I just purchased the Rizzoli book FRENCH COUNTRY HIDEAWAYS-Vacationing at Private Chateaus and Manors in Rural France and have enjoyed perusing its pages the last few nights before I have fallen asleep. From Brittany to Provence, it is an enchanting tour of 30 historic châteaus and manors who have opened their doors to guests.
The troglodyte (cave) dwellings located on the property of Château des Ormeaux piqued my interest even more than the château itself, so I was delighted to learn that it is possible to stay in a cozy troglodyte room with views looking out onto their romantic gardens:
"These remarkable habitations are characteristic of the region and have served as shelter since humans first took up residence on the shores of the Loire. Initially quarried for the characteristic white stone used to construct châteaus and manors throughout the region, the caves subsequently were used for wine production and storage. Limestone is an excellent natural insulate that maintains a constant temperature, keeping caves agreeably cool in summer and warm in winter. The soft texture of the rock and its luminous pale color create a surprisingly agreeable ambiance...Facing south, the interior catches and reflects light throughout the day..." *