The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No. 16

Bringing you the best of France including captivating towns like sunny Montpellier, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, the antiques capital of Provence, Gascony, Chateaux of the Loire Valley, Paris, Lyon, a long lost cheese story, mouth-watering recipes and a whole lot more.

Photo: Geraldine Baker

Photo: Geraldine Baker Chateau of Chaumont-sur- Loire hive of fun and frivolity. This is a stunningly pretty chateau which is unique for its presentation of art and the international garden festival that’s held here annually. It was bought in 1550 by Catherine de Medici who ceded it to her husband’s former mistress Diane de Poitiers. When Henry II died, Catherine evicted Diane from the Chateau de Chenonceau where Henry had installed her. Chaumont Chateau was sold and changed hands in ensuing centuries before being bought by an orphaned 17-year-old sugar heiress called Marie Say in 1875. When she married Prince Henri-Amédée de Broglie three months later, the pair restored and modernised the chateau and landscaped the gardens. They held festivals and shows, and hired the Ballets de l'Opéra de Paris and the troupe of the Comedie-Francaise from Paris for entertainment . It cost a fortune, but then the young woman was one of the richest women in France. An elephant roamed the grounds, a gift from the Shah of Persia and the castle was a Nowadays the castle is owned by the region and is open to the public. Inside the chateau there is an annual art exhibition. The rooms are furnished and homely, they make you feel that the eccentric Marie might be out in the garden picking flowers. It’s a bit like Chelsea Flower Show meets Kew Gardens. There are temporary show gardens for the festival and all year-round gardens for general visits. And what happened to Marie? When her beloved Prince died, she re-married. At 72 years old, her new husband was 43 and keen to help her spend her fortune. She was compelled to sell much of her art and property and ended her days in Paris staying at the Ritz and the George V hotels. The International Garden Festival takes place from April to November each year.

Above: ethereal exhibit in the chateau's chapel; below left the perfume garden; below the chateau sitting room

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