Monday, March 19, 2012

Marly le Roi

How was your weekend? We had a busy one, playdates, ballet rehearsals, I did some French homework, and sneaked in an hour or two of sewing then I drove round the Arc de Triomphe (otherwise known as the worlds scariest, no rules, traffic roundabout) for the first time to get the girls to a Girl Scout event!

Gabrielle of Design Mom who is currently living 'just up the road from us', in Normandy, is having a Love the Place you Live link up today to encourage you to discover something interesting to visit in your neighbourhood. Clearly we have no shortage of famous sites close to home, but there are plenty of lesser known areas to explore as well. Especially in the suburbs - some would say countryside - where we live.

Marly-le-Roi 4
Back in January (while India was at a Girl Scout meeting coincidentally) the rest of the family took a stroll through the old town of Marly le Roi. I'd driven past the end of this street often whilst taking India to her ballet lessons (do you sense a theme emerging here?) and wanted to get a closer look.

Marly-le-Roi 1
Marly le Roi was acquired in 1676 by Louis XIV and he set about building a little chateau there as a private getaway from his big chateau at Versailles! In the nineteenth century the town became popular with the Impressionist painters who found inspiration in this and other towns along the banks of the Seine out to the west of Paris. Nowadays it's a busy town within commuting distance to the city.

Marly-le-Roi 10
Louis XIV's chateau has gone now but you can still walk through the parkland in which it stood.

Marly-le-Roi 9 Despite the sunshine, the weather was freezing so we left the park to the swans and set off in search of a warm drink.

Marly-le-Roi 2
We headed for Grande Rue in the old village

Marly-le-Roi 7
Marly-le-Roi 5
still full of old French charm

Marly-le-Roi 6
and rather unexpectedly full of restaurants representing a diverse international cuisine; Italian, Asian, American, basic French at the top of the street and Michelin starred French at the bottom.

Marly-le-Roi 11
Most appealing to us however on a cold Sunday afternoon was Cottage an English Tea Room with a very French sign on the door welcoming dogs! I've seen impeccably behaved French dogs 'eating out' with their owners in quite a few places we've eaten (our preference tending towards the basic rather than michelin starred when we have four kids in tow!) but have never dared take Alfie out to eat. Regular readers will know he's not to be trusted, especially when food is involved. I would have loved to take some photos of the dog amongst the doilies, but we were preoccupied by the need to keep dog and toddler under control - successfully as it turned out. Luckily the only other diners were another English family with four girls so we were obviously in the right place and no eyebrows were raised in our direction. Our scones and jam were delicious and the tea wasn't bad at all. Looking at these photos again has reminded me of all the other interesting looking restaurants there that we really should try.

Marly-le-Roi 3
And did I mention there's a fabric and yarn store? I'm sure we will be back to visit soon.

It's not difficult for us to love the place we live.
Here's a few of the other interesting places we've visited that are no more than a twenty minute drive from home. You might have heard of some of them!
The Palace of Versailles
Marie Antoinette's Estate
The Eiffel Tower
Musee Marmottan Monet
The Luxembourg Gardens
Les Fermes de Gally


  1. All of these lovely posts from families living abroad! Whetting my appetite for some adventure. Part of me yearns to have lived in the same place forever but the reality is the opposite - we are a family who has roots in a number of different places.

    It's lovely to stretch yourself and live in another culture.

    P.S. Love the thought of Louis XIV needing a break from Versailles...

  2. What a great visit - old Louis had it tough, didn't he? Don't know how he put up with it all really. Great pics, have put this spot on the list for our spring trip, not sure how it will pan out but it's good to dream, hey?

  3. De superbes photos!
    Merci beaucoup d'être passée chez moi et de m'avoir laissé un commentaire

  4. Oh that charming street! I could spend an entire day photographing just that! I could love to have been along with this trip with you and the children.


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A bientôt! Nicola

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