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Having spent an incredible long weekend in Paris, I thought I’d share with you a few pictures from a day-trip my partner in crime and I took back in fall. It was one of those impromptu road trips we usually take when we’re in need for a change of scenery and in hindsight, one of the best destinations we’ve ever picked around Belgium.   

A three-hour drive from Brussels (and only half and hour from Paris by train!), Chantilly is a sweet little town that’s mainly known for three things: its beautiful castle, delicate lace and whipped cream. Speaking about chantilly cream, have you seen the film “Vatel”? Gérard Depardieu plays François Vatel, a steward of the Prince of Condé famous for the legendary meals he organized in the castle and its fabulous desserts topped with chantilly, If not, maybe you remember Chantilly from the Bond movie “A View to Kill” where the castle and stables were supposed to be the estate of evil Max Zorin, played by Christopher Walken. An oldie but goodie!

The Domaine de Chantilly comprises a Château, a park and the Grand Stables which also have an interesting story. The Prince of Condé actually believed he would be reincarnated as a horse, so he commissioned the construction of these imposing stables. Talking about after-life comfort! The Castle itself has beautiful gardens and hosts an enormous library and impressive art gallery. We also tool a tour inside the various rooms which were lavishly decorated with items from the 18th century. After visiting the castle, we trekked up on a picturesque trail back to our hotel making detours here and there to take pictures and admire the beautiful landscape: sheep, small thatched cottages, canals and crisp leaves in brilliant hues from buttery yellow to burgundy red – a feast for the eyes!

If you’re looking for a fun destination close to Paris and/or Brussels, Chantilly is well worth a visit. And if you finally decide to plan a trip to the area, consider also passing by Giverny to see Monet’s stunning garden

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Sandy (@smarksthespots)