Monday, 1 August 2011

Versailles - Le Hameau

Lillian :  When we left Le Petit Trianon we walked through The English Garden to Marie-Antoinette's Hamlet.  The "English" garden was designed to look natural and features the famous "Temple of Love" - 

 Audrey : It is ALL marble and has a lovely statue of cupid in the middle.

 Lillian : After a very pleasant little walk admiring all the spring flowers like these little blue flowers growing wild (possibly an Aubrieta?)
we reached Le Hameau -
                Audrey : Which is just SO pwetty - I'm sure Marie-Antoinette had it built for Blythe Dolls.

Lillian : The Hamlet was built to be like a little Normandy village.  Some of the buildings have gone now, the ones that remain are lovely and most have their own little gardens ...
Audrey : We wanted to move into that little house - it was just pewfect.

Lillian : I think that is the Boudoir - also known as the Queen’s Small House.  

Audrey : Later, in the countryside, we saw lots of half-timbered houses just the same as this - not black with white like in the books.

Lillian : Yes, I think those soft colours are much nicer - the French call this type of building  Colombage or pan de bois.
Lillian : It gets a little confusing trying to work out which pretty building is which - I think this is the Queen's House.
Audrey : Wasn't this at the other end of that building - because actually there are 2 houses joined together with a lovely gallery.  Anyway, this was a nice place to have a little rest - under the wisteria / glycine.


Lillian : Well, this is definitely The Mill.

And this little cottage is probably The Guard's Room.

Lillian : This one is either the Warming Room or the Refreshments Dairy ...

 Audrey : There were lots of gates!

  Audrey : And this looks like the picture on a box of chocolates - Too Pwetty for Words!

Lillian : They call that The Marlborough Tower - and they stored all the fishing gear in the building underneath.
Audrey : There are still lots of fish - carp - remember when the children were feeding them from the little bridge?
Lillian : We wondered why this swan was in such a hurry ... but when she got to the bridge and the food the swan looked quite disdainful of all the fishes with their gaping mouths ... it was quite a feeding frenzy!
Lillian : These walls are the remains of the Preparation Dairy. 
Audrey : And all the trees in the orchard were in blossom - so pwetty.
 Lillian : There were flowers everywhere - I never knew that lilac came in so many different colours!

Audrey : Quite confusing - I thought lilac was, well, lilac coloured.  What is the French word for lilac?


Lillian :  It's lilas, Audrey, and they smell as amazing as they look.

Audrey : That is a good idea for a head-dress ... your favourite colour too!

Lillian  : There were purple tulips as well - aren't they just gorgeous?
Audrey : So many tulips - in so many different colours

Audrey :  Look - one Red tulip in the beds of white & pale pink ones!

Audrey :  Was that your very most favouritest tulip flower of them all?
Lillian : A fantastic bloom - quite painted.  That sort of feathering in tulips used to be caused by a virus.
Audrey :   Ooo not contagious I hope!   Or you might go all stripey!!!

Lillian : I think this is a Snowball Bush or Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus) 
Audrey : But those flowers are not white like snow - they are almost green!
Lillian : I think the flowers turn white later.   The trees were also in flower - and being Australian dolls we had never seen these great big trees before with all their pretty flowers.
Audrey : We've done our research and they are Horse Chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum)    quite a mouth-full!
Lillian :  Not all the gardens were full of flowers - there were also some very practical vegies.

 Audrey : And we did a little gardening too ...

but you were very tired Lillian - you did do lots and lots of posing for photographs that day.

Lillian : Well, here is one last photo from Le Hameau - looking across the lovely lake to The Malborough Tower.
Audrey : And there is the swan again.


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