November 13, 2013

CHÂTEAU DE CANDÉ part two

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Candé has an elegant yet cosy feel to it.  The bedroom was charming, comfortable and very much like a grand hotel but without the Wi-Fi, television, tea tray and leaflets. 

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It reminded me of when I was a teenager in the 1960’s and worked weekends and holidays at the New Bath Hotel at Matlock Bath.  That was fairly grand in its hey day.  Nothing like as grand as Candé of course, but a totally different world from normal life (especially to a fifteen year old who lived in a tiny three bedroomed council house).  The furnishings were sumptuous, the guests well heeled, well spoken and were regularly of the rich and famous type ~ the cast of the film “Women in Love” came to stay while I was there as some of the scenes were filmed on location in Derbyshire.

I worked in various parts of the hotel but mostly as a chambermaid.  The work was hard and the pay mediocre but I loved it.

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The New Bath Hotel is closed and empty now.  It passed from one hotel chain to another, and Its former grandeur gradually disappeared as it became shabby and unloved.  The chambermaids, chefs and waiters arrived for work one July morning last year to find they couldn’t get in and bailiffs were taking away the furniture.  Very sad.

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The most astonishing room in Candé is, I think, the bathroom.  Often châteaux have fairly utilitarian bathrooms, icy cold rooms with very little to make you want to linger there, even fully clothed.

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Here the royal bathroom is nothing short of fabulous, with elaborate tiling, brass fittings, comfortable chairs, mirrors, mirrors and more mirrors.

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In the middle of October the bathroom seemed rather too chilly for me but I suppose it would have been somewhat warmer in June 1937 when Edward and Wallis were celebrating their nuptials.

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A glimpse of the royal throne perhaps?

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The beautiful mosaics on the walls are works of art.  It’s something to bear in mind for the next time we have a bathroom refurbished perhaps.  On the other hand I think I will have…………a few more radiators !!

7 comments:

  1. Fern's bathroom was destroyed in the Second World War, when there was an accident at the explosives factory across the road and the bathroom ceiling collapsed. It was only restored in 2009. When Wallis Simpson arrived Fern gave over her suit of rooms to her -- remarkably generous I thought, and Fern Bedaux seems to have been one of the few women Wallis ever had anything nice to say about.

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  2. One thing missing - a heated towel rail! The ultimate luxury for me.

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  3. If it was chilly in October, I bet it's arctic in January - but oh, so elegant. :-) It's sad to see fine old houses and hotels deteriorate, but the cost of refurbishment and maintenance must be horrendous.

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  4. It's one of those places we about which we say 'we really must go' and both having read the [fairly] recent biography of Wallis Simpson we have no excuse not to! That restored bathroom it is completely fab.

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  5. simplicity; elegance; tranquility - lovely trio !

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  6. Wow. The bathroom certainly is a surprise. I've never seen one quite so elegant of this vintage. The tile work is amazing!

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