Another day, another Chateau…
Chateau de Villandry is rightly famous for its magnificent gardens, very much in the French parterre style. I’m more of an English Country perennial garden gal, myself, but these were something to behold.
We started by exploring the chateau itself, which has a fascinating history. It was owned and designed during the Renaissance by Jean de Breton, Minister of Finance to King Francois I, and it is one of the last chateaux to be built during this period. De Breton had extensive architectural experience, which accounts for the coherence of the overall design.
Eventually, de Breton went the way of all flesh, and the house underwent some unsympathetic renovations in subsequent years. The gorgeous dining room was an exception, and is one of the features that has been retained.
The chateau was purchased in the early 20th century by Dr. Joachim Carvallo and Ann Coleman, an American heiress. The set about restoring the house and grounds with fervent zeal and the results are stunning.
The children’s rooms upstairs were particularly charming.
And I’m always fascinated by the “working parts” of the house. I Loved the kitchen displays.
We spent a couple of hours in the gardens, which are extensive. The cross garden is laid out with different flowers seasonally between the hedges. Each of the sections represents a theme, from musical notes, to games of chance. The website has fabulous pictures and explanations.
The faux window with its ginger cat on the “audience” is amusing.
The gardens beckon from every angle.
Although we adhered to our “one chateau” that day, we felt replete. It was a very full visit.