When I get to Tours, I always like to take my mother out for lunch in a place that will obviously please her, but also will be interesting. Somebody suggested the Chateau de L’Aubriere in a small village called La Membrolle. It rang a bell to me – it reminded me of trips I took with my grandfather in a cargo motorcycle (triporteur) on our way to the chateau of Madame Cousin. The chatelaine of le chateau de l’Aubriere. I called them up wanting to make reservations for lunch because it is more suitable for my mother, who is 94 years old. Unfortunately they only serve dinner and only to their guests since it has become a fancy hotel. I told the new chatelaine my story about my grandfather being a cabinet maker and antique dealer and selling and restoring beautiful pieces for the original owner of the chateau. The new owner replied, “In that case Madame, it would be an honor to have you and your mother for dinner.” My mother was very moved when I told her the story and so we went by taxi with Madame Rose while she pushed my mother.
On a beautiful evening, we arrived in the park, walked around while I pushed my mother in the wheelchair. The waiters came and lifted up my mother to take her up the stairs leading to the terrace where we had aperitifs. We were led to the main dining room where we were the only guests. Not only did she make an exception for us, but she opened up just for us!
The meal was excellent and so was the service. Unfortunately there were no furniture of my grandfather’s time but the feeling of the place was there with the tapestries, mirrors, and the old wainscots.