“You make kingdoms and castles on your own” – Stephan Jenkins
There’s something quite magical about spending a weekend in the French countryside, and that magic only seems to increase rapidly when your home becomes an impressive château filled with unicorns, glass hot air balloons, and a troupe of friendly and charismatic dogs.
Earlier in August a small group of us travelled across the English Channel to visit Chateau de la Goujonnerie, a castle looking mansion located in the Vendee region of France.
The château, owned by three designers and businessmen, was originally built in 1872 for a local magistrate, over the years the home had been occupied during the war, fell into disrepair and left to experience the elements of the french countryside. About 10 years ago, the trio from London bought the property and began restoring it to its fairytale splendour.
There’s no possible way to walk through the château and not feel intrigued, mesmerised, or entertained. The decor changes from room to room and you never know if around the corner you’ll find a pair of unicorns, an endless mirrored dining room, crystal hot air balloons or an assortment of other worldwide wonders.
For me, I fell in love with the colours and the light, the sunlight seemed to hit almost every inch of the rooms and helped to make the soft blues, pinks, browns, and greens pop and become even more inviting.
Outside, aside from the growing gang of friendly dogs roaming the property, there is a heated,un-chlorinated pool sitting perfectly in the shadow of the castle turrets. There’s a koi fish pond, a large rose garden, and enough open space to enjoy a wide open view of the farm land below.
The château is booked quite regularly by weddings and events but can be rented for holidays and offers a buffet breakfast in a beautifully sunny dining room (the reclaimed McDonald’s arches are a bit of an ironic decoration to see as you enjoy warm croissants and fresh coffee). There’s also a steam room, gym, movie theatre, and several charming towns nearby to explore.
We visited Vouvant a few times to enjoy the local food and I loved the charming cobbled streets, colourful shuttered windows and of course the wine!