To have “L’Orangerie” has always been my dream. An orangerie is a room in which one grows citrus trees throughout the winter. Usually, there are plenty of windows, and often there is a metal trough around the perimeter of the room, where the base of the tree sits, revealing just the trunk, foliage and flowers, oh, the beautiful, fragrant flowers!!
On a grander scale (for instance, Marie-Antoinette’s scale) L’Orangerie can be an entire building filled with citrus trees, so that when they bloom in the winter one can enjoy parties and lunches in and amongst the citrus trees, surrounded by the fragrant blossoms and bright colored fruits.
No such room exists at the market, but the sweet fragrance of fresh citrus blossoms is wafting throughout.
This fragrance is coming from a lime tree, which is in full bloom. We also have kumquat trees and orange trees in the market. In the summer months these trees live outside, against a sunny wall which reflects additional warmth upon them. In the late fall, they are moved indoors, providing greenery, occasional fruit and an ethereal fragrance.
To read an earlier post describing how this is done click on Lime Blossoms. It’s a little bit of an effort but if you try this, I’m sure you’ll feel splendidly rewarded when your castle smells as if a petite sparrow is lightly misting it with Jo Malone’s Lime (or Orange) Blossom cologne.
One of the grandest L’Orangeries is at the Château de Versailles just outside of Paris.
Last summer we visited Versailles for a day. We decided to rent a golf cart, outfitted with the voice of an electronic tour guide that always knew exactly where we were and elegantly shared with us all of the appropriate information. Between stops of interest, chamber music played!
We started our day a the Queen’s residence, the Petit Trianon, the Queen’s Gardens, and the Hamlet, the wonderful Hamlet, where Marie-Antoinette enjoyed her private life. Louis XVI’s wife loved this place where she could return to the pleasures of simple, rural pursuits, away from the pomp of Versailles. Click on hamlet to see our favorite potagers, or kitchen gardens, (including those in Marie’s hamlet).
Following are some random photos of a few of our favorite upholstered pieces from the Queen’s residences.
We loved the combination of turquoise and grey on the silk fabric covering these chairs.
Wouldn’t it be handy to have this set of 24 benches, covered with perfectly stitched needlepoint featuring the Napoleon bee, when one needs to seat a few extra people at dinner??
The sunny yellow silks on the furnishings and walls are just exquisite.
Having satisfied our curiosity with the Queen’s abodes, we zipped over to L’ Orangerie du Château de Versailles. Sadly, it was closed for renovations. We couldn’t even peek in the windows, but we did enjoy the tall palms gracing the exterior of the building.
After a brief regrouping at the boating pond we decided to call it a day.
To Versailles, we will return one day, to tour the main palace and L’ Orangerie du Château de Versailles.
Versailles is a beautiful place to visit, but be forewarned, the grounds are extensive! It would be very hard to see it all in one day. We stayed at the hotel Pullman Versailles Chateau, because it was the closest hotel to the front gate, it was tasteful, clean and very convenient, we would happily stay there again. If you are feeling in need of a little more royal treatment, try the hotel Trianon Palace Versailles.
The golf cart allowed us to cross the expansive grounds quickly, so we were able to see so much more than we would have on foot. Here is a photo of your author, in the marvelous cart, with one of her favorite travelling companions!
There are many different types of tours available. Also, there are drivers who can bring you to the different entrances around the grounds, giving you direct access to the points of interest.
To visit the comprehensive website, click on Versailles.
We hope you have a chance to relax and enjoy the fragrance of a lovely citrus blossom sometime soon!