ARRIVING AT CHATEAU D'ESCLIMONT is pretty magical. Enveloped in 150 acres of gardens, lake and woodland walks, this magnificent-looking moated French chateau comes with turrets, towers and all the grandeur you would expect. Swans glide across a small lake and you may see a hot-air balloon taking off (or a helicopter land) as you turn into the tree-shaded drive.
Built by the archbishop of Tours in 1543, Chateau d’Esclimont is a sumptuous romantic getaway that has witnessed centuries of royal romps and romancing: you almost expect to turn a corner and find Sleeping Beauty slumbering in a vast four-poster. These days, however, you’re more likely to bump into well-off Parisians relishing an escape from the frenzy of city life.
Chateau d'Esclimont's jewel-like Renaissance features are every bit as fetching inside as out. Belfries, bridges and lacework balustrades are matched inside by grand salons, embossed wood panelling, regally tall windows framing gorgeous views and sweeping drapes.
Stay in one of the estate’s lodges (with views of those fairytale turrets and gardens) or in the chateau itself. Rooms are replete with old-fashioned comforts: think richly co-ordinated fabrics and wallcoverings, parquet floors, ceiling-high windows and plump pillows. Bright and light bathrooms come well stocked with Lanvin toiletries.
Chandeliered suites have huge canopied or four-poster beds and lashings of space. While they come with a princely price tag, you get uninterrupted views over the pond and park and it’s easy to pretend – while soaking in your splendid black marble bathroom, perhaps – that this aristocratic five-star domain is all yours.
Push the boat out gastronomically at Chateau d’Esclimont’s Rochefoucauld restaurant (named after the family who owned the chateau for over 100 years), with its family portraits, mirrors and grand fireplaces. There’s also a second restaurant, whose walls are covered in Cordoba leather.
Once you’ve explored the grounds, there’s plenty to do nearby. You’re almost midway between Versailles and the cathedral town of Chartres, with the bright lights of Paris just an hour away. Spot-on service and luxe without pretension add to the fabulous feel-good factor.
© Room for Romance
Chateau d'Esclimont was reviewed by Room for Romance
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