There’s something special about French chateaux; in short, we absolutely love them. It seems to be obligatory to visit at least one or two such historic properties on any visit to France. It’s also hard to deny that these residences exude a certain prestige and sense of occasion that makes them a highly desirable choice of venue for a celebration, such as an engagement party or birthday party.
Location matters… in both practical and sentimental terms
The large country houses or castles in France that are given the name ‘chateau’ tend to be characterised by an unmistakable combination of a resplendent or imposing property and spectacular surrounding grounds, the latter likely to include carefully manicured French gardens.
Indeed, many French chateaux are especially suitable for parties in the 21st century precisely because the nobility and gentry who constructed them situated them within idyllic environs, but also within reasonable travelling distance of major cities for business.
Nonetheless, it’s still important to ensure that any French chateau you are contemplating is in a location that appeals to both your head and your heart.
One of the most sought-after French chateaux at present, for instance, is Château Bouffémont, which is situated in the enchanting Montmorency Forest. However, it can also be reached in a mere 20-minute journey from Charles de Gaulle Airport, and is a convenient 40 minutes away from central Paris – ideal for guests coming from far afield and even abroad.
How many people will be coming along to the party?
When many of us think of French chateaux, we imagine a physically daunting, monumental property. That isn’t necessarily always the case, though, and you will need to consider which venues would enable you to strike the right balance between accommodating everyone and achieving the most intimate, homely and welcoming atmosphere.
Looking again to Château Bouffémont, for example, this 19th-century erstwhile residence of the Marquise of Preignes and Baron Empain is capable of hosting as many as 150 guests for a seated dinner, 250 guests for cocktails and 30 guests for an overnight stay.
In fact, with a total of more than 2,000 square metres of living space able to be hired for all manner of major celebrations and events, Château Bouffémont is a truly grand property catering to even some of the most ambitious requirements.
Consider what extra help the venue can lend to you
You probably wouldn’t purchase a classic Ferrari or Lamborghini if it was rusty and didn’t start, and much the same principle applies when you are looking to hire a French chateau as a party venue; even the most ‘fairytale’ venue can rapidly become a nightmare one if you aren’t given any assistance to make your celebration a success.
After all, you may have never organised a celebration on this scale before, let alone in a French chateau. So, it helps if whatever venue you choose has a dedicated team of staff and event designers, as well as partnerships with leading service providers, to lighten your burden when you are planning your party.
Carefully consider all of the above elements, and you can maximise your chances of holding a celebration that everyone present will remember for all of the fondest reasons. For further information on this subject, you might wish to check out The Local writer Oliver Gee’s article on why everyone should party in a French chateau at least once during their lifetimes.