Published by Lyn on 16 September 2015
Tracy Melass stayed at Saint Pierre CityBreak in Chartres when she rode the Veloscenic Paris to Mont St-Michel bike route. Here's what she thought of the B&B. Church photos thanks to Chenél Ferreira.
First impressions count, but they definitely shouldn't here. The name and unwelcoming fortress-like gate gave nothing away about this beautiful garden home, delightful owner, Christine, the location on the banks of the river Eure, the views of the spectacular Eglise St Pierre, Renaissance staircase and imposing 15th century doorway, and large rooms with an elegant ensuite bathroom.
There's no formal bike lock-up here, but you can park your bikes against the wall in her driveway behind the gate. Christine will also wash your cycling kit on arrangement. There's also free wifi.
5 things we liked
1) It really has the personal touch. Christine is lovely – entertaining and funny, with a hilarious aversion to early mornings (don't request breakfast at 7am: "Sevvvvven?!! Zat's so earrrrly!") and long bike rides. It'll feel like you're hanging with an old friend.
2) Close to Eglise St Pierre (below) which, if Chartres cathedral wasn't up the road, would blow your hair back. Well, it still does. Its stained glass windows are as impressive and it boasts some fascinating ruins in the process of being excavated. Look out your bedroom window and there it is.
3) Christine's signature breakfast. Wow. She sets the table in front of a massive window overlooking her garden and invites you to tuck into an array of cereals, yoghurts, daintily sliced fruits, warm pains au chocolat, baguettes, cheeses, choice of juices etc etc. Super fuel for cyclists.
4) Location near the historic quarter means that when the mind-blowingly spectacular Chartres en Lumieres light show ends at 1am (when many of the historic buildings, including the famed Gothic cathedral are animated in a breathtaking light show) you can fall into bed without a trek up any of those thigh-aching hills to the 'new town'.
5) Talking about the unnecessary expenditure of energy, a 5-minute zig zag ride across the river will get you back onto the Veloscenic.
Saint Pierre CityBreak Chartres
6 rue des Béguines, 28000 Chartres (Eure-et-Loir, Centre)
Phone: +33 (0)6 36 67 20 95
Click here to book
More bike-friendly places to stay in France
See Tracy's full report from the Paris to Mont St-Michel Veloscenic bike route.