Originally posted to the French Market Maven May 15, 2012 as Chasing Normandy
Having spent many a childhood summer on the vast and dramatic Normandy coastline, it wasn’t difficult to say ‘YES’ when invited along on an expedition to the area. The purpose of this trip? To locate, once and for all, a lovely little ‘Folie’(maddness) built as a hunting lodge for Louis XV that my friend had seen in a book and obsessed about ever since!
Mind you this was a spontaneous stop on the way to ferreting out the ‘folie’, and while quite an impressive place, it was not the chateau Elissa had in mind. We climbed back in the car and set off to find the ‘nearby’ hamlet where said illusive chateau is perhaps in hiding. Elissa had done her homework well! After a couple of false starts we eventually found ourselves on theRue du Chateau and there, behind a massive, locked gate and a bank of trees, we could just make it out.
After driving around and around the property trying to find a way in better view of the place, we saw something red on the road, in the distance by the main gate.Given that we were driving and the something red was walking, it took but a moment for our big grey van to pull up beside a red haired woman in a red jacket with three dogs. A few moments of conversation, a couple of questions answered and lots of big smiles later we were standing smack in front of the ‘folie’ withConstanze and her friendly canine companions.
To our surprise and amazement, Constanze invited us in (provided we removed our shoes which we gladly did) she then gave us a grand tour from the ‘cave/cuisine’ to the tippy top bedrooms. Each room was more fantastic than the next, some had the original painted and gilded wood paneling complete with portraits of people who must have loved the house in times past. “Madame’, who owns the place, is obsessed with the 18th century and some 25 years ago spent a great deal of time, effort and money recreating the 18th century in this gracious retreat not too far from Paris.
Constanze allowed us to take as many photos as we wanted, that said, we promised her not to publish anything particularly identifying or revealing. So the images I am sharing with you, my readers, are only some of the beautiful details of this rather fantastic house.