Susan Worner Tours

Prieure d’Orson

Loire & Le Berry - Prieure d'Orsan 1 Patrice Taravella is a man of many talents; a sort-after architect specialising in restoration projects who has made his name in garden design.  A wonderful host at the Prieuré d’Orsan, a Relais & Chateau Hotel with just six luxury rooms, and a talented chef, one of his great passions.

Prieuré d’Orsan is to be found in the centre of France in Le Berry, south of the Loire region.

La France Profonde with rolling hills in a rich agricultural region and not densely populated.  Patrice developed the gardens around the Prieuré after structural renovations of the buildings.  Based on a medieval garden, he was helped with the structure and plantings by his talented head gardener, Gilles.  The varieties of fruit and vegetables are fascinating.  Arranged in a decorative potager style, the garden is a delight and mouth-watering.  The produce is used for the restaurant and the well-stocked garden shop.

Loire & Le Berry - Potager Garden Villandry

A few years ago guests from South Africa stayed in the hotel while on a visit to Europe for ideas on  designs for their own garden.  The Orsan garden appealed greatly to them.  Patrice has now designed their fabulous potager-style garden on the Babylonstoren Wine estate near Stellenbosch in the Western Cape which we visit on our South African garden tour in November.

Our tour to the Loire and Le Berry for decorative potager gardens starts at Prieure d’Orsan.  We discover not just the garden and its produce but experience time in the kitchen finding out about simple but delicious dishes from the garden’s produce.  We visit a local winemaker, a specialist goat farmer whose products are in demand and sent daily to Rungis, the Paris wholesale food market.  Last but not least an artisanal baker where we enjoy a picnic of locally sourced delicacies with bread just out of his wood-burning oven – with a glass of wine.

Loire & Le Berry - Prieure d'Orsan 2

We move on to visit wonderful potager gardens in the Loire region of Touraine.  A delight to the eye, these gardens give such a wealth of ideas for one’s own garden and kitchen.

There are but few places on this tour.  To find out more please look at our tour page or call us 01423 326 300.   View an excellent article on the Prieure d’Orsan garden in the February 2014 edition of Gardens Illustrated.