November 27, 2012

ELEGANT DINING

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Compared with our previous visit, the most obvious difference that we found when we visited Villandry in October was the furniture.  I’m fairly sure that the last time we were there, more than ten years ago, it was virtually empty – that’s what I seem to remember anyway.  Now it is full of elegant and beautiful furniture.

This is one of the things I love most about visiting castles and country houses anywhere, the opportunity to be really nosey, to ogle the furniture and decorations, to thoroughly immerse myself in the ambience and imagine what life was really like for the people who lived there.  That’s not so easy when there is no furniture.

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I could just imagine the guests at the dining table, enjoying exquisite food, served by immaculately dressed servants, engaging in polite conversation with each other - the rich and famous of days gone by.

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Maybe after lunch or dinner they would retire to a comfortable lounge for more conversation, or maybe a game of cards.  Perhaps listen to someone playing the grand piano.  That’s when they weren’t planning to murder each other or get their friends thrown into jail !!

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Ah, what fun it would be to travel back in time and be a fly on the wall in Villandry.  Or even a daddy longlegs on the window pane !!

8 comments:

  1. What lovely photographs, Jean. The chateau looks so much more "homely" with the furniture etc..in place.

    Perhaps "homely" is the wrong word.. I don't mean to suggest it bears a resemblance to any home I've lived in!!

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  2. I love the fami;y photos on the piano - a nice touch. P.

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  3. A place is not complete without furniture. It is hard to imagine what an empty room would have looked like many years back. Great photos and thanks for sharing. Take care Diane

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  4. I am so impressed with myself! I actually recognized where you were! I particularly liked Villandry on my all to brief visit to the Loire valley a few years ago.

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  5. Next time you go, you should slip a framed photo of your family onto that table.

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    1. Mitchell, what a mischievous suggestion.....don't tempt me - I might just do that !!

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  6. Lovely, Jean. I so agree that even a chateau can look homely with the right furniture and ornaments. One of the things I envy from these wonderful places is the interior shutters. I'd love to have them. :-)

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  7. re-posting as there were too many typos!

    We don't remember any furniture either [our visit was a long time ago too]. The interiors now look inviting and the photos make it look 'real' not staged.

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