Angers, French living in the Loire Valley

Angers is one of those pretty, medium-sized French cities where, in addition to visiting monuments or museums, you can live the glamourous French lifestyle. In my trip to Angers I strolled down the artery through the old town, between the cathedral and the great fortification around the castle, but most of all I enjoyed the stylish area of bars, restaurants and sidewalk cafés along the riverbanks and elsewhere, like in the Place du Ralliement.

Tapas and dinner at the best vantage point for viewing Angers

One good way to start an afternoon/evening of leisure in Angers is to have tapas at one of the increasingly popular wine shops, À Boire et à Manger, where as night falls you can taste ecological wines while snacking on cheeses and sausages. And what could be better afterward than dining at La Reserve? A classic amongst Angers’ restaurants, La Reserve is situated on the patio outside Le Quai theatre. There I enjoyed the best vantage point in the city for a panoramic view of castle and cathedral.

La Reserve (External link)
Boulevard Henri Arnauld

À Boire et à Manger (External link)
5 Place de la Visitation

Place du Ralliement

After visiting Angers, I can tell you the Place du Ralliement is the city’s heart, both for shopping during the day, extending up Rue Lenepveu, and for the evening leisure atmosphere you experience at the sidewalk bars and restaurants, which run beyond the square along nearby Rue Saint-Laud. The Place du Ralliement is the ideal spot to round off a day of sightseeing in Angers.

La Coquetterie tea room

A day of sightseeing around a city like Angers requires a tea break, which can double as an opportunity to try some typical local sweets. That’s what I did at La Coquetterie, a tea room where I discovered coquets in the pleasant atmosphere of a fully restored 12th-century Gothic chapel.

La Coquetterie - 17 Rue Beaurepaire
Facebook La Coquetterie (External link)

Bistrot des Carmes on Angers quay

Angers also has a riverside quay strewn with bars and restaurants with ever-busy outdoor seating, where you can get some fine views of the castle. It’s an ideal place for an evening meal. I had mine at Bistrot des Carmes on my second day in the city. This simple, intimate eatery makes dishes based on local products, largely vegetables and other produce.

Bistrot des Carmes - 34 Quai des Carmes
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Guinguette Le Héron Carré

I was warned that I wouldn’t have really visited Angers if I didn’t go to a typical guinguette angevine, a bar with sidewalk seating on the shores of the Maine River. Le Héron Carré is one of the most popular. Always festive in atmosphere, Le Héron Carré is the right place to wind up your evening’s fun, and you can also have a snack while you’re at it. On my visit I was lucky to catch one of their regular live music concerts, which drew in a good crowd.

Le Héron Carré - Parc de Balzac
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Craft beer at Brasserie Angevine

If you’re a craft beer friend, Angers also has its own local offering, like the beer they make at the Brasserie Angevine. Although you can find craft beers at all kinds of bars and specialised shops in Angers and throughout the vicinity, if you go to the Brasserie Angevine they’ll explain how they make their different varieties, especially their increasingly popular ale.

Brasserie Angevine - 87 Avenue du Général Patton
Brasserie Angevine (External link)

Château Domaine du Closel

Angers lies in the winemaking region of the Loire Valley, a fact that invited me to hop on a bike and pedal down the marked riverside paths to the Domaine du Closel. After visiting their vineyards, I spent a pleasant evening with the owner in the chateau garden tasting the chateau’s white wines, which bear the Savennières appellation.

Domaine du Closel - 1 Place du Mail, 49170 Savennières
Domaine du Closel (External link)

The castle, the visit not to miss in Angers

Enjoyment of the bar and food scene didn’t keep me from the one place everyone must visit in Angers, the castle. I was impressed by the majesty of its walls and 17 towers, and I was surprised to find French-style gardens inside the walled area. In addition to enjoying the finest views of the riverside city from atop the walls, I discovered the great artistic jewel of the 14th century, the impressive, 103-metre-long Apocalypse Tapestry.

Angers Castle (External link)