Le Moulin house share, France

Keen Landmarker Steve Miller shares his experience of a Friends House Share in May 2018 at Le Moulin, once the weekend residence of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

A group of Friends arrived late one Monday for a week’s house share at Le Moulin, near Versailles. We hadn’t met before, so the first thing was general introductions as we settled into the building which is quite large and shows signs of how it has been changed over the centuries.

The focus of the house is a large beautiful room on the first floor, with large windows overlooking the courtyard on one side and French doors opening onto a patio and lawn to the other. At each end of this room there are stairways leading to the other floors. We hadn’t planned in advance to share catering and cooking, so mealtimes took some flexibility..

Over the week, we had a mixture of shared explorations of the area, and some on our own. The weather, after a dull and damp arrival day, was beautiful, so walks around the area or sitting in the sun with a book were common options, although the more adventurous set off further afield.

The house is set in a beautiful and peaceful valley, secluded yet close to town (Gif-sur-Yvette). The gardener is making steady progress in restoring the grounds to a semblance of their previous glory (the Duke and Duchess had a team of 5 gardeners).

A highlight of our stay was a shared barbeque lunch on Sunday, in blazing sun. The next day, departure day, was Whit Monday, which is still a public holiday in France. Traffic was light as we returned homeward, relaxed and full of great memories.