Getting into summer: the floral exhibition of Chantilly

Last week, I had some invitations to go into the park of the castle of Chantilly to see the floral exhibition that was taking place. In this rustic atmosphere, walking by the beautiful castle, you enter into the marvelous area of flowers (and its bees). From the peony to the rose you can really find any flower you want! Yes, this is an exhibition of flowers, but you can actually buy them which is the whole purpose of this place.

Because I’m not a big fan of buying flowers, by this sunny day I just decided to take some fresh air and take a walk in this park. Flowers aren’t everything you can find or buy, there is all the stuff you need for your garden like benches, sofas… From the most traditional atmosphere of plants/gardens to the Japanese ones, you’ll find your heart’s desire. This giant flower market is particularly enjoyable, on a lovely afternoon, because of the frame it’s taking place in. You are in the park of the beautiful castle of Chantilly, surrounded by its garden, water, sheep… You can only like this place!

Speaking of the castle, by buying the ticket to go to the floral exhibition you can visit the castle and its stables. Because I’m from this area, I’ve already seen the castle but never talk about it. So, now I think is the right timing. The castle of Chantilly is pretty nice, well maintained but I will not like is far from being the best in France. At some point into the castle you can find rooms looking like the castle of Versailles because of the golden walls. This is the rooms that I preferred, reminding me my history classes. Moreover, the library is impressive as a lover of books this room is nice to see. The rest of the Castle is made of a museum with a lot of paintings that you can admire. I know for facts that there are great paintings exposed, but because I don’t like that much this kind of art I cannot say more. The beauty of the castle, in my opinion, is its outside appearance. I like the fact that the castle is surrounded by water and made with an incredible architecture.

Just beside the castle, its stables are amazing. Chantilly is a city well known for its horse races, and this is why we call it the city of horses. However, the stables are reserved for dressage horses. In these stables, you’ll find the horses (obviously), the museum of the horse and the carousel where horses are performing. This day, we could watch a presentation made by the stables to explain how horses are functioning, the way they treat them and how they train them. Also, they are showing us some tricks but if you want to see a whole performance with music, lights and professionals you can go see the performances that are going on. I’ve actually seen few since I live nearby and wrote a post about one of them: Horse performance in a show!

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At the end of the day, this small package of things to do in the city of Chantilly is taking you back to an old time where can project yourself decades ago. A throw back in history that is available all year long (except for the floral exhibition open few times a year).

 

Useful information:

Paris>Chantilly:  25 minutes by train

Tickets for the floral exhibition+ castle+ stables : 20 euros for 1 adult, 12 euros for children

More info on : http://www.domainedechantilly.com/fr/journees-plantes/

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What it’s like to live in Lille

It’s been almost 2 years that I’m living in Lille, North of France. I really do like this city because of its many opportunities. Lille in France is one of the biggest city but this is nothing in comparison with Paris for example.

20151025_104628.jpgThe city center is quite small but lovely and charming. You can go from one point to another by walking or using subways/bus. One of the main symbols of this city is the belfry near the opera. When it’s sunny a lot of people are chilling on the stairs of the Opera. Otherwise, people are relaxing in “Jardin Vauban”, a beautiful garden near the free zoo.

 

 

 

Still in the city center, the main place20141130_171827.jpg called place du général de Gaulle is the famousest one. A big fountain is in the middle of the place during summer and during Christmas, there is a big wheel and a giant Christmas tree. Few blocks after, you are at the “Place Rihour” where a lovely Christmas market is opened during from late November to early January.

 
IMG_0181.jpgLille is one of the biggest city in the North, so you can discover the North food mainly made of cheese. The most well known is the “Maroilles”. Some people eat some Maroilles on a toast with their coffee for breakfast ( Impossible for me because of the strong smell and taste). For the dessert, you can eat Vanilla”gauffrette” that are small waffles stuffed with Vanilla. This is so delicious !! You can find them everywhere in the city but at the bakery “Aux Merveilleux” they are even better.

 

 

Speaking of food, Lille has a lot of different markets where you can buy fresh food. There is one that I particularly love at the “Place du concert”. Another place where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables (and cheap !!)  is in the area of “Wazemmes”. You can find the opening timetable on the website : http://www.lille.fr/cms/halle-et-marches-de-lille

In a more ar20151018_154906.jpgtistic approach, at the tourism office, you can take the street art map, rent a bike and see all the street art of Lille. I did it with some of my friends and we spent an amazing afternoon. For me, it was a surprise to see as much art as I couldn’t imagine. Most of the time you are focused on one part of the city and you don’t see the other areas which are also interesting.

IMG_20150517_013116.jpgThere is also several museums in the city. I particularly love two of them: the “Tripostal” welcomes medium and short exhibitions which are mainly made of contemporary art. It is located near the train station.  The last exhibition named “Vite, vite Séoul” is really interesting showing the two parts of South Korea. From one side this country is really traditional and have its own customs but from another side, the country is evolving faster and faster with its modernity. The other museum called “Les beaux arts “is located at the “Place de la république”. This museum is more classical. You can find there some exhibitions in addition with the permanent exposition. Once a year you have the “night of  museums” where every museum is open at night for free. Some of them are even doing some special exhibitions.

The city of Lille is mIMG_0246.jpgade with different universities and a lot of schools. This is a student city; a large part of the population is under 25 years old. It provides a lot of offers and discount for students. Because there is a lot of students, there is also a lot of different bars and night clubs. Most of them is “Rue Massena” and “Rue Solferino”. Moreover, stay tuned with the events that are going on. A lot of student events are taking place in the city or just outside the city. For example, every year there is the student night where in a museum outside of Lille you can admire the art and party with a DJ inside the museum for free.

 

 

 

Spending some time in Normandie

Normandie is a region in France. I went there last year and spent some time with my family. This is really typical place from France and really beautiful!

 

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The architecture of houses there! I think this is very cute.

 

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The American cemetery after world war II .

 

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The Honfleur harbour. It is really charming place.

 

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The Honfleur or crique boeuf beach.

 

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Omaha beach: one of the most bloody beach during world war II.

The beast and the Beauty: horse version

Chantilly: 25 minutes from Paris by train and also called the horse city. Well known for it castle and royal stables every year a show is taking place during Christmas time.

IMG_0039.jpgThis year, the show is about the tale of the beast of the beauty.A young girl living with two awful sisters, will one day meet a beast. She’s really afraid of him but because he’s really sweet and nice he will win the heart of the beauty. The show of Chantilly cannot be a usual version: it’s a horse show version!

First of all, what it’s pleasant in this show is that you are in the royal stable which is in itself beautiful. Moreover, before the show you can admire horses in their boxes resting waiting for the show.IMG_0074.jpg

The show in itself is nice and poetic. Actors have amazing costumes, they also are really good at horse riding and are doing a lot of stunning figures. The beast managed six horses standing up on two of them! Other artists are dancing in the air suspended to a chandelier.

This is a lovely show during Christmas time to see. It can be seen as the family going out! If you don’t want to miss it the show is playing until the 3td of January 2016.

For more informations : http://www.domainedechantilly.com/fr/event/la-belle-et-la-bete/