At Home With the Windsors – La Maison des Amis

I am off to France shortly. It’s another Landmarking holiday but with the added difference that I shall be in France and staying at the former weekend home of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

This will be my second visit. Last year the day of departure coincided with the Royal Wedding. I had my own Royal Weekend in France which made up, somewhat, for missing the live broadcasts of Kate and William’s happy day.

Le Moulin

La Maison des Amis is situated within the small estate that comprises The Moulin de la Tuilerie on the edge of the village of Gif sur Yvette in the Essonne department of France. We didn’t use it last year but there’s an RER train link with the centre of Paris and the journey takes about  40 minutes. We’re hoping to have a little trip to town this time. We don’t have too many plans but we have reserved at a restaurant in Versailles for lunch on the Sunday.

La Maison Des Amis (rear)

There are three rental properties on the site. Le Moulin  itself (which sleeps 12 in total) and which the Duke and Duchess themselves occupied for their weekends away from Paris and La Maison de Amis (sleeps 4) and Le Celibataire (sleeps 2) where their guests – people like Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (I sleep in their room!), Cecil Beeton, Marlene Dietrich and Maria Callas – were accommodated very comfortably.

Le Moulin de la Tuilerie from ‘Cardiac Hill’ as the Duke of Windsor called it!

Those Windsors they recognised a great location when they saw it. In addition to being 40 minutes from the centre of Paris (or rather 35 minutes by Buick from their home in the Bois de Boulogne) the lovely old town of Versailles and its OTT palace and  grounds are about 20 minutes away and as Landmark puts it :

“Just as for Edward and Wallis, still today this is a place for contrasts: a wonderful setting to play host, or enjoy deep tranquillity; an easy day trip by direct train to the bustle and culture of central Paris or the delights of Versailles, and yet a place where the city finally yields to deep countryside.”

Sunday evening strollers in the park at Versailles

There is plenty of good reading matter in the Landmark Library, as usual. We spent a lot of time looking through the Sothebys New York 1997 Sale Catalogue of the Windsors’ stuff.


8 comments on “At Home With the Windsors – La Maison des Amis

  1. sherry says:

    I hope you have good weather and a lovely time~!

  2. Thank you, sherry. We had such gorgeous weather last year; but I don’t think it will be anything like as good this.

  3. Barbara Tschirren says:

    Have a wonderful time in France…it’s really intersting to read your travellers experiences.

  4. Thank you, Barbara! Praise indeed from a seasoned traveller! Please call again.

  5. Heather says:

    Is there anywhere I can find comments left by previous tenants? Have booked both Le Moulin and La Maison des Amis as surprise for my husband’s 70th birthday with friends later in the year,and would like to be fully prepared if there are any small niggles/problems we should be aware of.
    Would be most grateful for your input.

    • As far as I am aware, Heather, the only comments are in the Logbook so not available to you in advance. I take you are a seasoned Landmarker? You will have a marvellous and memorable stay I am sure. I will be happy to answer any particular queries that you may have so will email you directly.

  6. […] took my son’s pug with us when we stayed at the Windsor’s place near Versailles in 2012. In addition I had other smellies; plus a box of cards for me to write my thank you notes […]

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