September Visit to Montesson

The weekend included a trip on the Saturday to the Chateau at Chantilly, famous for its cream, lace and the magnificent 17th Century stables and world-renowned race course, owned by the Aga Khan. The chateau houses the second most important collection of French paintings in the country, after the Louvre, and a large collection of beautiful, illuminated 15th and 16th century books, many of them written by hand before the advent of the printing press.

Many very famous paintings are permanently on display here, including Raphael’s The Three Muses, and a painting of Napoleon Bonaparte as a young man.
An octagonal room in the chateau was used as part of a hospital by the occupying forces during WW2, and it is said that the threat was made that if any occupying soldier was killed, the paintings would be destroyed. None was.

Whilst some of the Thame party went into the chic town of Chantilly itself to explore the shops and to taste Chantilly cream for themselves, others explored the chateau’s parklandwhich includes a maze, landscaped gardens, including an Anglo-Chinese garden, a grand canal and a rustic hamlet of cottages where the Prince of Condé entertained his guests.

Although there was some rain on the Saturday, Sunday brought the sunshine just in time for the outdoor mass held in the Parc des Sophiras and a magnificent meal under canvas bringing together the visitors from Thame, those from Montesson’s German twin town of Baesweiler and their French hosts.Chair of the Thame Twinning, Jeannette Matelot Green, said: “We had a very successful twinning weekend, our 12th annual visit! The new Montesson committee are well settled in now and everything went down smoothly – especially the Chantilly cream. We are looking forward to their return to our Christmas Event in Thame, Friday, December 6, when they will be selling all things French including crepes.” 

After the long journey back to the Eurotunnel in the capable hands of Matt Mason, the driver,  the group arrived weary but very content with memories of a wonderful weekend with their French friends – and very happy with their wine and shopping.

You can follow the Montesson Twinning Association on facebook

Article reproduced from, editor Sonja France

PICTURED:  From left toright:  Anne Gillet, the President of the Montesson twinning committee, the Mayor of Montesson, Monsieur Jean Francois Bel, the deputy Mayor of Baesweiller, Jeannette Matelot Green Chair,  Linda Emery, Vice Chair.