Magnificent gardens, 17th century opulence and marvellous history, minus the crowds, awaits at château de vaux-le-vicomte.
Step back in time at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
Arguably one of the most magnificent [châteaux in France](https://www.france.fr/en/news/list/top-chateaux-must-see-france), it's hardly surprising that Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte was selected as the setting for the recent Netflix series Versailles and more than 60 cinematic blockbusters including Moonraker and The Man In The Iron Mask.
Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte was the result of a large-scale collaboration of 17th century architecture, interior decoration and landscape design figures, Charles Le Brun, Andre Le Notre and architect Louis le Vau, chosen by the King Louis XIV to later build The Palace of Versailles.
The exquisite restored Salon des Muses ceiling (photo © Yann Pirioux)
Just a single step inside is all it takes to be transported back to 17th century France. Peer inside the carefully preserved rooms such as the King's Bedroom and its gold leaf stucco … or Fouquet's bedroom, rich in artistic masterpieces.
Wander through the château dressed as a princess - or musketeer - in period costume, if you wish (children only). Why not pop on a headset and hear beguiling tales of Nicolas Fouquet, the superintendent of finances for Louis XIV whose tragic fate arrived after an extraordinary party he threw for the young Sun King (the audio tour is included with entry).
Lovers of intriguing history may prefer to linger inside the decorated kitchens in the basement where the famous chef Francois Vatel organised extravagant dishes for the many parties given by Fouquet. Or meander through the property's magnificent 33-hectare gardens with intricate box hedges and a mirror pond reflecting the palace. Or head to the Carriage Museum, bursting with historic coaches. More modern buggies are there, too, for touring the grounds (hire fees apply).
The opulent property is in the safe hands of fifth-generation family, brothers Alexandre, Ascanio and Jean-Charles de Vogue, who live within the grounds and take great pleasure in greeting guests.
Aerial view of the lush gardens (photo © Bruno Lépolard)
A night of "grand siècle" at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
At the château on a Saturday evening is when a night of Grand Siecle is recreated at the château. It's a sensation to set eyes upon the château and gardens illuminated by 2000 candles and gold and silver fireworks; it feels as if you're mingling with guests at the famous party Fouquet gave the young King Louis XIV.
An illuminated evening at Vaux-le-Vicomte © Collectif Image
A fine romance at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
Romance on the menu? A candlelit dinner is available at the gastronomic Charmilles restaurant (External link) overlooking the illuminated château. Those with a preference for picnies can choose a delicious catered option (or self-catering is permitted). For a truly next-level magical experience, dine inside the dome of the château, where dinner is served at a private table for two__ overlooking the grand property.
www.vaux-le-vicomte.com (External link)
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