Thursday, October 1, 2015

Vaux-le-Vicomte, a Story

My friend Rose is the one who introduced me to Vaux-le-Vicomte via a beautiful coffee table cookbook she had at her store, Wellington.  A couple of years later, I picked it up at a used bookstore online and wrote about it here.

Rose also told me about a writer Ina Caro, who had a novel approach to visiting monuments and castles and the like in France, by century.  I discussed this book here.

We have just now returned from our annual triplet as described here.  We went to Vaux-le-Vicomte and had a blast whizzing around the huge gardens in a golf cart as proposed by Caro in her book.

Vaux is owned by the comte de Vogüé and his wife.  His mother was a Sommier and the chateau has been in the Sommier family since 1875.

For the sake of the story, notice the dépendances (outbuildings) on  either side of the castle.

After Vaux, we headed to Perche country, where many of my French ancestors come from.  We had a reservation at a 17th century B & B run single handedly by the lovely Jackie. 

Before we left her house after our second day there, we talked of Vaux and what a beautiful place it is.  Jackie then said that she had never been there but her uncle Emile lived in the chateau's dépendances because his father was a coachman for the Sommier family.   She then recounted that old madame Sommier had a liking for Emile and kept in touch with him until her death.  Jackie said: "As a matter of fact, when he did his first communion, she gave him a missal that she had specially engraved.  I think I have it around here somewhere..."

Loosely translated, the message inscribed says that she will never forget him and she hopes that the missal will help him remember her.

How's that for a (his) story?


1 comment:

Lizette said...

Beautiful, beautiful.