driving out of paris for the day – in style

by Sharon Santoni


With many of you planning to visit Paris over the summer, I thought you may like an idea for an easy day excursion, with something to please everyone in your group of family or friends.

Of course we all love Paris in the summer, the temperatures are pleasant without being too hot or humid, conditions are ideal for sitting outside a café or bistro and watching the world go by as you enjoy a long and lazy meal.  But now and again it’s good to leave the city and  search for a dose of culture in a more rural setting.

chateau de chantilly, photo florence de la boissiere

via https://www.instagram.com/flobrocdelabruyere/

Last week, as part of my floral tour, we spent a day at the Château de Chantilly, it’s less than an hour from the center of Paris but I hadn’t been there for years, and frankly had forgotten just how wonderful it is.

The medieval château (that was rebuilt after the revolution by the Duc d’Aumale)  appears to float upon its own lake.  The park is huge and includes a fantastic classical French garden designed by André Le Nôtre; a beautiful park with century old trees;  stables that you and I would happily make our home, and a full sized racecourse, that hosts horse races through the spring and summer.


The Duc d’Aumale rebuilt the château to house his astounding collection of artwork and books, and as he died without an heir, left it open to the public as the Musée de Condé.

Today you can visit the living apartments in the château, the stables and the grounds, and if you  visit in May as we did, you even get a beautiful plant fair as a bonus!


And if you’d like to stay a little longer, maybe linger over dinner, or stay the night and explore more of the area then there is even a hotel that is part of the Château domaine, the Auberge du Jeu de Paume, with a fine restaurant and beautiful rooms.


And the best way to get here? …. well, I can help you here too.  When we travel it is good to have a little help from someone reliable, with local knowledge.   I am happy to recommend the services of Michel, who drives for all my tours and who as well as speaking good english, being incredibly thoughtful and a true gentleman, is also a pretty snazzy dresser!


If you are looking  for reliable chauffeur driven transport for you or your family on your next trip to France, then send Michel an email HERE, or check out his website HERE.   His prices are reasonable and his service faultless.   With Michel everything becomes easy to organise as he offers a conciergerie service as well as that of chauffeur.


Whether you want to visit a château in the Loire valley, buy champagne in Reims, tour Paris or come out to see me in Normandy, Michel is the man to turn to.  Happy planning!



As an update to this post, we’d like to tell you that Michel has taken up a new position, but that we are very happy to recommend another driver called Teddy.  You can see his details HERE




Taste of France May 17, 2016 - 6:13 pm

Such a great idea to encourage people to venture beyond Paris and see more of France!

Janice Dauksch May 17, 2016 - 6:51 pm


I love all the pictures also
Thanks so much fro sharing to us who will never see this in person

Taste of France May 17, 2016 - 7:17 pm

Red/orange pants on men is a thing these days in France. They are everywhere.

anna August 6, 2017 - 12:08 pm

Red pants for men…”Red is the New Black.” I love to see men wearing colours, feeling unleashed from the boring “rules” that society has set for them. Saw a very attractive man a couple of days ago here in the Loir-et-Cher, wearing bright lime green pants. “Incroyable!”

Colleen Taylor May 17, 2016 - 7:42 pm

What a fabulous post Sharon! Gotta love a man in red pants!

Sharon Malan May 17, 2016 - 7:50 pm

And Michel is stylish to boot..

DELRAE ROTH May 17, 2016 - 7:56 pm

Visiting the chateaus is always so wonderful… just reading this is a mini vacation. thank you.

Lethe May 17, 2016 - 8:10 pm

Love Michel’s attention to detail – his frames match his pants! C’est magnifique!

Emily May 17, 2016 - 8:15 pm

Thank you for sharing this info of Michael. I’m bookmarking his website for my next trip to Paris, which I hope will be very soon!

Patricia Gilbert May 17, 2016 - 8:59 pm

This truly is a great chateau to visit. I added on a visit to the private chambers and saw additional rooms in the singerie style. Such fun!

Our French Oasis May 17, 2016 - 9:43 pm

We spent a couple of days in Chantilly last October with some racing friends who were visiting from the States, we all had the best time, children and adults. I totally agree with your recommendation, it’s such a fabulous place to visit and an easy drive from Paris.

la CONTESSA May 17, 2016 - 11:11 pm

SO< he did go ahead and open his own SERVICE!WE ADORED this MAN when we traveled with SHARON 3 years ago………….the man likes COLOR and that is good enough for ME!
Come by and SEE my GRAND PIGGY SHARON!!!
The Vintage Contessa.Net

Ros short May 18, 2016 - 4:04 am

Well done on Michel front. Love to engage him on my next adventure , madly tried to get in touch last year .Love this Chateau thank you Sharon xRos

Pamela May 18, 2016 - 6:34 am

Great post and photos , thank you for sharing the info about Michael.

Dottie monta May 21, 2016 - 6:41 pm

Lovely! The Auberge is a definite possibility, too.
And having a driver is the way to happiness over there, we find. Convenience, comfort, knowledge source, experience, humor!
How very much I love your posts, Sharon!

a day out in normandy - le bois des moutiers - MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME August 1, 2018 - 8:55 am

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[…] the beautiful Chateau de Chantilly.  Definitely one of my favourites.  I love to go there for the bi-annual flower shows, and for the horse races, and sometimes just to enjoy the park and the interior of the Chateau with […]


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