I was lucky enough to spend a few days with a friend just north of Poitiers last week. A different area for me and really a treasure trove of fabulous places. This is Chateau D'Oiron and somewhere so off the wall it will take your breath away.
Your standard big impressive chateau on the outside, but inside the rooms are full of modern art exhibits.
A room full of bee hives, buzzing sounds fill the air.
Plates and glasses from a meal long past, each diner sketched upon their plate. A wall of faces from side to side.
Vast rooms still with their parquet flooring and ceilings hand painted in a vibrancy so rich and colourful, a cheering outlook all above. But hanging on the walls are the wackiest coats of arms.
Mad horse heads with arms and a head in a cage. Nothing is real, all is a mix of the mad and the normal, the real and the false.
Old rooms, left intact with no need of modern artifice. Their original paintwork and mouldings enough to take the breath away and still the heart.
The ceiling so golden, so gilded. so heavily laden with the weight of a truly opulent and ornate past.
Then there are modern pieces, strange artifacts of an artists mind. A room full of soft toys, dipped in wax of some such medium. Their heads at their sides. there is something both sad and slightly sinister about this. even the colour jars the senses.
But this is the saddest exhibit for me. A lonely little bear in a beautiful room. His head is gone and instead there is a blue balloon.
Look up from the little bear and see this ceiling. look at the birds and gaze at old art, presice and beautiful, faded and gorgeous.
Even the aliens have landed to see such a place!
And there be dragons in this place! Mad colourful creatures leaping, flying and dancing in a sun filled room.
Outside the flowers spread accross the grass. All is normal, nobody would ever know of such secrets were hidden behind the doors of this old chateau in France.
I had a wonderful guide for these places (more pix tomorrow), someone who could see the big and beautiful and the small, commonplace and truly unique. Thank you so very much for showing me your France.