staying at the château la ballue

by Sharon Santoni

I spent the last day of the year at the Château La Ballue, right out near the west coast of France, actually not far from the Mont St Michel.   I’d admired pictures of their gardens for so many years, that I really was very excited to see them in person, even if the mid winter season is not ideal.

The wonderful surprise was that as well as the outstanding gardens, the inside of the château is just perfect too.  Our room was big and warm with very high ceilings and a big comfy bed, and the breakfast was divine.  Everything from home baked pastries, to crystal chandeliers to the view out of the window on to that garden.

So here for you are a few pictures of this lovely château and grounds.  This isn’t a sponsored post, in fact they don’t even know that I am writing it, just wanted to share this great address if ever you decide to head out to see the Mont st Michel and wonder where to stay.


The house dates back to the 17th century, it is out in the country, quite alone, which of course it what gives the fantastic and never ending views.

In the early 19th century it was a popular spot for celebrated French writers such as Victor Hugo, but at that time the gardens were quite simple, meadow like even.    In 1973 a huge renovation was undertaken by two architects,  including the maze and the main outline of the garden.    The work was not maintained and by 1989 it was completely overgrown.  Ten years later in 1996 it was rescued for a second time and and in the space of just three years, was officially recognised as a historical monument.    Today, the current owners continue this work with passion and fine judgement, and the result is breathtaking.

My pictures are taken in the dead of winter, but the beauty of this kind of French style garden, is that it relies more on shape and structure than ornate flower beds.   It is beautiful in any season.   If you visit their website, you’ll find plenty of photos of the garden in bloom.


The lines of the garden are very bold, and the use of topiary adds some more gentle detail, and extra symmetry.

If you love gardens and château life, then I definitely recommend staying here.  Of course you can also just stop and visit the gardens, but by staying overnight, you get that special pleasure of seeing the gardens at dawn – the best motivation for getting out of bed early!


Château la Ballue, Bazouges la Pérouse, Brittany



Helene Bentley January 10, 2018 - 8:58 pm

looks breathtaking! I’m going to put it on our list when we plan our European trip!

Thanks for sharing, Sharon!

Suzy January 10, 2018 - 9:21 pm

Most amazing estate..
Most amazing breakfast
Best room ever..
I’ll be right over..

Our French Oasis January 10, 2018 - 9:27 pm

It might be the depths of winter, but those gardens still look fabulous. It sounds as if it was a near perfect way to end the year and start a new one and I hope you have a very happy and healthy 2018 x

Rose Blamey January 10, 2018 - 9:51 pm

Viewing a garden in the winter months really emphasizes the “bones” of a garden which you may be distracted from when it is in full bloom. A wonderfully designed garden should look beautiful in winter as well as the full bloom season. Chapeau to the designers of this garden. The chateau looks beautiful. Thanks for the tip!

franki January 10, 2018 - 10:02 pm

Totally smitten!! franki

Taste of France January 10, 2018 - 10:09 pm

The photos are fantastic (did you take them yourself? chapeau! perfectly framed). The hazy/foggy long shots are so romantic.
The French are masters of looking good all the time, whether for the big event or in private. That goes for estates like this, in season or off.
Thank you for the tip. We look forward to visiting the next time we’re in the north!

Colleen Taylor January 10, 2018 - 10:30 pm

How gorgeous Sharon & their website is stunning.What a great way to end the year and begin 2018.X

Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things January 10, 2018 - 10:36 pm


Carole January 10, 2018 - 11:34 pm

Indeed what a lovey place to stay. Would love to see a listing of all the recommended places to stay in France. You have a wonderful appreciation of lovely, special places Sharon!

Jennifer Lively January 10, 2018 - 11:51 pm

Beautiful and very inspirational gardens and chateau. Just added it to my 2018 bucket list.

Susan January 10, 2018 - 11:53 pm


Vicky from Athens January 11, 2018 - 12:08 am

What a magnificent estate! A place I would love to visit, for sure!

Deborah C Lindsay January 11, 2018 - 5:16 am

Stunning and what a lovely place to ring in the new year. Reminds me of a MFCH trip!

Sue January 12, 2018 - 1:46 am

Breathtaking, yes.

david terry January 12, 2018 - 2:48 am

This is quite lovely. Looking over the photographs, I could not help but be reminded of one of our favorite homes and regret, once more, that we’re so infrequently able to visit it. One does, between various obligations, stay so busy, and one simply can’t be everywhere at once, can one?

These days, I find myself confined primarily to the old house in North Carolina, but I do (like Mrs. Keppel) try, every day, to bring a little “Bit o’ French” to the surroundings.

I was particuarly taken, so to speak, by the jardinieres featured in the foreground of the fourth photograph in this beguiling series. As I recall, Mother had two of the same sort at the front of the garden in St. Cloud before the war.

Who knows what happened to them.

In any case, I’m going to the website right now.

Delightedly as ever,

David Terry

Steven January 12, 2018 - 3:20 pm

So very lovely. I especially like the undulating hedge. And the grounds ornamented with topiary. Bravo to whomever may have conceived this scheme – and to those who maintain it!

Thanks for sharing!!

The Enchanted Home January 14, 2018 - 4:32 pm

Wow this is a dreamy place! Love those hedges, hope you are well Sharon!

Sallie Dougherty September 21, 2018 - 10:40 pm

So Beautiful!

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