Category Archives: Activities

THE WORLD OF CHÂTEAU BOUFFÉMONT: FIAC, International Fair of Contemporary Art

Our digital newsletter keeps you up to date with everything happening at Château Bouffémont – this week we delve into FIAC, International Fair of Contemporary Art.



A land of rolling pastoral hills and picturesque rivers, the Val-d’Oise region invites gentle reflections on nature and the self. Camille Pissarro’s paintings of ‘the essential nature of things’; Claude Monet’s Impressionist works formed in field-fresh air; Vincent Van Gogh’s Post-Impressionist dream fragments: imaginations have wandered through these green valleys and discovered in themselves unheard-of ideas.


This week we see FIAC, International Fair of Contemporary Art, launch in the heart of Paris. It offers a continuation of artistic imaginings and creativity, with a selection of almost 200 galleries – from Amsterdam to Zurich, New York to Tehran – given spaces in the city to exhibit works. Installations come from the modern masters of the early 21st century through to those pushing the boundaries of contemporary artistic thought. And with our French château near Paris, conveniently situated just 30km from the centre of the city, your stay affords the perfect time to visit this renowned art fair.



Among the grandeur of iconic Parisian settings, from the Grand Palais as a bastion of Art Nouveau to the Musée du Louvre, FIAC throws open the doors of the contemporary art world. Observe and explore vibrant aesthetics, immersive performances, cinematics and movements that crackle with potential. You can even experience a revival of Henri Matisse in joyful and unexpected forms, thanks to collaborations with Maison Matisse and artists given the opportunity to celebrate him through their own expressions.


Switch seamlessly from a royal château in France to regal glories, designed to showcase Parisian splendour to the world. The decorative intricacies of the Grand and Petit Palais, and the verdant Jardin des Tuileries, are works of art in themselves. They make an ideal backdrop to this international art event and host the majority of FIAC installations.


As you enter the Grand Palais, a billboard by Emekah Ogboh sets the tone for visitors with a thought-provoking message. Once beneath the glass-domed roof – a feat of Art Nouveau architecture, with its masterful ironwork – you can wander the many booths, which incorporate a large sculptural work by Yayoi Kusama in the Victoria Miro booth through to landmark pieces from the Hauser & Wirth collection. You can also meet artists, attend book signings on the Balcon d’honneur and more.



While you have to have a ticket to see the Grand Palais installations and events, the FIAC Programs also include a cultural performance program (Parades for FIAC), conferences (Conversation Room) and film screenings (Cinéphémère), that are free and open access – many hosted within the Petit Palais. Make your way past the imposing yet alluring golden gates into the marbled atrium, and explore the setting of this sister to the Grand Palais. The inner garden provides a thoughtful and picturesque setting in which to contemplate, discuss, or simply sit quietly for a moment. Close by, Jeff Koons’ ‘Bouquet of Tulips’ offers a tribute to the victims of the Paris terror attacks in the Champs-Élysées gardens.



This year, FIAC continues to offer a series of Hors les Murs, Outside the Walls, exhibitions in spaces beyond the Grand and Petit Palais. Head to Place de la Vendôme to experience more of Yayoi Kusama with her enormous, inflatable polka dot pumpkin. In the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries, take in the beauty of the garden cloaked in its autumnal colours, and enjoy twenty artworks that respond to their richly historical surroundings. If you’re imaginative in your observation of the garden, you’ll be rewarded. John M. Armleder’s new reading of his ‘Furniture Sculpture FS 85a’ sees three chairs suspended from trees in the Jardin du Tuileries, transforming this monumental work.



When you have taken your fill of art and let your imagination run free, our château near Paris awaits your return for a peaceful place to reflect. See you next time, for more news from us at the Château Bouffémont.


Keep in touch at @chateaubouffemont


The World of the Château Bouffémont: Activities for Autumn


Our digital newsletter keeps you up to date with everything happening at Château Bouffémont – this week, we discover the best local activities to celebrate the new season



Symbolist poet Remy de Gourmon once called autumn “as joyful and sweet as an untimely end”. There is a feeling of wistfulness about this season, bittersweet and poignant, as the leaves change colour and eventually wither and drop, and the animals begin to search for burrows and nests in which to soon hibernate. A beautiful period that embraces the darkness required for future renewal, autumn offers a great time to get out and enjoy the natural world in all its blazing, red-and-golden glory – and where better than in the luminously beautiful natural surroundings of the Château Bouffémont? Read on to discover our top tips for autumnal adventuring.


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The World of the Château Bouffémont: Father’s Day Special

Our digital newsletter keeps you up to date with everything happening at Château Bouffémont – this week, we discover the best local activities with which to treat the special man in your life. 



Writer and philosopher Umberto Eco said it best when he explained: “I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” This week at Château Bouffémont, we pay homage to male mentors and figures of support in honour of Father’s Day on Sunday 16thJune. Read on to discover a guide to the very best activities in the local area, to treat the most important man in your life.



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The World of the Château Bouffémont: All in the Family

Our digital newsletter keeps you up to date with everything happening at Château Bouffémont – this week, we discover the best local child-friendly activities.



Here at the Château Bouffémont, we are proud to cater to a broad spectrum of guests – from the very oldest to the very youngest, and everyone in-between. Our bespoke family package ensures that you and your clan can relax and unwind in a beautiful setting, with everything catered for – a perfect option for Mother’s Day celebrations, family holidays and other special occasions.


The grown-up glamour of our opulent 19thcentury setting is the ideal backdrop for a picture-perfect family portrait, but we are also home to a vast variety of activities destined to appeal to a younger audience. Fun-filled activities within the castle include child-friendly cooking classes, arts-and-crafts workshops, and even live entertainment. Out in the verdant scenery of the wider Val-d’Oise region there are even more things to see and do – read on to discover the finest family-friendly options to make your visit with us a success.


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The World of the Château Bouffémont: Exploring Montmorency Forest

Our digital newsletter keeps you up to date with everything happening at Château Bouffémont – this week, we take a trip into the beautiful forest of Montmorency



With its lavish Beaux Arts architecture and magnificent interior of wood-panelling and crystal chandeliers, the Château Bouffémont is a 19th century jewel in the heart of the verdant Val-d’Oise.


Beyond the Château’s own five hectares of split-level gardens guests can enjoy striking views of the ancient forest of Montmorency – our grounds are perched right on the edge of the woods, in perfect fairy tale style. Here we take a journey into the forest to discover all the magic that Montmorency has to offer.


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The World of the Château Bouffémont: A Little Art History

Our latest digital newsletter to keep you up to date with everything happening at Château Bouffémont – including recipes, interviews and activities in the local area. 



Château Bouffémont is nestled in the heart of the Oise valley – a place of striking natural beauty known for its pretty villages, grand historic architecture and idyllic pastoral scenery.


Thanks to the sparkle of its rolling countryside and languorous waterways, this region has drawn artists for hundreds of years, including greats like Cézanne, Pissarro and Van Gogh. Here we offer a peek into the world of the iconic artists who have immortalised Val d’Oise’s most alluring beauty spots.




L’Isle-Adam, located 20 minutes’ drive from Château Bouffémont, is the kind of place that gets under your skin – “my earthly paradise”, in the words of Balzac, who cherished his youthful visits to the area. This historic town is famous for its long sandy river beach, along with a beautiful 18thcentury Chinese pavilion.


Jules Dupré, an important figure in the Barbizon school of landscape painting, was a descendant of an ancient local family. He was raised in L’Isle-Adam – the world’s third-largest collection of his work is located here, in the local Louis-Senlecq Museum. Dupré was one of the earliest artistic champions of the area. His expressively tonal, loose and softly-lit works are representative of the period’s movement away from Romanticism and towards Realism.


L’Isle-Adam is home to several creative exhibitions throughout the year, including a Contemporary Art Festival and an annual international art fair each September. We recommend wandering around the town on foot. You may spot some of its wonderful sculptures – such as a resin copy of Etienne Maurice Falconnet’s infamous marble Menacing Love (1757), or Marie-Josée Aerts’ nymph-like riverside Evila Siren (1990) and Jean Marais’ so-called ‘strange angel’, SIARAM (1993).




An important place for many Impressionists including Camille Pissarro and Frédéric Samuel Cordey, Auvers-sur-Oise (the next town along the river from L’Isle-Adam) is most famous for its association with the great Dutch Post-Impressionist Van Gogh.


Visitors can follow the Van Gogh route around the village, to explore the places where the painter worked, lived and drew inspiration in the final months before his death. The Auberge Ravoux (now a fully-restored museum named the Van Gogh House), is a particularly moving monument. Here you can see Vincent’s tiny little attic room, mansardNo. 5, which was never rented again after he took his own life and died here. Some of the painter’s most famous and emotionally affecting works created in the area number among them Portrait of Dr Gachet, Church of Auvers-sur-Oise, and Wheatfield with Crows – all painted in the few months preceding his death in 1890. Van Gogh and his brother Theo are both laid to rest in the local cemetery.


Auvers-sur-Oise is also home to the Daubigny Museum, which has over 100 works by Charles François Daubigny. Daubigny painted the magnificent surrounding scenery from Le Botin, his famous floating studio, on the waters of the River Oise itself. The Daubigny Museum also offers a charmingly quirky selection of so-called ‘feline art’, with paintings, engravings, sketches, sculptures and more by the likes of Jean Cocteau, Koji Ikuta and Theophile-Alexander Steinlen – along with a temporary exhibition by WWI painter Mathurin Méheut.


Musée Daubigny, au manoir des Colombières, Auvers-sur-Oise



Maubuisson Abbey is an ancient and imposing nunnery, founded in 1236. An atmospheric Cistercian setting, it has hosted visual art installations from a variety of contemporary artists, contributing to a dialogue between heritage and modern explorations of space. From October 7th 2018 to March 17th 2019 the space is being used as an exhibition of work by Patrick Neu, who works meticulously with materials such as bee wings, soot and natural hair to assemble his strange, microscopic and fantastical creations. The next town along, Cergy, was previously home to the Street Art Park– proof of how this spirit of artistic innovation and vitality in the area continues to reign.


This is just the tip of the iceberg – as visitors to the Oise valley will discover, there is so much more to explore in this beautiful region. See you next time, for more news from us at  Château Bouffémont.


Keep in touch at @chateaubouffemont