Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Petit déjeuner at the Château de Boucéel

Petit déjeuner at the Château de Boucéel
8" x 10", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Actually staying in a Château on our French holiday was a treat! The Châteaux are all so very different and Château de Boucéel, the one we stayed in near Mont St Michel, looked like a very grand house. You can see some photos of it below and there are more online on Flickr.

Château de Boucéel - exterior and hall and stairs

It turns out that Château de Boucéel has been reincarnated a few times. There has been a castle on the land since the twelth century. It's moved a few metres too in that time
The Boucéel estate dates back to the beginning of the 12th century. It was awarded by Richard III duke of Normandy to the Pigace family. The present château is a Listed Building built in 1763. It is the third one on the estate. The second was a large square castle with four towers, typical of the Knight Templars, and a stopping place for the Mont Saint Michel pilgrims in the Middle Ages.

This one is a large “ Malouinière” ( typical Saint Malo architecture at the time of King Louis XIV) with a curve forwarded front on on the North side, with primes on the South side and two lower wings on each side that give it a wide spread.
The story of the history of the estate also recounts what happened in various wars and battles

My sketch (at the top of the post) is of breakfast on the Saturday morning and the breakfast table (linen, silver etc!) in their very grand and very lovely dining room which was panelled in wood painted a very pale pistachio colour. A curious colour but it worked really well.

It was fascinating to learn from the Comte Régis de Roquefeuil that his father had always drawn his life - in comic book style - and that this was now recorded in a book. He showed me his father's record of his honeymoon in Venice.
Arnaud de Roquefeuil, my father, has told his life in comics between 1923 and 1955. The drawings that you can visualize here come from his album which is in Boucéel.

On this page, the website displays the cartoons his father drew during the war about his experiences between 1939 and 1945. These are published in a book called Chronique illustrée de la Manche en guerre by Arnaud de Roquefeuil. They are absolutely fascinating as contemporaneous accounts of what the war actually looked like in that part of the world. It includes one of planes in the skies overhead on D day.

I can highly recommend Château de Boucéel if you ever want to stay in the area. We were made very welcome and I had a wonderful night's sleep in a very comfortable bed followed by and a splendid Petit déjeuner. We stayed in La chambre de Charlotte which is one of the bedrooms which has three beds. I was in a separate bedroom on the other side of the bathroom - which you can se on the link. My sister and I speculated about whether we were going to go home and start creating padded walls. We'd discovered that the walls upstairs were all covered in fabric which when touched had a firm padding underneath. I just kept wondering how they were kept clean!

From here we went back to Mont St Michel and managed to get there before the hordes arrived - so the next post on this blog is all about our visit to Mont St Michel!



  1. The chateau looks lovely! It is nice to stay someplace with a bit of history and some atmosphere. Your breakfast table looks lovely...I could sit down right now and join you.

  2. In preparing an article and blog piece about my stay at Chateau Bouceel, I came across your blog. I am happy I did. It seems we were both taken by that lovely home and the charming owner! I adore your drawing. Can't wait to spend more time on your blog.


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