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En Résidence: A Guest House and Residency at Château de la Haute Borde in the Loire Valley

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En Résidence: A Guest House and Residency at Château de la Haute Borde in the Loire Valley

September 15, 2023

After a friend took part in the artist residency program at the Château de la Haute Borde a few summers back, I’ve admired the interiors and images of artists and guests gathered around long dinner tables in the tall grasses of the surrounding grounds. Located in Rilly-sur-Loire, the chateau was initially built in 1876 before operating as a hotel from 1940 to the early 2000s, then as a family house through 2020. From there, Parisian art directors Cécile Simon and Céline Barrère were asked to maintain the family’s property through starting an arts program. Joining with Violette Platteau, the trio developed the concept for Château de la Haute Borde (CBH) and CBH Arts. “We wanted a slower life, in touch with nature and each other” says Cécile.

The group worked with Charles Marmion and Jeanne Lefrand of MPM Architecture to renovate the interiors using natural materials in a minimalist aesthetic, and the chateau now operates as a five-room guest house and artists’ residence. Within a framework of Italian cocciopesto floors, Languedoc red marble, plaster walls, and isolation bricks, interior designer Erin Korus integrated existing antiques from owners Jacques and Marie Barrère with vintage and antique pieces sourced from Parisian dealers, the Netherlands, and online resources. Here’s a walk through the chateau from the grounds to the lower salons and upper guest rooms.

All images courtesy of CBH; photographers noted below.

the chateau exterior is maintained as it was in \1876. photo by anna fouquere. 17
Above: The chateau exterior is maintained as it was in 1876. Photo by Anna Fouquere.
a jean royère desk in the artist residence space looks out onto the ground 18
Above: A Jean Royère desk in the artist residence space looks out onto the grounds. Photo by Anna Fouquere.
the lower salon is designed with a martin visser sofa, found on a sourcing trip 19
Above: The lower salon is designed with a Martin Visser sofa, found on a sourcing trip to the Netherlands with MPM. “We also did a lot of flea market and Leboncoin (French eBay) digging,” Cécile explains. Photo by Julie Lansom.
two large jute rugs anchor separate lounge spaces in the large salon. photo by  20
Above: Two large jute rugs anchor separate lounge spaces in the large salon. Photo by Julie Lansom.
vintage lounge chairs upholstered in wide navy stripe fabric. photo by anna fou 21
Above: Vintage lounge chairs upholstered in wide navy stripe fabric. Photo by Anna Fouquere.
chambre \1. organic french linens from la redoute dress all of the beds. photo  22
Above: Chambre 1. Organic French linens from La Redoute dress all of the beds. Photo by Anna Fouquere.
chambre 3 features a simple bed, vintage pendant light, and handmade storage be 23
Above: Chambre 3 features a simple bed, vintage pendant light, and handmade storage benches. Photo by Anna Fouquere.
the bathtub surround is languedoc marble. photo courtesy of cbh. 24
Above: The bathtub surround is Languedoc marble. Photo courtesy of CBH.
mpm sourced marble from previous constructions across different countries in or 25
Above: MPM sourced marble from previous constructions across different countries in order to reduce the cost and use leftover material. Photo by Barrere and Simon.
carrying from the bedroom into the ensuite bath is cocciopesto flooring, a type 26
Above: Carrying from the bedroom into the ensuite bath is cocciopesto flooring, a type of Italian marble made up marble and shell fragments, akin to terrazzo.  Photo courtesy of CBH.
&#8\2\20;we wanted large, open showers made of natural materials,&#8\2\ 27
Above: “We wanted large, open showers made of natural materials,” says Cécile. “The walls are isolation bricks, they don’t need to be covered. We loved the simple lines and touch of the clay.”  Photo courtesy of CBH.
vintage armchairs in the corner of chambre \2. photo by anna fouquere. 28
Above: Vintage armchairs in the corner of Chambre 2. Photo by Anna Fouquere.
classic french patio umbrellas pair with fermob luxembourg furniture in cactus  29
Above: Classic French patio umbrellas pair with Fermob Luxembourg furniture in Cactus (the same model and color seen in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris). Photo by Barrere and Simon.
the minimalist pool designed and newly built by mpm. photo by mpm architecture. 30
Above: The minimalist pool designed and newly built by MPM. Photo by MPM Architecture.
a view of the chateau, grounds, and resident row boat available for guests and  31
Above: A view of the chateau, grounds, and resident row boat available for guests and artists. Photo courtesy of CBH.

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Frequently asked questions

What is Château de la Haute Borde?

Château de la Haute Borde is an artist residency and guest rooms located in the Loire Valley, France. It offers a unique accommodation experience for artists and travelers looking for inspiration and tranquility.

How can I apply for an artist residency at Château de la Haute Borde?

To apply for an artist residency, you can visit the official website of Château de la Haute Borde and fill out the application form. Provide relevant information about your artistic background and the project you wish to work on during your stay.

Are there any specific requirements for artist residency applications?

While there are no strict requirements, the selection process primarily focuses on the artist's talent, experience, and proposed project. The residency is open to artists from various disciplines, including visual arts, writing, photography, and more.

Can non-artists stay at Château de la Haute Borde?

Yes, Château de la Haute Borde also offers guest rooms for non-artists who wish to experience the unique ambiance of the château. Whether you are an art enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, you are welcome to book a guest room.

What are the facilities and amenities provided at Château de la Haute Borde?

The château offers comfortable guest rooms with private bathrooms, shared living spaces, a fully equipped kitchen, a library, a garden, and scenic views of the surrounding countryside. Additionally, there are art studios available for resident artists.

Is there a minimum or maximum duration for artist residencies?

The duration of artist residencies at Château de la Haute Borde can vary. Typically, residencies last between two weeks and three months, but longer stays can be arranged based on availability and project requirements.

Are meals provided during the stay?

Château de la Haute Borde does not provide meals for resident artists or guests. However, the fully equipped kitchen allows individuals to prepare their own meals using local ingredients or explore nearby restaurants and markets.

What are some nearby attractions and activities?

The Loire Valley is known for its stunning castles, vineyards, and picturesque landscapes. Nearby attractions include Château de Chambord, wine tours, cycling routes, hiking trails, and charming villages. The region offers plenty to explore and find inspiration.

Is transportation available to reach Château de la Haute Borde?

Transportation to Château de la Haute Borde is typically arranged by the individuals themselves. The closest airport is Tours Val de Loire Airport, and train stations in the nearby towns of Blois and Mer offer convenient access. Car rentals and taxis are also available for transportation within the region.

Can I bring my pet to the château?

Unfortunately, pets are not allowed at Château de la Haute Borde to ensure the comfort and experience of all guests.

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