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  • 5 days in Nantes

    DAY 1

    Guided tour « Nantes époustouflante »

    The most important contemporary artists put a spring into the everyday urban life of the town. Art is all over the town and shakes the city (A. Leccia, L. Bourgeat, P. Ramette, A. Bulloch, V. Mauger…). Have a look behind the scenes and push the doors of the most exceptional sites: prisons and terraces of the castle, an aerial gallery of the Saint-Nicolas church, an unkown gotic chapel… An exclusive and unusual visit, full of surprises !

    Have lunch at the Cigale

    Sought out for its sumptuous and protected heritage interior, this brasserie was once the headquarters for the Surrealists, and it still never disappoints. Considered as one of the most beautiful brasserie in France since the 19th century. La Cigale is a good place for oysters and seafood platters and offers some mouth-watering desserts. The place to be.

    Discover the Château des ducs de Bretagne

    Set in the heart of the Medieval quarter, discover the Château des ducs de Bretagne, emblematic sight in the city, built at the end of the 15th century by François II and his daughter Anne de Bretagne. The fortress houses a residential palace of refined facades and Renaissance loggias. Numerous supported tours are on offer to fully discover this monument and its resounding modern museum! The sections on the slave trade and slavery (in conjunction with the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery) and on the two world wars are internationally recognised.

    DAY 2

    Guided tour “The ile of Nantes : heritage and design”

    This quarter is emblematic of the town’s industrial past and also of its redevelopment, redesigned areas along the banks of the Loire, modern architecture, former shipbuilding slipways, a selection of art works from the Estuaire collection and not forgetting the famous Machines de l’île.

    The HAB gallery

    The ‘Hangar à bananes’ is home to the HAB gallery, a center dedicated to modern art which has seen exhibitions by the Foundation of Modern Art Frac des Pays de la Loire and the ‘Voyage à Nantes’. Visit the gift and bookshop of the exhibitions.

    Have lunch at the Cantine du Voyage

    A jovial but fleeting Loire riverside canteen. Housed in a temporary structure made from industrial greenhouses, it sets up from spring to early autumn on the banks of the Loire on the quays of the Isle of Nantes. It is a bar and a place to eat (seats 300) where you can come to enjoy local food: farm produced chicken potatoes. It’s a temporary set up covering 2,000 m2 with plenty to keep you amused including French boules and table football, and a book shop. Since 2016, La Cantine has also housed a vegetable garden!

    The Machines de l’Ile

    Les Machines de l’île, an entirely one-off arts project situated in the former naval shipyards, inviting you to dream and travel.

    The Galerie des Machines

    Designed as a laboratory and a live show venue, the Galerie features different machines that, after being tested, will go on to join the Giant Heron Tree.

    The Carrousel des Mondes Marins

    The Sea Worlds Merry-Go-Round filled with creatures from the deep, it is made up of 35 elements spread over 3 carousels; the depths, the abyss, and the surface of the sea. The visitors are spectators to the choreography of sea animals and marine carriages.

    Le Grand Eléphant

    When this majestic beast emerges from its steel cathedral, it is a moving piece of architecture that sets off for a walk. Discover the workshop’s terrace and the prototype branch.

    DAY 3

    Cruise Nantes < — > Saint Nazaire

    Landscape, Art and the River

    In Nantes, Saint-Nazaire and along the 60 km of the shores of the Loire river, a collection of 30 artworks created by internationally renowned artists takes you on the discovery of unusual sites on the estuary all year long. Each installation is in a surprising or remarkable location along the estuary; from fragile natural reserves to gigantic industrial buildings. Together they make up an open-air collection in the heart of a fascinating land.

    Have lunch at the restaurant La plage de Mr Hulot

    At the heart of the Côte d’Amour between Saint-Nazaire and La Baule, nestled in the ‘real’ hotel of the famous film of Jacques TATI, this restaurant is a chic brasserie, both seaside and urban.

    Visit of the LiFE

    The LiFE is a major part of the reconquest of the former German base of the submarines of Saint-Nazaire. This nonstandard equipment, inaugurated in 2007, is a place of multidisciplinary experimentation, meetings and discoveries dedicated to contemporary creation. Its singularity generates artistic forms and becomes its strength: some events are produced specifically, they play with the spirit of the place and with space in order to reveal or preserve the architectural properties.


    DAY 4

    Discover the Museum of Arts

    The new Musée d’arts de Nantes reopened on 23rd June 2017 after 6 years of work. History of Art’s broad brushstrokes from the 13th to the 21st century in a new setting which marries the architecture of yesterday and today. The museum’s rich collection of more than 12,000 works of art extends from ancient to modern art and contains examples of all art mediums. Artists include Georges de La Tour, Jean-Auguste- Dominique Ingres, Max Ernst, Sonia Delaunay, Gaston Chaissac, Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Vassily Kandinsky, Raymond Hains, Claude Cahun, Giuseppe Penone and Nan Goldin to name just a few!

    Have lunch at Pickles

    This brilliant neo-bistro lives up to its word-of-mouth reputation. Run by an English chef, it is this Fall’s newest surprise, with its local and ethnic dishes, made with great precision, often unexpected, and all served in a relaxed and contemporary space. Label Rouge salmon, miso, cucumber pickles, horseradish yogurt, nori; lean roast beef, pan-fried young greens, sesame rice, chestnut crumble, verbena emulsion, parsley. Attentive service and reasonable prices.

    An artistic trail in the city

    By following the green line, all year long, let yourself drift from a work signed by a today’s great artist to a remarkable element of our heritage, from classic sites to unknown treasures, from a historic alleyway to a contemporary piece of architecture, from a surprising vista onto the city to a sunset on the Loire estuary!

    DAY 5

    Journey through the Vineyards

    To take the route through the vineyards is to take in the fragrance of Italy that carries you to the gates of Nantes. The area south of the Loire has plenty to offer, with wide open views over the vines. Muscadet, now recognized by the top chefs, is inseparable from the city of Nantes and its gourmet cuisine.

    Tasting at the Château du Coing

    At the confluence of the rivers Sèvre and Maine, this is a historical and wine producing property with architecture from different periods. Ranging from the 15th to the 19th century with a common Italianization known as ‘Clissonnais’. You will visit the vineyards and the cellars and enjoy a tasting.

    Have lunch at la Cascade

    La Cascade : a charming hotel, an elegant restaurant and a friendly bar are there to welcome you.

    Comfortably seated on this beautiful shady terrace, you will enjoy the birds song and sip a cocktail along the Sèvre river.

    Visit of Clisson

    On the banks of the Sèvre, here is a quaint little town where remains of the Middle Ages merge with Italian architecture following the battles of the Vendée. Visit the historic center with its famous castle, market hall and the Italian estate, la Garenne-Lemot.

    Back to Nantes through the vineyard

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