You know that old saying, the one about how times flies when you’re having fun? Well, that’s what has been going on around here… time has been flying by. So much has zipped by in the past few months and the upcoming ones are looking like they’re speeding down a motorway. Life is good, actually, life is great and that keeps me away from catching up online as much as I’d like these days. I seem to find less time to be active, emails are behind, and as for editing and sharing photos…. well, one project I shot two years ago is just undergoing a few final nips and tucks, and here I am only just now getting around to finishing my first lot of images taken at EmbraceParis back in July.
For weeks I’ve had a little voice leaning over my shoulder reminding me of these images. I kept putting them aside, cracking on to other not so picturesque tasks in those extra moments I could grab – such as packing up house! Yes, we’re in the middle of everything being boxed up and put into storage…thirteen and a half years of French collecting is going through a major sort, toss, and into temporary cartons. I’m happy to say, it isn’t because we’re leaving France! Nothing as crazy as that! Just a few weeks of a little facelift on the homefront and some French ‘glamping’ whilst walls and floors get their spark back. Let’s see how sparky I feel a few days into this adventure! If all goes belly up, I might just have to call on EmbraceParis friends and make my way to Le Meurice or the Plaza Athénée who made Embrace such a wonderful event. Either that, or perhaps pass the time at the magnificent Château Vaux le Vicomte – one of the magic destinations that was part of the three days of exploring some of the best of Paris.
Lesser known than some of the other châteaux near to Paris, Vaux le Vicomte should be one that everyone adds to their travel itinerary. Privately owned by the de Vogüé family and now overseen by brothers Alexandre et Jean-Charles de Vogüé, the seventeenth century castle built for Nicolas Fouquet – Director of Finances for Louis XIV, has a place in history as being the venue where one of the most magnificent parties in French history was held. In 1661, Fouquet threw a party to inaugerate his new home, but so extravagant an event it was, by the following morning he had been arrested and was imprisoned for life as the King was upset that Fouquet might have been helping himself to treasury in order to afford such a magnificent residence. Fouquet remained behind bars until his death in 1680. Despite the jealousy, Louis XIV was clearly impressed by what Fouquet had created for he went on to request the construction of the Chateau de Versailles using the same three men Fouquet had brought together for Vaux le Vicomte, the architect Louis Le Vau, the painter Charles Le Brun, and the garden designer André le Nôtre.
More intimate, and way less crowded than Versailles, there is something so special that lives on at Vaux – just watch and listen to the reaction in the VLOG link below as eyes fall on the château for the very first time! Throughout spring and summer months, the château and gardens light up every Saturday evening with over two thousand candles, replicating how life would have been in the days before electricity, smart phones and the world wide web. Visitors are able to stroll through Le Notre’s layout whilst gentle music plays and candles burn down. A champagne terrace overlooking the gardens is a place to sit and soak in a sophisticated evening.
Now, as the autumn kicks in and winter approaches, Vaux will become a winter wonderland, decorated with holiday magique that will wipe the Scrooge out of best of them. At the end of November, Vaux will open the doors to a palace illuminated with thousands of decorations and lights for Christmas. Festive themed apartments, gardens lined with Christmas trees, and suprises under a tree for children, I’ll be surely making a return visit to soak up the ambiance. If that has given you a taste to want to see more about Vaux Le Vicomte take a look here:
Mary Kay of Out and About in Paris chats to Alexandre du Vogüé about the château
Claudia talks about Vaux le Vicomte over on The Paris Apartment
Take a video tour of the château and listen to Alexandre talk about his passion on Andrea’s VLOG
Do tell, have you been to Vaux le Vicomte?