Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Abbaye des Vaux de Cernay

One of my favorite spots outside Paris is this 12th century Cistercian abbey (founded in 1118) located in the village of Cernay-la-ville in the Yvelines Departement of the Ile -de-France (about 30 miles west of Paris).

Now a luxury hotel in the Rambouillet Forest region with 60 guest rooms and The Prior's Table Restaurant, it is a scrumptiously decadent place to have lunch, tea or simply walk the lush grounds. Join me for a quick tour!

From the parking lot we enter through here.....

...and are greeted under these divine gothic archways.

The walls of the entryway are playfully adorned

with vibrantly-colored knights and damsels.

La Table du Prieur Restaurant menu has several price-fixed options to choose from (The Conver's Menu~50 euros, The Prior's Menu~60 euros and the Pére Abbé Menu~88 euros)

each designed and attended to by Chef Xavier Désiré (gotta love the name!)

One of the sites of my novel in progress (as well as one of my short stories), my protagonist is having lunch here

when her future date arrives in a helicopter on the lawn.

After lunch, dessert and coffee are served in the Music Salon and Smoking Room

Where one can sit by the fire

while spooning tasty French desserts and sipping one of these libations.

If curious, (like I was) the guest rooms rest above this stairway.

Restroom at the base of the stairs. (I snuck upstairs on my trip to the restroom to see if any maids were cleaning rooms and sure enough, found a door open where I could peek in to see the lovely accomodations!)

After filling one's self beyond capacity, a walk around the grounds and the lake aids digestion and fills the soul.

A visit to the cathedral ruins inspires awe and the informative plaques piece together the history of this magical place.

Now you have some idea why I have returned here more than once (literally) and haunted the abbaye and grounds in my fiction (and fantasy)! Can you not picture your life here during another time and slice of reality?!

Visit their website at http://www.abbayedecernay.com/ for more photos and information as well as a true virtual tour.

Photographs copyright: Kirsten Steen


  1. What a splendid post! The pictures are fabulous- simply breathtaking. I'm so glad I visited your blog and thanks for visiting mine:)-

    Have a great day,

  2. Thank you so much, Ms. Lucy! Glad you enjoyed and thanks for visiting and commenting. Hope to see you again.

  3. Wonderfully lovely post! I especially love the music room and the gardens - I could sit on the grass by the lake and read all afternoon! Thank you for giving us a peek...I'm adding this to my "travel wishlist" =)

  4. Thanks Amy, it's one I'd still like to return to again. Hard to pick only a few photos. Love your blog! Kirsten

  5. What a place to be inspired - beautiful.Happy Easter and have a wonderful weekend, xv.

  6. Thank you Vicki for visiting and commenting! A wonderful Easter and weekend to you as well!

  7. Gorgeous!! Thank you, and Happy Easter.

  8. And Happy Easter to you Matterhorn! Thanks for coming by!

  9. I do love the journeys you take. I now have another destination on my wish list.

  10. This place is so inspiring it kind of does that to you. Thanks for visiting and commenting! Love your blog!

  11. Goodness. I think I've just died and gone to Gothic Heaven!


Hello and Welcome!
Thanks for coming and for making your thoughts and feelings known. I appreciate all comments greatly.
Hope to see you again!