I didn’t know it was possible to lose your heart to a château – but now that I am 300km from it and looking back at my photographic memories – I am aching to be back there walking its halls.
How did we come to find ourselves brocanting in a crumbling chateau?
When one of your favourite antiques dealers utters the words, “Would you like to visit our Chateau, I have stored a lot of my antiques there” – you know an adventure is afoot.
For the last fifteen years it has lain empty; family feuding for its future.
As each year passes it falls into disrepair, an echo of its former self.
We found our way to the château late on Monday evening with our French Muse guests – undaunted by the eery purple sky and heavy, darkening clouds which promised a storm.
The air was electric; with tension; anticipation; promise; and as we stood inside the chateau, the rain came bucketing down.
No-one uttered a word – ‘wow’ just wouldn’t cut it. It was a sacred moment with an undefinable magic in the air.
Every room was lit only by the dimming sunlight so we tiptoed around seeking out shadows. I made out 1920s glass light shades on top of apiano; boxes of antique wooden kitchen tools; 1800’s shop mannequins with tiny wasp waists; floor to ceiling stacks of old papers, ledgers & music sheets; a mountain of antique trunks filled with velvets, lace and passementerie….we had definetly stepped through a portal to a different universe.
Every wall was decorated with intricate handpainted details, peeling and flaking, disolving over time.
The house felt alive – it cried out for love and attention. To be saved and salvaged and restored.
On the upper floors the light was a little better and we could see out across the incredible grounds, to the forests that stretched beyond the immense basin which once served as the reservoir for the village.
We dicely inched up the stairs eager to explore, “stick to the sides – they should be safer”, I translated from French to our guests.
My favourite room filled with a row of silk and velvet armchairs, stain glass windows and painted cameos.
I found myself imagining the furniture coming to life at night, a silly smile spreading across my face.
This looks a lot more ‘haunted’ that it felt.
We reluctantly left the chateau with the promise to return the next day to explore (and buy antiques) in the daylight…..
Here is a tantalising teaser before I bring you inside – the umbrellas (antique of course) are drying after a night of heavy rain.
You can experience what it felt to be inside the castle as the rained poured down outside in this video here
If you just can’t wait for sneak peeks I have been adding images of our trip on instagram
Note: The chateau is currently for sale and has a pigionnier and a church (in ruins) as well as extensive grounds. It is crying out for an owner!