This lovely old building hadn't changed in all the years it had stood, and for us it had been an immediate love affair. This old postcard shows the rear of the chateau which, if you scroll down to an earlier picture, you will see is different from the front because of its rounded west wing. Between each wing is a long balustraded terrace overlooking the wooded park and lake. That is where we were both standing on that first morning-- a beautiful sunny day January 10th 1989-- quite euphoric.
Believe it or not we had all immediately fallen to sleep the previous night( with no hauntings) and awoke to the removal men banging on the front door to wake us up! They were anxious to start! I must give them credit , it was quite a task, however it was confined to just the guardians appartment which ,we had decided, was the best place to start from. There was plenty of other storage space for boxes yet to be opened and all the paraphanalia that one seems to collect.
We took our sandwich lunch onto the terrace ( la-di-da) in the sunshine ; to be shortly interupted by our first visitors. The Mayor of the local village, and our nearest neighbours arrived to welcome us into the community. The wife of our neighbour turned out to be the grand-daughter of the Count and Countess who used to own the chateau at the turn of the century. The family had retained the Chateau's farm buildings which were very elegant.They are still there today and is run as a working farm. So there they were welcoming us the french way with a bottle of champagne. As you can imagine we didn't achieve too much on that first day, and the day drew to a close with us happily in the midst of chaos.
Tomorrow we would make a real start to sort out our living area , then start making plans on how we were going to make this work! All we had at this stage was 80 empty rooms, no heating , no income, no food ( yet to locate the nearest supermarket to stock up), -- but were we down? OF COURSE NOT!
A gourmet day at French château Azay-le-Rideau
1 month ago