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Villa 23019 Normandy, France

Sleeps: 26

Domaine Du Pont : Entire Estate
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Description

A magnificent 17th century chateau set in stunning landscaped gardens that is the perfect base to explore the Bayeux Tapestry, Monet's Garden, and the landing beaches. It is only ten minutes from Honfleur and twenty minutes from Deauville.

The Domaine can sleep up to 16 people with beautiful formal rooms and for larger groups, there is a neighbouring farmhouse on the grounds that can sleep an additional 10. In the old stable block there is a heated swimming pool and pool house. A daily maid service is included in the rental price of the chateau.

The outside of the Chateau has been untouched since it was originally built in the 16th century and enlarged in around 1720. The interior though is fully modernised. It has had a fascinating history, from being used as a safe house for aristocrats being smuggled out of France during the revolution, to being used by the Resistance during the Second World War. Since the war the Domaine du Pont has had a much more refined and tranquil existence, but has also played host to guests such as the Aga Khan and the Dalai Lama.

Interior and grounds

The chateau can be hired on its own for groups of up to 16 or along with the neighbouring farmhouse for groups of up to 26.

Chateau - The garden floor comprises of a large modern kitchen and scullery, and a huge family room with direct access to the garden for the summer, an enormous fireplace to sit round for the winter, and a dining table which can easily seat 10-12 people. The formal rooms are on the ground floor, including a large salon, a smaller salon, and the formal dining room that seats 16. At the back there is a large terrace overlooking the formal French garden and the fountains. On the terrace, there is a table which can seat 12 for meals.

On the first floor there is one suite (double bedroom with a connected salon) and two double bedrooms, all with their own en-suite bathroom. On the second floor there are four double bedrooms, two twin bedrooms and three separate bathrooms.

Farmhouse - The farmhouse was renovated to the highest standard in 2005. There is a short gated path that joins the farmhouse to the chateau, which makes it easy for the same party to hire both properties - in such cases the gates can be opened and access from one property to the other is very easy. It comprises of three double bedrooms and two twin bedrooms, sleeping 10 in total. The double bedrooms all have en-suite bath or shower rooms whilst the two twin bedrooms share a shower room. The farmhouse is situated in a large hedged garden, surrounded by fields that are planted with apple trees (for cider and calvados) and grazed by cows. The Chateau can be seen from the garden, and there are views over a very pretty valley.

Two pavilions mark the extremities of the French formal garden. One of them is a fully restored chapel. In addition, there is the old stable block which is now a pool house, with two changing/shower rooms, a large modern kitchen, and a function room with a gallery which can seat 26 people for dinner. There are three other buildings located on the grounds, including the caretaker's house, which are not available for guests.

The chateau is set in about 50 hectares of grounds. About seven hectares is used for the formal gardens, which include the formal French garden (with 36 topiary yew trees and a huge fountain), the walled Italian garden, the orchard and the avenue leading up to the chateau. There is small house in the garden where children can play, and a swimming pool and pool house for showers and changing rooms. There is ample parking space outside.

Location and local information

The nearest port to the chateau is Le Havre 25km away and the nearest town is Beuzeville 3km away. About three minutes drive from the chateau there is a small market town which has 2 supermarkets, a great market on Tuesdays, and several good restaurants. If you want to try slightly further a field (just another 10 minutes!) you will find two 1 star Michelin restaurants, and another one at Deauville.

Normandy has a huge amount to offer and most of which is within a reasonable drive of the chateau. It has something for everyone from old cities, Monet's garden, the landing beaches and historic sites such as the Bayeux tapestry to beaches, holiday resorts and casinos.

The area is well supplied in terms of sports facilities - for both participants and spectators. In particular, it is well known as a hub for equine pursuits - there are numerous studs, including the Aga Khan's, and in the summer there are horse auctions and Horse Racing and Polo at Deauville. There is also Horse Riding available locally. There are many golf courses within 30 minutes of the chateau (including Etratat situated on top of the cliffs overlooking the channel).

Other day trips include the Landing Beaches, the Bayeux Tapestry and Monet's Garden. Honfleur is a fishing and sailing port located in the Seine estuary about 10 minutes from the chateau. Deauville is great for smart shops and cafes, and people watching. This cosmopolitan sea-side resort has a large and beautiful beach, a marina, and a casino.

Normandy is rightly famous for its food the world over - especially the cheeses such as Livarot Camembert, and Pont l'Eveque, and Calvados - the apple brandy. The French love of good food means that the all ingredients also have to be of the highest quality. Seafood is fantastic and local producers are famous in the area for quality, taste, and price.

Local markets are fantastic and are often the major source of food for the locals. The nearest market is in Beuzeville on Mondays; however there are also excellent ones in Honfleur on Saturday, Trouville on Sunday, and Pont Audemer on Monday. There are many restaurants in nearby villages.

Catering and services

Catering can be provided for up to 16 people in the chateau or up to 28 people in the stable block adjacent to the pool. 2 professional catering companies in the area will be happy to offer their services. There is an extra charge for use of the function suite in the stable block of 500 per week.

The caretaker provides daily maid service (4 hours per day is included in the rental price). Any additional cleaning can be arranged on request. Babysitting is also available.


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