's house in Tavers, has dried to a trickle (perhaps because the cheapest rooms are no longer so cheap) but its attractions seem to us to remain undiminished.
The hotel, in the small village of Tavers, close to the Loire and not far from Beaugency, is set around a central courtyard-garden which is at the heart of its appeal. There are shady chestnut trees and a pretty little swimming pool; tables for summer meals stand on the lawn and further away from the house on terrace areas.
The country atmosphere extends indoors to the two dining rooms, both looking on to the garden; one in winter garden style, the other handsomely rustic, with a tiled floor and mellow woodwork. The cooking is nouvelle in style but recognizes the traditions of the region, and is above average in its execution.
Recently the hotel has been taken over by seasoned hoteliers Hélène and François Thévard, who were the owners of Auberge de Launay for ten years. They have already made some changes to La Tonnellerie - now serving food in the evenings - and have a two-year renovation plan for all the bedrooms and bathrooms. Reports welcome.