Chantilly – Auberge de Jeu de Paume
My best kept secret when planning France itineraries is to utilize the Auberge De Jeu de Paume Hotel & Spa.
This is a new Relais and Chateau property located North of Paris, approximately 20 minutes from Charles de Gaulle Airport. This hidden gem is my favorite way to either start or end a France travel experience.
The Auberge is located right next to the Chateau de Chantilly that is to me, around Paris, the second must-see castle after Versailles. The gardens, designed by Le Notre, showcase ten times more fountains than Versailles, and the castle is home to the second largest collection of antique paintings after the Louvre. The books and painting collections cannot leave the Chateau or be exhibited anywhere else in the world—they must remain there per the Duke of Aumale’s dying wish.
Walking through the gardens you can access Le Hameau (the Hamlet) Restaurant where you can taste the original recipe of the famous Chantilly whipped cream. Warning: You must eat that Chantilly cream right there and then, they will not let you leave the premises with the whipped cream!
Finally, the Auberge is also adjacent to the world renowned 18th century Great Stables and racecourse, a veritable horse’s palace.
The Auberge has the perfect balance of the elegance and sophistication while exuding history and charm. Additionally, one must make sure to book a reservation at the 2-star Michelin restaurant on property, La Table du Connetable.
One night is most definitely not enough to absorb the captivating grandeur of the estate—the Auberge can be considered an entire destination in and of itself.