75 km from the Parisian capital, an hour from the Porte d’Auteuil, the seventh establishment of Les Domaines de Fontenille opened in May. At the helm : the duo, Frédéric Biousse and Guillaume Foucher. The property located in Guainville (Normandy) offers a country escape to guests in search of relaxation, with cuisine by Eric Frechon and the first Susanne Kaufmann Spa in France.
Frédéric Biousse and Guillaume Foucher – one from a fashion background and the other from a fine arts background – only buy what strikes their hearts. For the greater happiness of those who dream of a cocoon and an elsewhere, these two strive to transform properties into luxury hotels, and this is once again the case with their brand new establishment, Domaine de Primard.
“I visited it four years ago, one November morning, in the pouring rain. Frédéric and I were still in Paris. We regularly mentioned the idea of a place to get away from it all at the weekend. It was a desire, not yet a project. And, not surprisingly, we couldn’t find anything,” Guillaume Foucher tells ELLE Décoration magazine. “At first sight, I fell in love with it. The 18th century building, the undulating presence of the Eure, the proportions of the house, the garden designed by Jacques Wirtz, the rose garden with its 250 species, the orchard, and this park of about 40 hectares, everything was romantic. It was only on the third visit that I realised it was Catherine Deneuve’s house.”
Before being revamped, Domaine de Primard was indeed for 35 years the family property of the French actress Catherine Deneuve, muse of Yves Saint-Laurent, known for cultivating the art of discreet chic, comfort without bling. While having preserved its romantic spirit, the residence built in the 18th century is today transformed into a luxury and charming hotel, member of the Relais & Château network.
The estate extends over more than thirty hectares on either side of the Eure between Anet and Giverny and has some forty rooms, divided between the main property and its three outbuildings. The place is perfect for lovers of the great outdoors, wishing to take a magical break in the heart of nature.
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Celian Skandrani, Maître de Maison at Domaine de Primard, said of the château: “The elegance of an 18th century residence for a rare experience in a unique location.”
Guests will discover a country house with a warm and cosy atmosphere, where the woodwork and fireplaces have been perfectly preserved. A unique combination of French classicism and exaggerated romanticism.
“In Primard, the hectic pace of everyday life fades away, time slows down and everyone finally gets to enjoy life, the real thing. More than a destination, Primard is a world in itself. It is a journey, a home, a retreat, a refuge,” says the estate.
Coming to Domaine de Primard is to enjoy an escape to the great outdoors. Visitors can enjoy a soothing setting between ponds, forests, fields and orchards, as well as the magnificent garden and rose garden. A garden created by the famous landscape designer Jacques Wirtz and the rose garden where Catherine Deneuve took great care to cultivate a colony of roses.
The most dreamy can enjoy a boat trip on the river that runs through the estate, or an electric bike ride or a walk.
As for the cuisine, it is the work of three-starred chef Eric Frechon. He himself has created the menus for the two restaurants of Domaine de Primard: Bistrot Octave, where you can enjoy mature meats and farm poultry cooked on the spit, and the gastronomic restaurant Églantine, where the raw power of nature is brought to life on the plate.
Finally, Cuisine du Château, located in the former kitchen of the house on the Eure, offers a private interlude where the famous multi-starred chef prepares specially for the guests, with a personalised menu according to the seasonality of the products and the desires.
The highlight of the stay is the spa with sauna, hammam and Japanese baths. Guests will be able to enjoy treatments never before offered in France by Susanne Kaufmann, who offers four treatment rooms, one of which is a double room, in a cosy, wood-clad spa of 450 m2. The pioneer of holistic beauty was inspired by the surrounding nature and combines plants from the mountains, forests and plains of her region with state-of-the-art active ingredients.
Domaine de Primard – 28260 Guainville, for more information, click here.
Featured photo : © Domaine de Primard
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