So you’re looking to escape the crowds of Paris? I feel you! We’ve all been there, lining up to visit Monet’s world renowned waterlilies, strugglings to glimpse a quick peek of the Mona Lisa; all the while dodging selfie sticks left, right and center. So now you’ve spent a couple of days in Paris and you fancy a little repose from the city, a day retreat? However, you know that Versailles can be even more crowded than Paris! Cue: Sceaux in spring.
Sceaux in Spring
Situated on ReR Line B, Sceaux is barely a thirty-minute train ride from the center of Paris. If you’re looking for a typically French town, then Sceaux is it. With cobblestone alleys, cute little cafés and entire orchards of cherry blossoms, visiting Sceaux in Spring is the perfect escape from the crowds of Paris.
Plus, if you fancy visiting a Château (I mean, who doesn’t?), then Sceaux has pretty much the most fairytale-looking one I’ve ever seen. Think pink bricks and spiraling turrets surrounded by perfectly manicured topiary. Around six miles from the center of Paris, the château is now a museum of local history. The Château was formerly the residence of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, minister of finance to Louis XIV (known as the sun king). Oh, how I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for some of the conversations that took places within these walls… Even if you’re not too interested in history, it’s definitely worth a peek inside purely to see the French decor!
Park and Cherry Blossoms at Sceaux
Unfortunately, the original Château was destroyed during the turmoil of the French revolution. The building had been purchased by a merchant from Saint-Malo who didn’t think that the dilapidated building was worth saving. Luckily for us, a family friend of Napoleon inherited the land at some point in the 19th century and set about rebuilding the Château, restoring it to its former glory.
With the arrival of spring comes the chance to relax and wander around outside again (without having to wrap up in 46262 jumpers). And of course, as with any picturesque Château, comes postcard perfect gardens and grounds. Just like the original Château at Sceaux, the original park layout was also destroyed. The grounds were restored, using the original layout, as referenced from blueprints at around the same time as the mansion.
Oh, and finally, if you visit Sceaux in spring, then you’ll be able to find an entire orchard of cherry blossoms! Head there midweek or early on a weekend morning to ensure that you get the place to yourself. Plus, the orchard is the perfect place to set yourself up with a Parisian Picnic!