MY HOME IS A CASTLE--the tale of how and why I became a chatelain , four times .This is my present home. If you are visiting for the first time you may care to read the older posts first.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Now I am delving back into the past again, and so enjoying this journey.

The pool was in place-- the horses grazing-- an assistant to help the grooming etc-- the workmen were all beavering away, or were they?

Well, they weren't this bad! haha... But as the tennis court was finished, we would find them relaxing with the racquets during their lunch break, either that or dipping in the pool, as by now it was really hot and sunny.... leading a life of " Old Reilly", now where does that saying come from?

Caught on camera!!

I was happy because my kitchen had finally been finished and I had all mod cons for the first time in months. With all the family descending upon us on a regular basis it had been chaotic in my make-do kitchen which, incidentally , had now been turned into our bathroom which was ensuite to our bedroom which used to be the salon !!! Confused? I am not surprised , our heads were in a whirl that first year.

The new kitchen was installed in what used to be the serving room for the original kitchen , which was in the basement , as was normal in most of the Chateaux. Just out of the photo frame ( below) was the dumb waiter which was huge and which we kept as a feature;

Myself and our two lovely dobermans in the kitchen--Axle and Rocky.

Oh , also an australian peroqueet called Dandy. I originally bought Dandy for my Mum as she had moved into her apartment downstairs, and I thought he would keep her company. After her first night with Dandy 'chez elle' she appeared at breakfast the next morning as white as a sheet. I thought she was ill, but, no--apparently she had been up all night worried about the bird, thinking she ought to let him out. I never knew before this, that since her childhood she had a ' thing' about birds in cages and their lack of freedom! So Dandy then took residence with us and Mum could relax again!


  1. I can see why the workers wanted to play tennis - it's shaded!

    Love the white kitchen. As large and lovely as it is, you would not necessarily guess it is in a chateau! Which is nice, I think, because kitchens are such a homey space. I wish my kitchen sink faced a window, well that's a change we want to make. My my, how small our plans seem now in comparison to yours. I don't think I'll ever complain about it again!

  2. dear Delphine,
    thank you very much for telling your story!
    on my trip to Bretagne in may this year, I will visite this amazing Chateau la Roche Hue and I really look forward to it!
    bright blessings

  3. You are right Ruth about the kitchen, our problem was the space we had to deal with, as it was a long narrow room with no features we were limited, so we went for practical; It was cool at that time which , of course was nearly 20 years ago; All the windows were great in the Chateau as they were so large, making everywhere bright.

  4. Sonyana, I know you will find La Roche Hue beautiful. They do holiday lettings, now in the outbuildings if you were interested.

  5. Oh great photo of the kitchen and I'm enjoying seeing you in some of the photos.

  6. It was the only photo of the kitchen that I could find- it was a good space to work in with the sink under the window.

  7. It must have been a celebration when the kitchen was usable..
    I remember when we did our kitchen( it took the longest time cause we did it ourselves..sooo looog... torturous, was a more apt description)that the kitchen sink sat on saw-horses in the middle of the floor for Christmas and a long time afterward...... no cupboards either.. it's a wonder we survived it without any murders... but we eventually finished and we all loved it.. all's well that ends well...
    Your tennis court looks like the perfect place to be on a hot day..great view too!!

    your kitchen looks beautiful.. and charming too with the dogs and the bird!!! love the huge windows!!

  8. The kitchen is lovely!!! Your poor mum up all night worring about the caged bird, that is so sweet.

  9. Gosh Gwen!How did you survive so long without cupboards. When you start something huge like that you have to go through with it and I am sure you thought it would never get finished -- however, how great it is when finally you have created something you love! So rewarding!

  10. Anet -- I must admit we were amused, but sympathetic. It was ironic ! My objective was to provide a little happiness and not cause the distress that it did!

  11. Delphine, Visualization!!! I never gave up on hope and perseverance... and the only way was carrying on till we were done ...

  12. Beautiful kitchen, Delphine!
    I'm sure with all the things you had to deal with that year, every day was a new adventure!
    Lovely story. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Hi Delphine! Have you read about or experienced any of this? I found it the other day while "Googling".

    1) Steal-to-order gangs strip chateaux of riches

    2)Thieves pillage French chateaux of art heritage (Times of London) [scroll down the page]

    A few extractions:

    "'Last year was catastrophic,' said the Marquis de Breteuil, president of the historic homes association which groups together 2,500 owners of stately homes. 'The number of burglaries more than doubled to 600, with a combined loss of more than £12 million. Quite apart from the money, this is France's heritage that's disappearing bit by bit."

    "The break-ins almost invariably follow the same pattern. Sometime between two and four in the morning, four or five men in an estate car or small van force their way through the perimeter fence. Its lights and engine off, the car is pushed up to a ground floor window.

    "Once inside, the burglars are not worried by alarm bells - they know what they are after and are usually out with it in less than four minutes, giving the shocked owners and staff just enough time to pull their clothes on, scramble downstairs and see the laden car disappear down the driveway."

    "Police believe most burglaries are committed to order. One gang of 22 criminals in Caen dismantled last September, was working for crooked dealers in Belgium and the Netherlands who had spent weeks in France visiting chateaux and listing their requirements. Another group, specialising in the Dordogne, Charente and Loire chateaux, shipped 2,862 stolen 17th and 18th-century antiques to clients in Italy and France."

    "Similar heists have been carried out this year at the nearby Château de Guermantes, the Château de Breteuil and the Château de Saint-Amant-Tallende in Puy-de-Dôme. Valuable Sèvres vases, clocks and other art objects were stolen in a raid on the Château de Compiègne. In an earlier theft from the same property, thieves used a car as a battering ram to open the gates of the property, a technique that was repeated to break in to the châteaux at Fontainebleau and Ecouen."

    " Entering through a window on the second floor of the building, the robbers made off with chandeliers, statuettes and antique mantelpieces"

    Past victims include Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, the former conservative President of France, and Jean Paul Guerlain (who was shot as a result)

    The articles are not recent but I was wondering if this is something that I should worry about as a potential buyer. Thanks for making this blog! Its wonderful! :)

  14. AH Gwen you are a girl after my own heart:)

  15. Cottage girl, I must admit that living in France for the first time and living in such a beautiful building was a ' never-to-forget' adventure... and it continues to be!

  16. To Mademoiselle-- This is the longest comment I have ever received, and my short answer is, yes, I have been broken into once whilst I was in residence,I disturbed them and they took nothing; I live quite simply without the fantastic trappings of the very rich. One is probably more at risk from burglary in ones own home, than in a Chateau. So if you are planning to buy a Chateau, I would heartily recommend it if you have a plan.

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