A week ago Saturday, hatbox in hand, I caught a Eurostar to Paris, where I was met by a charming man with a shiny black car who drove me to Chantilly, about forty minutes north east of the city. Imagine my glee when my hotel for the night turned out to be a chateau in a clearing, with a room bearing the requisite half tester, Princess & the Pea style mattresses and enough Toile de Jouy to decorate my entire London apartment
Chantilly is France’s horse country – the nearby Chateau de Chantilly’s Grandes Écuries (Great Stables) were built to hold 240 horses and 300 hunting dogs, and over 2,500 thoroughbred horses are being trained around Chantilly at any one time. The most famous French race of all, the Longines Prix de Diane, is held at Chantilly racecourse, in the grounds of the Chateau each June. Hence my presence in Chantilly.
I admired the Marcel Wanders Mooi lamps as I checked in and, with only an hour or so until dinner, I sprinted to the pool, pausing only to
gaze, glance at the Longines ambassador Simon Baker playing squash against himself on the Chateau’s court.
It’s rather novel swimming under black chandeliers but, if I am frank, I think I could get used to it.
Then it was off the Chateau de Chantilly.
A low key kind of affair. Ahem. Romy & I hung out before dinner. (That’s my DVF frock.)
After a dinner of much extravagance,
and fireworks in the Le Notre-designed grounds
I awoke the next morning to brilliant sunshine.
donned my Emily London titfer, and headed to the races.
suitably accessorised with Raoul heels and my Mulberry Carter Camera.
And then there were the races. I didn’t bet – French racecourses are not like the English ones: no cash machines to rinse you of your filthy lucre, so I just basked in the sunshine, sipped Champagne and watched the world go by.
Thank you to Longines for a quite marvellous weekend.