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- Karen Brown's Recommendation:
Bléré is a delightful little town that is perfectly located for exploring the châteaux of the Loire Valley and quiet enough that it is not mobbed by tourists. Facing the town’s pedestrian center, Le Cheval Blanc has a contemporary façade that disguises the fact that this is a very old building, once an annex for the neighboring church. After the Revolution, the building was converted to a café-bar and remained so for almost two centuries. When purchased several years ago and the building was renovated and the café was converted into a most attractive restaurant. For this simple country hotel, the restaurant is surprisingly elegant and the gourmet offering of the menu outstanding. An inner courtyard latticed with vines and set with white outdoor tables is a delightful spot for breakfast. Upstairs, the bedrooms are very simply decorated, and all but one are small with either a tiny shower or bathroom. They are all spotlessly clean and provide very good value for money.