The layout of the Chateau & it's grounds
The Garden Floor
This consists of two main areas – the kitchen/scullery area and the living area. The latter is made up of the “family room” and the “garden room. They are a continuous area with just 3 steps dividing them. They are ideal for informal use in both summer, by the windows to the garden, and in the winter around the monumental fireplace. The inscription above the fireplace can also be seen by the sundial above the terrace. It is taken from Lucretius and is translated thus “like runners, passing the flame of life from one generation to the next”. This has a resonance with the timeless feel of the chateau.
The Ground Floor
This consists of the formal rooms that are used mainly for entertaining. Three of the rooms open onto the terrace that is ideal in the summer. Although the cooking must be done on the floor below, there is a “kitchenette” off the dining room that can be used for serving the food. All the chandeliers on this floor are antique, and are made with Baccarat lead crystal. N.B. The study is not available to clients.
The First Floor
This floor has the three master bedrooms and a library that is kept locked unless the owners are in residence. All bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms. Two of the beds were specially commissioned for the chateau by one of the leading wood carvers in England, who has worked on restoring Windsor Castle. They are based on actual antique beds - one in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the other in Blenheim Palace.
The Top Floor
This consists of six bedrooms and three shower rooms. The style of the top floor is more informal than the other bedroom floor, but a lot of trouble has been taken to decorate the rooms in a way that enhances their natural charm. The largest bedroom (Bed 8) also has a bed and ancillary furniture from the English master wood carver. All of the rooms have superb views of the gardens and beyond.
The grounds consist of six distinct areas:
1. The Outer Avenue stretches from the public road (the old Roman road from Paris to Pont l’Eveque) to the main gates. There is a single row of beech trees on each side. People often ask whether the animals on top of the pillars are lions or something else. They are lions, but it is true that they are unusual.
2. The Inner Avenue between the main gates and the chateau has a double row of lime trees on each side. It is also bounded on the west side by a carriage house that is used as a workshop and for storing garden machinery.
3. The Formal Garden is to the rear of the chateau and is bounded to the south by the chapel and the pavilion. The chapel is dated 1724. The fountain is operational in the summer months on request.
4. The Italian Garden consists of a croquet lawn and six seating areas with tables, two of which are “outside rooms”. They are an ideal place to take an aperitif, or to take tea. The garden is based on the formal gardens to be found in Italian villas such as the Villa d’Este outside Florence.
5. The Orchard is bounded by three buildings: the estate manager’s house, the children’s house (originally a goat shed, and currently used for storage) and the stables which have been converted into a pool house and galleried dining hall. Most of the trees in the orchard were replanted 12 years ago as the previous trees were old and full of mistletoe. They are mainly apple trees (mostly eating apples rather than cider apples) with a pear tree, walnut tree, fig trees and a mulberry tree.
6. The Wood lies beyond the formal garden and orchard. A path leads down, to a disused single- track railway line. You can cross the line and continue descending to the bottom of the valley where there is a stream that issues from the lavoir – where the laundry for the chateau used to be done. Alternatively, keep walking on and the path will take you through the wood, up the slope and into to the field that the farmhouse is in.