Autumn at La Creuzette

2016-11-18

"... how I love you rumbling, the falling fruit that no one gathers."  – Guillaume Apollinaire

The eventful year glowingly turns to copper and gold, and slows down for the imminent winter season at La Creuzette. The trees in the park deliver a spectacular chromatic concerto – a standing ovation given to a propitious year full of colourful delights. It is harvest season. Pruning season. Time to assess what the season has produced. The aroma of sweet bonfire smoke fills the air. There is an abundance of fruit and nuts: apples, pears and the last of the figs. We gather what has fallen from the trees – les fruits tombant make for heavenly jams, jellies, and compotes. In the forest around our village, people are amassing mushrooms from the damp, fertile soil – chanterelles, girolles, cèpes, mousseron, morille and pied de mouton. Before all the streams freeze over and we wrap the season up with a florid bow, we do two launches of our new book in London and Amsterdam. We will do some earnest bulb buying in Holland for the spring garden.

One of the highpoints of the season was the introduction of a Tapestry Experience to our diverse portfolio of concept vacations. In Paris, the guests visited one of the most exquisite French palaces, the Château Vaux le Vicomte, and the Musée de Cluny. The Château collection includes some splendid Gobelins and Beauvais tapestries and the Cluny Museum houses the iconic 15th-century Lady and the Unicorn series originally from the Château de Boussac. After Paris, they visited Chateaudun that houses the captivating tapestry cycle depicting the life of Moses, and the Angers Castle where the precious 14th-century series illuminating St John’s Book of Revelations resides. There are six panels and the installation spans an impressive 103 metres!

Aubusson has been the French stronghold for tapestry production for the past 600 years. We visit the Maison du Tapissier, contemporary production studios, and artists’ private ateliers. Chantal Chirac recently opened The Aubusson Cartoon Museum where she showcases antique gouache artworks that are the preliminary cartoons for the famous tapestries. The jewel in the crown is a visit to the newly inaugurated Cité de la Tapisserie, where a fascinating collection of ancient and contemporary tapestries is exhibited. Hardy Olivier is presently doing a tapestry restoration course, and he conducts this exciting group visit with informed enthusiasm and a glowing passion.

“My love for this neglected and near-forsaken art form developed a couple of years ago when Lucien and Bernadette Blondeau were commissioned to weave a tapestry of one of Louis’s designs. Scrutinising the meticulous progress of the piece at the Manufacture St Jean in Aubusson, I became fascinated with the intricate and colourful process. While biding time in the charming riverside village, I spent hours at the museum and restoration ateliers. The more I saw and learned about the 17th- and 18th-century woven masterpieces, the more I wanted to know about their provenance and the particular weaving techniques. I was hooked and started collecting rare and wonderful pieces. The first addition was a 17th-century Flemish royal hunting scene. Then followed another Aubusson tapestry from the same period, depicting the legend of Queen Esther. Others followed. The collection grows while I explore my newfound passion – auction houses!”


We make magic

The programme for 2017 is out in the open! Some of the season’s slots have been reserved for exclusive private celebrations, and for some events, there is only limited space available. Or let the team design a bespoke La Creuzette Holiday for you and your group during our 2018 season. La Creuzette is a choice destination and in a class all by itself. We endeavour to make each experience unique and memorable. 

“… Picture a venerable thick wooden kitchen table, scarred by the knife marks of generations of cooks, a great black oven, porcelain plates, heavy silver cutlery, crystal vases and delicate glass flutes of French champagne; and you’ll be transported to a place where time seems measureless.”
Kate Turkington. Foreword – The Story of a House.

Interested in experiencing La Creuzette? Click here to learn more about our exciting programmes and packages.