If you cross through Saint Denis Gate and continue for a few steps on the cobbles, you will arrive at the Auberge du Jeu de Paume, Relais & Châteaux. Behind its long, sober façade is concealed the epitome of French finesse and art de vivre.
On one side stand the Château gardens, Le Nôtre’s masterpiece, and on the other the Great Stables, an imposing building in the classical style that houses the Living Horse Museum. And just underneath these large windows stretches the prestigious Chantilly Racecourse, home to the famous Prix de Diane and Prix du Jockey Club races – a unique, thrilling spectacle!
A short distance away stands the Jeu de Paume, a building constructed in 1757 especially for players of this fashionable sport, also known in English as real tennis. Nowadays its high ceilings and large spaces provide an ideal setting for the Condé Museum’s masterpieces. Major renovation works have restored the room to its former glory; it can now host prestigious temporary exhibitions, concerts and private functions.
The Auberge du Jeu de Paume also includes the Maison de Sylvie, built at the behest of Henri I and originally intended as a residence for Henri IV. The eponymous “Sylvie” was in fact Marie des Ursins, who provided refuge here for the condemned poet Théophile de Viau. In the eastern part of the grounds we find the Hameau (meaning “hamlet”), which served as inspiration for the Hameau de la Reine at Versailles. This series of five thatched cottages – there were originally seven in the 18th century – was built two years after the Anglo-Chinese Garden and offers a contrast with its rustic façades and pastoral setting. Nowadays walkers can enjoy the charming country picnics organised here.