It seems like ages ago now since we were in France - it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip and we neither of us can wait to go again. And of course we had to visit at least one chateau.
Warning - this post is picture heavy -( I've never learned the art of less is more when it comes to pictures.)
How would you fancy living here?
This is Chateau de L'Islette
(the castle on a little island) and it is still occupied. The family bought it in the 1960s and have been gradually doing it up.
|Château de L'Islette|
You cross a little moat - the river runs past it offering the opportunity for boat trips.
It's a beautiful old house and I would love to live in it.
But it's real charm is the story that Rodin the sculptor had an affaire with his then 17 year old student Camille Claudel, and l'Islelette was their meeting place for nearly two years.
It is where Rodin worked on his famous Balzac statue and Camille, famous in her own right, did many studies of one of the grandchildren of the house - la petite chatelaine. She often revisited the château in subsequent years and was fully aware of the scandal around her
There are still echoes of their relationship everywhere with one room dedicated to their writings, their letters to each other and their biographies.
|La Petite Chatelaine|
« You cannot imagine how good it is to be at L'Islette ... and it is so pretty here!. …
If you are nice, and keep your promise we will know what paradise is like. »
(Camille Claudel to Rodin)
Let me show you around some of the rooms - the chapel first
|A very clever little shadow lamp that moved around the room|
Some of the house - particularly the bathroom and kitchen - was very modern and obviously well used. The family move out to a farm house on the estate during the summer season.
A little prayer nook beside the kitchen ....
|Very modern kitchen|
I could just imagine closing myself in there for a moment's quiet from the chaos of a busy house
|The prayer nook|
|Couldn't you just picture yourself |
gazing out there in pensive meditation
|One of the children's bedrooms|
and the room where Camille stayed in later years
|The other child's bedroom|
|And looking out Camille's window|
The main sitting room on the first floor
|The ceiling was handprinted |
and very pretty
And back outside ....
|The sundial on the wall of the castle|
|The Mill House in the background at the side of the chateau|
|The water mill house and the River Indre which surrounds the castle|
As a final touch I thought it was really clever to offer children clothes to dress up in while the parents had a look at the place - you could be a princess or a knight for the afternoon :) Apparently they do this at some of the big German castles as well - maybe in England too? Great idea.
|Fancy being a princess for the day? |
You can read more about it and see much more professional photos than mine here
These places must cost a fortune to do up and maintain but still, it was great to get a look around inside. It's a style of life I can only imagine.