Maison Tatin Opens in the Loire Valley Birthplace of Tarte Tatin

Okay, who knew that the by now legendary Tarte Tatin was actually created by the Tatin sisters (Stéphanie and Caroline) sometime in the 1880’s…by accident…to serve in their namesake hotel? But it is true indeed that the origins of the buttery, fruity, globally coveted pastry can be traced back to the charming property in France‘s romantically untamed Sologne region of Centre-Val de Loire (in the Loire Valley) – more specifically, the actual town of Sologne.

Now the Maison Tatin been given a quite cosmopolitan makeover, one that the siblings would hardly recognize – eight months of renovation having taken it decidedly upscale, without it losing any of its essential 19th Century character. The resulting sixteen contemporary rooms are done up in a sort of clean, understated chic, with refined color schemes, stone-walled bathrooms, and all strikingly adorned with the works of the region’s top wildlife photographers. Even the small Cocoon rooms are well designed for comfort – but the Supérieures category also has walk-in showers and large wardrobes, for those prone to a bit of overpacking.

But as the sisters would surely have had it, the hotel remains a coveted culinary destination. And for its well-curated menu of haute but approachable contemporary French cuisine, the Restaurant de La Maison Tatin (helmed by Chef Olaf Pezard, formerly of the five-star Hotel Pashmina in Val Thorens) sources from local producers like Maison Martin Pouret for mustards and vinegar, Miel des Rûches for honey, and Beaujardin in Chaon for produce. Amazingly, a three-course lunch and dinner prex-fixe is just 34 Euro, and includes such delectables as Loire asparagus with hazelnut parfait, pavé of pollock w/ herbed risotto and, of course, the famous namesake dessert. The a la carte menu boasts such irresistible dishes as sturgeon tataki w/ caviar d’aubergine, and Volailles de l’Orleanais, the famed regional poultry.

There’s a cozy bar, perfect for an early champers, a glass of Loire Valley wine or an after dinner cognac paired with a plate of fromages de notre region AOC. It also features Stéphanie and Caroline’s original blue and white stove as a central design element. But even if one isn’t planning an overnight, it’s worth making the trip from Paris – a little over two hours away – to indulge in the storied Tarte Tatin (original recipe here) with an organic Cafés Jeanne d’Arc tea in the elegant tea room.

But unusual for such a rustically located hotel, it also has a luxe in-house spa with hammam, sauna and experiential sensory shower, with exotic sounding treatment programs like the Tropical Rain and Caribbean Storm.

We’ve never been shy about our love for the Loire Valley. And after seventeen months of quasi-quarantine, its glorious wine, food, architecture and natural beauty, as well as little gems like Maison Tatin, seem like just the sort of indulgences we need to nurture our souls back to essential contentment.

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