You can hear the birds chirping, the river flowing slowly, the ducks traveling slowly at the edge of the water. We are just over an hour from Paris, in a mansion from the 1700s, nestled in the heart of the Eure Valley, between green hills and dense woods. Certainly not just any home, but the country house of the famous actress Catherine Denevue, who spent 35 years in the rooms of Primard, before it was transformed into a hotel by a couple of French entrepreneurs, at the head of the collection of luxury hotels Domains of Fontanille.
The holiday home of French actress Catherine Deneuve (10 bedrooms, 25 rooms including living rooms and other rooms, 10 bathrooms and 1,300 square meters of surface) was put up for sale in 2014 for just under 4 million euros. In reality it is a real castle also equipped with a park of 18 hectares, where the historic partner of Marcello Mastroianni delighted in growing roses.
Primard, the new address of the group, looks like a contemporary fairy tale. An estate on the banks of the Eure, with gardens, moats where you can take a boat ride, a farm with animals in semi-liberty and a pond. This is where Frédéric Biousse and Guillaume Foucher they have chosen to fulfill the wishes of those who want to spend a few days away from the hectic pace of the city, in search of disconnection, creating a chic and relaxed 5-star retreat.
After Domaine de Fontenille in Luberon, Les Bords de Mer in Marseille, Les Hortensias du Lac in Hossegor, Santa Ponsa and Torre Vella in Menorca, Primard completes the collection of character hotels of Les Domaines de Fontenille.
Just 59 minutes by train from Paris and 7 minutes by shuttle available to arrive comfortably at the hotel, you are thus teleported in front of the alley of a romantic paradise: an extraordinary residence surrounded by a park with 30 hectares of land between woods and hills. In praise of the slow life, this residence condenses that romanticism that inspired Hugo or Virginia Woolf and exudes a fundamentally French art of living.
Sophisticated, but rooted in the territory, each house tells a story. With its clear and simple lines, this one House on the Eure tells the quintessence of the late eighteenth century: a succession of lounges, small boudoirs, a large kitchen opening onto a terrace, period boiserie, oak floors and old fireplaces. The original plans and the old decorative elements have been preserved to keep the soul of the house. The property has several outbuildings, which today houses 17 rooms, a wooden barn and an annex, the Maison du Lac: a total of 40 rooms are available, where a country-chic deco style with essential lines is in force. They have one thing in common: they open onto the beautiful gardens, while the great French names such as Sarah Lavoine or Pierre Frey furnish the interiors.
The gardens were designed more than 30 years ago by Jacques Wirtz, an internationally renowned landscape architect who designed the Carrousel du Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens. Centuries-old trees, lawns, flower beds, a greenhouse, an orchard and more than 300 varieties of roses. The garden supplies chef Éric Frechon with fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs.
The property’s three restaurants – Eglantine, Octave and “La cuisine du château” – are run by three-star Michelin chef Eric Frechon. The gastronomy here is a true farm-to-table experience, with most of the fruit and vegetables used in the gourmet dishes coming from the Domaine’s organic potager (vegetable garden). The Domaine also offers spa services (including a hammam) and a host of rich experiences.
No cars, no visual pollution, almost like being in a movie. After having a coffee, you can relax by the pool, where you can order a drink, a salad or a sandwich. Do not miss the spa with sauna, with unique treatments based on precious natural essences, oils and unprocessed substances. The price for a double room starts from 280 euros per night.