A Princely Rendez-vous at the Domaine de Chantilly
An hour away from Paris, a visit to the magnificent estate of the Domaine de Chantilly provides you glimpses of France’s glorious past. Spread over an expanse of 140 acres and built over a lake, the domain houses many marvels that warrant a full day’s (and a night’s) visit.
Your “must see” list should include:
The Château de Chantilly
Your discovery of the Domaine’s treasures introduce you to its majestic Château that has since the medieval ages belonged to some of the most illustrious princely families of France. Its ownership has changed hands since the Middle Ages with the Orléans family being the last royal residents in the 19th century. Today the Château is an iconic representation of France’s true art de vivre. Take a tour of the Château’s private rooms for a feel of life in the days of yore. Its tastefully done up rooms and elegant decor all illustrate France’s rich heritage.
An art encounter awaits you at the Condé Museum renowned for its collection of ancient paintings. Its impressive collection ranks it as the number one museum in France after the Louvre in Paris. A tour of its dozen rooms reveal over 800 masterpieces of French, Italian, Flemish and English artists well complemented by exquisite art pieces. A true paradise for art lovers indeed!
The Horse Museum - The Grand Stables
Constructed at the behest of Louis-Henri de Bourbon, the Grand Stables are considered a masterpiece of France’s 18th century architecture. In their days of glory, the Grand Stables housed 240 horses and 150 dogs that were used for hunts taking place through the year. A visit to the Grand Stables today would include a visit to the Horse Museum for an up close and personal encounter with the horses. Visit the Museum at 11 am or 2.30 pm to take in equestrian activities or parade rehearsals, pony shows or even horse riding tips from trainers.
Completing the elegant ambience of the Domaine, the beautifully laid out gardens and park invite you for a leisurely promenade. Designed by André Le Nôtre, various landscaped gardens are yours for the taking. Do visit the Grand Parterre which includes vast water mirrors reflecting the skies above as well as fountains adding their own special effect.
Saunter over to the Chinese-English Garden that houses a waterfall and five rustic cottages that are often in contrast with the cottage interiors.
Take a serene walk in the Small Park’s woods located on the east of the Château. Earlier built as an entertainment area for the guests of the Duke of Bourbon, it’s main highlights are a goose game and four 17th century statues dedicated to the four elements: fire, earth, water and wind.
Auberge du Jeu de Paume
Continue your royal experience at the Domaine with a stay at the Auberge du Jeu de Paume. This elegant establishment combines the essence of history and culture creating an unforgettable stay. A part of the renowned Relais and Châteaux collection, this charming hotel offers you a choice of tastefully done up rooms and suites affording picturesque views of the Grand Stables or the grounds. Tuck into delicious meals at its gourmet restaurant, supervised by a Michelin Chef or enjoy delectable specialities at its traditional restaurant. Classic signature treatments at its Spa make your stay a truly relaxing one!
More information on the Auberge du Jeu de Paume can be found on: www.aubergedujeudepaumechantilly.fr/en