Chateau d’Esclimont



When I booked our stay at Chateau d’Esclimont I was so excited at the prospect of a night away with my husband and no kids that it didn’t really matter where we stayed.  When I saw this hotel though, I knew that Jon would love it.  When we pulled up to the chateau it surpassed our expectations.



We realized later that, as guests, we were supposed to drive across the bridge.  We had parked in the employee parking lot.  Oops!


We were shown to our room, overlooking the gardens.  This chateau was sold to a hotel developer in 1981, but before that it was handed down through several families.  You can definitely feel the traditional chateau fell here, while enjoying the modern bathrooms.





This was the mantel in our room.



I love going on adventures with this guy!



One set of sconces in the room.



The bust of an ancestor in the hallway.



The hallway that our room was on.  This place got a little creepy at night, especially since we were the only guests.



We went for a walk before dinner.



This place was gorgeous, and it was fun to have time to explore.  When you visit a chateau with children it is a crazy experience.



I got to read the entire booklet they have on the history of the home and all of the families that have lived here.  Thankfully they had one in English.



I wish I had brought it home with me so I could tell you a little more about this statue that was significant to one of the families.



This is who we ate breakfast with.



We drank our coffee and watched the sun rise over the gardens.



I have been collecting candle sticks since moving to France, and I thought I had found some neat ones, but this is amazing.



After breakfast we went out for another walk.



This was on the back side of the house, all the way past the pond.



I love a tree lined path so much.



After our massages and check out we still had a bit of time before we had to head back to reality.  So we decided to take the 25 minute drive to Chartres.  This abandoned looking building on the way into town was an intriguing fixer upper.



We drove around for a bit until we found the cathedral.  I mean, we could see it as soon as we got close to town, but finding the proper place to park was  little more complicated.  Eventually we found “Cathedral” parking and it was just a quick walk to the church.



I have seen a lot of stained glass since moving to France, but it is still always so beautiful.



We had a great visit to the church, we did not get to visit the crypt, we just missed the tour so we will be going back.  I would also like to go back after they have finished their restoration project.  This was one completed piece and it was just stunning.  They are working on the rest of the interior and it will be truly remarkable when they are done.  Right now it is neat to see the difference between the restored and the original to the sound track of power tools.



After the cathedral we had time to grab a sandwich, hop in the car and head back to Paris.  It was just about an hour’s drive and we were home in time for Jon to go back into work and for me to get the kids from the bus stop.  I am so thankful that my mom was able to make this night possible.

Finding a Fixer Upper

When I was growing up my mom always loved a fixer upper.  I learned to spot a good project and now it is a family joke.  My husband and I love history so the charm of an old, falling down house has a certain appeal. Unfortunately we don’t have the time or the skills required to fix up most of the places that we see.

There are a couple of people that I have been inspired by recently, have you seen Chateau de Gudanes?  An Australian family has purchased this old chateau and they are restoring it.  They have a blog, Facebook and instagram account where you can follow their amazing journey.  There is also French Manoir on Instagram.  She documents her journey renovating an older home in France.  She is also from Australia.

Every time I see a journey of transforming a piece of history into something relevant for today I get excited.  It makes my heart happy to know a treasure from the past is being used and loved today.

The other day I was driving around while Garrett slept and I waited for a store to open and I saw this house.

It is near Chatou, a suburb on the west side of Paris.  It looked like there is a project to use this building and I was so glad.

Do you follow Sharon Santoni at My French Country Home?  Her latest post was about a house for sale in France.  The website she linked to is so much fun to peruse, and it is all in English.  I started looking for fun and then I found this house, for sale near Normandy.  It was built in 1775, but if you read in the description it is NOT a historically registered home.  It needs a lot of work, but it is for sale for just 300,000 euros.  The possibilities in this home are just amazing!  

All that to say that I love old falling down houses, and I know I am not alone.