Autumn in Versailles
If you’ve been following along over the last few weeks you will be aware of my growing love affair with Autumn. A flamboyant time of year, with warm hazy days that invite long walks, chocolat chauds, and escapes from the city to feel the fresh crisp autumnal air. This year I really wanted to get into the heart of it all, leaving Paris to look for the season’s peak in the French countryside.
Whilst I planned to go deep into the heart of Normandy on my quest, a natural intuition led me closer to home, stopping first at the beautiful park of the Château de Versailles. In any season Versailles is a marvel, but more so now when it’s dressed in all its Autumn glory in tones of gold, lemon and cognac.
Just a short train ride or drive from Paris, the enchanting gardens of Versailles await – a wonderful place for a long autumn walk. So today, I invite you to join me on a stroll around these gardens.
Undiscovered beauty: grand tree-lined walks sweep around the lake and across the parkland. The trees stand tall, with royal-like presence and stature and whistle as you walk by. Little piles of brown leaves scatter the paths. The air is golden and the views are stunning.
As you walk around the grounds taking in the splendour, you can’t help but imagine Louis XVI galloping by on his horse. Or Marie Antoinette enjoying afternoon tea in the gardens of her own private domain. It’s truly captivating.
The lake stretches from the château along the grounds towards Marie Antoinette’s domain. If the mood takes you, you can hire a bike or take a boat out with a picnic to get close up with the swans and to take in the views from the lake.
A little pause to take in the landscape. Countryside walks call for the right kind of country accessories: who ever thought that a traditional fisherman’s hat from the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland would work so royally in Versailles?
Nearing the end of the walk, you can also visit and walk around Marie Antoinette’s private domain.
Marie-Antoinette’s estate offers a striking contrast to the rest of the château and parkland, such as the Trianon and the Temple of Eros.
And in true Marie Antoinette manner and after all that walking, a little stop for a chocolat chaud at Angelina is the royal way to finish a Sunday stroll in Versailles.