Thursday, 21 August 2014

The dining room at Domaine de Candé

Earlier this month we took our friend Jane to see the Chateau de Candé near Tours. On the day we went we had the place to ourselves. There wasn't another soul about- perhaps because the weather was windy, cool and rainy; hence we have no photographs of the outside.
Dining room, table all laid
Candé is a small Renaissance chateau --completed in 1508, with 19th century neo-gothic extensions and fabulous Art Deco bathrooms.

Detail: Cordovan leather walls,
One of its main claims to fame is it is where the marriage between the former King Edward VIII, who became the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson took place. Edward VIII abdicated, as marriage to a twice divorced woman was unacceptable to the Establishment in 1936. The Duke of Windsor knew the Franco-American owner, Charles Bedaux who had bought Candé in 1927 and was responsible for the amazing bathrooms and other mod-cons such as central heating. Bedaux offered to host the Duke's [at the time still controversial] wedding at Candé.
Angel playing a trumpet
The Duke & Duchess of Windsor's wedding breakfast was held here, in the dining room. The room itself has beautiful cordovan leather clad walls above elegant linen-fold panelling. You can just see a tiny bit of the painted beamed ceiling in the photo above. The beams end in a display of the Briçonnet coat of arms; they are the family who built the original Renaissance building.

Cheeky devil blowing out a woman's candle with some bellows
Inset into the dining room windows are various panels of late medieval or early Renaissance glass, two of which caught our eye.

14 comments:

domi said...

Beautiful! (Oh, I need to figure out some way to visit you guys!) ~nikki

Susan said...

The cordovan leather on the walls is really something. I believe it is original ie late 15thC, and Spanish, which makes it unusual in the Touraine.

I'm not sure that the Windsor wedding breakfast was held in the dining room. I think there was a champagne toast after the ceremony, but then they all head off to an auberge in Monts.

Pollygarter said...

I love the trumpet-playing angel's designer stubble. Now that's jazz!

the fly in the web said...

Have to have had good bathrooms to have pleased Wallis...

That stamped leather is stunning..

Niall & Antoinette said...

@ Nikki - yes you most definitely should! It would be so good to see you!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@ Susan - I asked about it and the staff thought it was original to the build completed in 1508, and it looks pretty right to us.

Re the wedding breakfast--we're going on the info supplied by Candé in its information.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@ Pauline - I really like the puffed out cheeks. He's in full parp.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@ Fly - oh yes, you go to have great plumbing!

The Cordovan leather walls are superb--the photos don't do it justice.

Susan said...

Re the leather -- it's in fabulous condition (except where visitors pick at it to see what it is!!) It is interesting from the point of view that each piece of leather is fairly random shaped. It's a real mosaic compared to the early 17th century French cordovan leather at Cheverny, which is a simpler pattern and in large square pieces applied to the wall. I asked the staff when it dated from too, as the odd shaped pieces suggested to me that it had been salvaged from somewhere else and reinstated in the 19th century, (like the stained glass in the same room) but I am prepared to believe it is original. I'm slightly dubious about the 'Briconnet' coat of arms, but that is because I have heard a different explanation of where the arms come from and they look different to pics of the Briconnet arms that I have seen. However, I'm no expert on arms and you have to be to have any real chance of sorting some of them out.

I know the blurb at the chateau says the wedding breakfast was held there, but the reason I am dubious is because a local person told me that it was in fact held at a hotel restaurant in Monts (which still exists) and there is Pathé footage of the wedding party arriving and leaving said resto.

Perpetua said...

What an opulent room, whether or not the Duke and duchess held their wedding breakfast there. You won't be surprised to hear that I particularly like the scraps of stained glass. :)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@ Perpetua- It wouldn't surprise us if they had a "liquid" 1st wedding breakfast in the dining room and then toddled off to a restaurant for a second, more substantial one.

The bits of glass are at eye height [+/-] so you can inspect all the detail :-)

John Gray said...

I've so so missed your essays
Apologies for being away for so long...
Sometimes that happens in blog land
Jxx
Ps love that glass

Niall & Antoinette said...

@John - the glass is great isn't?
Not to worry blog land is like that :-) I sometimes get way behind too.

JEH1002 said...

Beautiful pics indeed and an interesting and beautiful spot!