I visited the region of Pays De La Loire, on invitation from the Pays e La Loire tourism board. I stayed the night at the gorgeous Best Western Sainte Antoine, alongside a beautiful little river in the postcard-esque village of Clisson, near to Nantes. The hotel sits among sleepy cobbled streets, near the ruins of chateau that lights up from the inside at night, with little bridges and twisting narrow streets. We enjoyed dinner in a restaurant overlooking the river, making it a perfect spot to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere while gazing on the Italian-style architecture.
To get to Clisson, we had landed in Nantes airport after a very short flight from Southampton Airport with Flybe. On our way, we made a stop off at nearby Vertou, where we had a bite to eat and enjoyed a refreshing jaunt up the Sèvre Nantaise river on board the Gratitude - http://erdreintime.weonea.com . Our friendly captain Francois was full of information, and took us to the fairytale-like Château de Coing de St Fiacre for a tour of the vineyard, followed by a sample tasting of Muscadet - the local specialty wine. Shortly after, we visited a nearby art gallery.
The Best Westen Sainte Antoine is a great hotel in a very convenient location for exploring the town and the region, with fantastic views, an outdoor pool, a sauna and a lovely terrace by the water, where we enjoyed a refreshing apertif before we headed out for our evening meal.