Sugar in all its forms
If you liked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, you’ll love the Conservatoire de la Confiserie in Amboise. Nougat, calissons, pralines, berlingots, caramels, sugared almonds, pastilles… a magician with sugar, Nicolas Viollet has created a world of sweet indulgence on the banks of the Loire.
The Conservatoire de la Confiserie – how it all began
At the age of 16, many young people dream of buying a scooter. Nicolas, though, set his heart on… a calisson machine! Yes, this passion for confectionery has a long history. It’s in his blood, because his father and grandfather before him were in the same business.
Now, many years later, he’s put together a collection of around 2,000 exhibits in this unusual museum in Amboise – including a number of two-tonne machines. Some of them are antiques, such as the 1910 roller for making lollipops. The sugar cooker, sugared almond machine and tablet press are similarly old.
A mouthwatering experience
A hint of magic fills the air as the eager and expectant audience watches the confectioners demonstrate their know-how, giving detailed explanations and often using locally sourced products, such as honey. The wonderful aroma brings a twinkle to the eye of young and old alike.
And the cherry on the cake… your visit ends with an opportunity to sample some still-warm sweet treats. A moment of sheer pleasure – and one you can repeat again and again, if you pick up a few goodies from the shop. In this Conservatoire de la Confiserie, Amboise has a great new attraction to discover alongside its prestigious châteaux, the Ambacia wine cellars, a Michelin-starred restaurant (Le Château de Pray), the Loire by bike cycle route, and the nearby aquarium. Yes, the list’s getting rather long!
And, what’s more, Loches also boasts another long-established confectionery shop: the Confiserie Hallard. So you won’t be able to return from your holidays in the Touraine without a few sweet souvenirs.