Tip 7 for the summer is the lush Parc Oriental de Maulévrier, 20 km from our place.The Parc Oriental de Maulévrier was created between 1899-1913 on the grounds of Château Colbert by noted Parisian architect Alexandre Marcel (1860-1928), designer of the Cambodia pavilion at the Exposition Universelle (1900). As a matter of fact, the park’s Khmer elements are reproduced from molds from the exhibition. Covering 29 hectars this park is the largest Japanese garden in France. It contains about 300 plant species, with water features, a bridge, and a pagoda, as well as azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons, and Japanese maples. There is also a permanent exhibition of bonsai and ceramics. There is also a small nursery, a salon du thé, as well as a gift shop on the premises. (However, we’d rather recommend the restaurant Le Stoffiet, at the neighbouring Château Colbert if you want a grand meal in posh surroundings, or a coffee or other refreshment at some of the local bars in town.) This is the perfect venue for a day out!