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

Summer 2022

Discover captivating Corsica, the island of beauty and glitzy, cinematic Cannes. Explore Antibes, less well known than it's neighbours Nice and Cannes, it's incredibly pretty and authentic, and the Camargue in the south of France where wild white horses and pink flamingoes roam. Come with us to arty Arles, historic Agincourt and Aisne in Picardy - the ancient cradle of France. Meet artisan gin makers in Cognac, discover the prune route of France, fabulous recipes, guides, gorgeous photos, the best tours, what's new in France and delicious recipes - and more...

ties. As for me, I

ties. As for me, I didn’t inherit a château and can sell it if the fancy takes me. I like to vary my pleasures.” A diversionary tactic? It’s difficult to imagine Jean-Louis Remilleux abandoning the peaceful Charolais-Brionne countryside… The Great Salon has beautiful views of the garden-level ceremonial rooms. The architraves above the doors, executed in grisaille, are perfectly preserved. A ceramic vase by Théodore Deck (1823–1891) is a nod to its neighbor, which dates from the Second Empire. A collection of ornithological plates manufactured by Darte can be seen on the console table. Extracted from French Chateau Style: Inside France’s Most Exquisite Private Homes Text by Catherine Scotto; Images by Marie Pierre Morel. Published by Prestel, 2022 The Story of Digoine The lords of Digoine had owned the terrain that bears their name since the eleventh century. Following the marriage of Marie de Digoine to Robert de Damas, the ancient medieval castle began to take on the aspect we recognize today. The Damas of Digoine thought big: the construction had to be rock solid. Two imposing towers protected the north façade, while two others were constructed at the end of the south esplanade, enclosed by dry moats. When the wealthy Reclesne family bought the demesne in the eighteenth century, the castle was turned into a château de plaisance. Transformations, in which architect Edme Verniquet played a key role from 1750 on, lasted fifty years. The founder of the School of Fine Arts in Dijon and a friend of Buffon, Verniquet had participated in the laying out of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, as well as designing several imposing townhouses in the capital. Throughout his career the architect was responsible for designing a dozen or so châteaux in his native Burgundy, including that of Digoine. Under his supervision the austere north façade was endowed with a double colonnaded portico, a pilastered top floor surmounted with a carved trophy (in the eighteenth century the term “trophy” referred to military exploits), and superb wrought-iron balconies. The metamorphosis reached its apotheosis with the entrance to the south façade, adorned with two high French windows and a neoclassical pediment. The two medieval towers surrounding the new construction were graced with lantern domes. 84 | The Good Life France

The bed of Madame Roland, a society lady guillotined in 1793, entirely restored in a silk workshop in Prelle by the Burgundian tapestry artist Beccat. A medley of vases can be seen on the mantelpiece, together with some Louis XVI perfume-burners. The first half of the nineteenth century saw Digoine at its most splendid. Its new owners, Count Aimé de Chabrillan, chamberlain to Napoleon, and Countess Zéphyrine Olympe de Choiseul Gouffier, heiress of Digoine, continued the transformation, adding a heated greenhouse, a library and a small theatre in which Jacques Offenbach and Sarah Bernhardt performed. The count, whom Remilleux nicknames “Le Beistegui de Digoine,” had benches installed in the vestibule, bas-reliefs, and consoles supported by legs carved in the shape of lions’ paws, designed by Clodion, which the Count had inherited: they came from the monumental nymphaeum of the Hôtel de Besenval (now the Swiss Embassy) in Paris. Digoine was sold in 1908 to the Marquis de Croix, who bequeathed it to his descendants. When Remilleux bought the château in 2012, it was empty. However, he succeeded in buying some of its furniture during a large auction organized by auctioneers Beaussant-Lefèvre. Having made further improvements with the help of pieces from his own collection, he embarked on an enormous restoration: floors, paintwork, roof repairs, electricity, and the installation of cast-iron radiators. An additional, prestigious project is on the horizon: the restoration of the small amateur theatre, designed in 1842. The soon-to-be-renovated tiny amateur theatre, whose curtain and decorations were painted by Pierre-Luc-Charles Ciceri (1782–1868), chief scenographer at the Opéra in Paris. He had considerable influence on the development of scenography during the first half of the nineteenth century. The fireplace in the Great Salon is surmounted by a Louis XVI clock and two portraits of the Mademoiselles de Blois and de Nantes, two of the daughters born to Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan. The Good Life France | 85

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