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Tours Hotels French Holiday Accommodationhotel 1623064 640

 

With hotels in Tours it is always wise to book in advance. There are plenty of good budget and mid range hotels, but not so much to cater for the luxury market. The Hotel de l'Univers, 5 bd Heurteloup (02 47 05 37 12) is at the top end of the range with rooms from €125 150 in the imposing and historic building. At the opposite end of the scale is the St Éloi at 79 bd Béranger (02 47 37 67 34), a welcoming hotel with good rooms for under €30.

The place Plumerau is half timbered and lovingly restored to attract visitors, especially the École des Langues Vivantes on rue Briconnet with its fascinating animal and people sculptures. There is plenty to do and visit in Tours, the neo Byzantine Basilique St Martin for example, built in 1886 1924 on rue Descartes, but rather than trawl through museums, sit in a pleasant café and soak up the atmosphere.

Whilst you are in the environs of place Plumereau you will notice a surplus of cafes, bars, restaurants and nightclubs vying for your attention (and Euros!). The rue du Grand Marché in particular has some shamelessly overpriced establishments, which charge for the privilege of sitting outside and being immersed in the ambience as well as for your steak frites and carafe de vin. One of the better ones is Le Picrocole at number 28 30, with steaks and regional dishes and menus at €11 or €16.50 that are better than most.

A much quieter and less touristy area is to be found on the east of rue Nationale near the cathedral. For food try the rue Colbert where there are several good restaurants, such as the Au Lapin qui Fume at number 90 (02 47 66 95 49), serving up southern and Loire regional dishes with menus from €15 to €23. The best restaurant in Tours is the Jean Bardet at 57 rue Groison (02 47 41 41 11), which has an unusually healthy selection of food and vegetables grown in the hotel garden. Menus are available at €64 and €104, or the €69 is made up entirely of vegetables.