Thursday, September 30, 2010
Lord and Lady of the Manor
To be frank, I sometimes share my children's sense of fatigue. That doesn't mean it's time to stop visiting castles and cathedrals. Instead, you just have to start looking at them in a different way. Otherwise, the dates, the locations, the interiors, and the exteriors will start to jumble in your mind like a crazy quilt of people and places.
Villandry, which I had visited before many years ago, and La Chatonniere, which was completely new to me. Now don't get me wrong. Both of these places are worth a stop; actually they're even worthy destinations in their own right. Villandry's gardens have been restored over many years of patient work to recreate the type of garden that was typical in France during the Renaissance. They are rigid and formalized, all squares and gravel paths, with colors and designs that will simply wow you. La Chatonniere is an old place with entirely new gardens, riots of color and imagination created from scratch since 1986 from what used to be primarily apple orchards.
But it wasn't the gardens or the buildings that really captured my imagination. Instead it was the owners with whom I was fortunate to spend a little bit of time.
Who owns a chateau? Well it turns out two very different kinds of people who admittedly share similar passions for beauty and history as well as maintaining a family legacy.
Carvallo and de Andia are clearly well grounded in the past. But don't let their fidelity to history fool you. You want to get to know them better? They're both on Facebook.