I have visited houses of royal mistress before, including Marble Hill near London. Today it is the tun of Le Petit Trianon, built for Madame de Pompadour in the 1760s. Madame de Pompadour died four years after its construction, only for her own successor in “distracting the king”, Louis XV, Madame du Barry, to move in.
Perhaps more famously, this classically Greek “Little Chateau” was latterly also occupied by Marie Antoinette, from where she famously indulged herself and had a farm where the sheep were heavily perfumed.
And I can see why Marie Antoinette would have wanted to spend time here, for it is far more welcoming and liveable than the Palace of Versailles itself. In fact, it includes the engineering for a nifty dining table that can be lowered down from the dining room into the kitchen, creating more space for “hanging out”. I’m sure there’s a billionaire out there who might see it and decide to replicate the idea. Even if the Petit Trianon’s table itself was never built.
And so to Marie Antoinette’s domain we go. Bearing in mind that after the Revolution the house was stripped of contents and very much visited a restored house.
In truth, the gardens and facades are nicer than the interior.
When I revisit the Paris area and Versailles, I will make my first port of call Le Petit Trianon. When we reached the house this time we were very tired and damp, having queued for 2 hours to get into Versailles and then trudged through the gardens. Live and learn, live and learn!
When visited: September 2015
Further reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petit_Trianon