La Célibataire

Gif-sur-Yvette, Essonne, France

Overview

The three buildings on the site known as Le Moulin de la Tuilerie are our only French Landmarks. This was the former country weekend residence of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • BathBath
  • Bath with ShowerBath with Shower
  • DishwasherDishwasher
  • ShowerShower

Beds 1 Double

Sleeps
2
3 nights
£411 equivalent to £68.50 per person, per night

An echo of Englishness recalling happy times

A hideaway for two that is easily accessible by train from London and a short train ride from Paris for day trips, yet here the city finally yields to deep countryside.

Le Moulin de la Tuilerie was the former country weekend residence of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Edward VIII abdicated from the British throne in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson. In exile, the Duke and Duchess settled in Paris. Le Moulin was the only house they ever owned and their main residence on the large site. 

The Windsors created additional guest accommodation in the outbuildings, of which La Célibataire is one. You will find an echo of Englishness in the furnishings and much to recall the Windsors’ happy times here.

Cecil Beaton’s favourite spot

Rather ironically named, ‘La Célibataire’ (or bachelor’s quarters) is said to be where British photographer Cecil Beaton stayed when he visited Le Moulin.  Beaton was a particular friend of the Duchess’s, and photographed her often.  This is a hideaway for two, one of its bathrooms still complete with its 1950’s hip bath. The open plan ground floor opens onto a private sitting area overlooking the gardens designed by Russell Page. The large bedroom is tucked under the roof timbers above.

Scene of many glittering weekends

The Windsors were leading lights of international café society and entertained the glitterati of the 1950s and 60s here, including Maria Callas, Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and Cecil Beaton. Edward especially was captivated by the site and commissioned English garden designer Russell Page to design the gardens, which he tended himself and whose layout remains today. The buildings are set around a courtyard behind huge oak gates and the grounds open miraculously to views of the valley beyond. Each Landmark has a private terrace and all who stay can wander the extensive grounds, parterre merging into ancient rocky woodland full of birdsong where the Windsors buried their beloved pugs.

‘We arrived from Brussels on the train and RER and depart on the Eurostar to London so our weekend was entirely on public transport.’

From the logbook

Floor Plan

Map & local info

La Celibataire sits in the grounds of  the Le Moulin de la Tuilerie, which lies on the edge of Gif-sur-Yvette, a town with a weekly market and plenty of shops and restaurants. There are extensive gardens on the site for you to enjoy and occasional polo games on the adjacent grounds. 

The Regional Natural Park of the Haute Vallee in Chevreuse is less than 10km from Gif-sur-Yvette by car, where you can explore historic sites of chateaux and abbeys, visit charming villages or simply enjoy the delightful landscapes around you.

The magnificent Chateau de Versailles, with its stunning Hall of Mirrors, Chapel and glorious gardens, lies less than 20km north of Gif-sur-Yvette.

Travel on from here to Le Port-Marly to visit the Chateau de Monte-Cristo, the former country house of the renowned French author Alexander Dumas. The Maison Litteraire in Bievres is a must for those wanting to discover more about the life and works of Victor Hugo, considered to be one of the greatest and best known French writers.

Discover more about the wonders of France without having to travel far. Take a trip to France Miniature to explore different regions of the country in model form.

Gif-sur-Yvette is approximately 35km south-west of Paris with a regular metro service, which makes La Celibataire a perfect base for day trips to see the sights and explore the capital, too.

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

See all our Landmarks at Le Moulin de la Tuilerie

Clear directions
FAQs

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    Yes.
  • How is the property accessed?

    At the end of a drive from the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Gif-sur-Yvette – 1.5 miles.
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    There is a large shared car park. There is a flight of uneven, gravel steps from the parking area to the property.
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There is gas central heating.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc.
    There is also an electric cooker and a dishwasher.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There are two bathrooms, one with a free standing shower unit and a separate bath and the other with a small bath.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    The internal stairs are not particularly difficult.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    There are large open grounds. Please note there are steps throughout the garden and unfenced fast flowing water courses. There are uneven cobbles in the yard area in front of the properties.

    Booking and Payment

  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I create an account?

    If you have not used the Landmark online booking facility before and you wish to register in advance, you can set up an on-line account by following the instructions below:

    Go to the Landmark home page and click on Gift shop (located at the top of the home page in red).

    Select a gift (e.g. Landmark Handbook or Anniversary Mug) and complete the ‘Amount required’ box. There is no need to complete the purchase but this step is necessary in order to bring up the registration page.

    Click ‘Next Step’ at the bottom of the page.

    This will bring you to the ‘Your details’ page.

    Please complete all the fields (name, address, contact details and create an account). Click on the green ‘Create Account’ button once you have finished.

    At the top of the page headed ‘Your details’ there will be a grey box saying ‘Signed in’ and underneath this it will say ‘you are currently signed in as ….

    Here you will also have the option to ‘Sign out’. Please do so and that is your registration completed.

    Please return to the Landmark home page.

    To check your registration or update your account details at any time please ‘Sign in’ using the icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

    If you experience any problems in registering or setting up your on-line account please contact webmaster@landmarktrust.org.uk.
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • What time can I arrive and what time do I have to depart from the Landmark?

    Arrival is from 4pm and departure is by 10am.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there toilet rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide toilet rolls and a bar of soap per basin, but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.
History

Weekend residence of The Windsors

Le Moulin de la Tuilerie is best known as the former weekend residence of Edward, Duke of Windsor, and his wife, formerly Wallis Simpson. Theirs was one of the great love stories of the twentieth century: in 1936 Edward VIII renounced the British throne in order to marry Mrs Simpson, an American divorcée.

Under English law at the time a divorcée could not become Queen, something Edward could not accept. After the war the Windsors settled in France where they were offered tax free status. Their main Paris residence was 4, Champ d’Entrainement in the Bois de Bologne, but in 1952 they bought this site in Gif-sur-Yvette to be a weekend retreat. It was the only house they ever owned together.

However, the site clearly has an earlier history. There is thought to have been a mill here since before 1500, although the current main building (Le Moulin) can be dated by its sundial above the main entrance to 1734. The motto on the sundial, Lex His Horis Una Tibi, means ‘The rule of this sundial (or timepiece) is the only one you need.’ Until renamed Le Moulin de la Tuilerie by the Duchess of Windsor the mill was known as the Moulin Aubert after an earlier owner, although the mill probably owes its current form to one Jean Guillery who revived it around 1734. Guillery practised a specialized form of milling to extract the maximum amount of flour from the bran from the first milling. There was a working mill on the site until 1908.

Sometime after this the Moulin Aubert was bought by the artist and illustrator, Adrien Étienne, who became known as Drian. Drian is well known as an illustrator of women’s fashions in the 1920s and 30s but was also an accomplished painter. Drian used the house as a weekend retreat from Paris. In the 1930s he met Edward, then Prince of Wales, and also painted a portrait of his then mistress Wallis Simpson, so the Windsors were already acquainted with the painter when they took a year’s lease of the site in 1951. The Duke especially loved the place so much that in 1952 they bought it from Drian and sold it only after the Duke’s death in 1972. The site was then owned successively by a Swiss business man and a Lebanese, Dr Akhras.

The Windsors at Le Moulin de la Tuilerie

After buying the site in 1952 the Windsors spent two years renovating the main house and creating guest accommodation in the outbuildings (La Maison des Amis and La Célibataire). The Duchess renamed the site Le Moulin de la Tuilerie after the group of nearby houses and oversaw the internal works under the guidance of Stéphane Boudin, a well known interior designer. Only a few traces of their work survive today. Almost every weekend when they were resident in Paris the couple would make the expedition out to Gif, he in a Chevrolet, she in a blue Cadillac, preceded by their staff in a Citroën to get everything ready. Joining them most weekends would be a glittering guest list of nobility and celebrities of the day.

La Célibataire & La Maison des Amis

The Duchess called all her guest accommodation les célibataires (or bachelor’s quarters). The ground floor bathroom in today’s Célibataire (the unit for two people) has its original 1950s half bath and taps. The paneling in La Maison des Amis is also from the Windsors’ day. Guests were always impressed by the Duchess’s thoughtfulness – she thought of everything, from a favourite cocktail to china that matched the bedspreads when the maid brought breakfast in bed. 

To read more about the history of La Célibataire in English please click here or for French please click here.

Restoration

A period of decline

Le Moulin then suffered a period of decline until in 2005 it was bought by a British property company and the buildings and gardens were renovated under the guidance of Roland Duce. He was assisted in the early years by Patrick Deedes-Vincke, who in 2009 approached the Landmark Trust for help with the site’s future on behalf of the owner, who wished to give these important buildings a new use and a secure future, and make them accessible to the general public. Landmark collaborated with the owner on the renovation of Le Moulin and carried out the furnishing of all the buildings for their new purpose as inspiring places to spend a holiday.

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.