410. TRAVELGUIDE: A WEEKEND IN CHANTILLY

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It has been the second year in row that I've been at the 'Grand Prix de Diana' in Chantilly, near by Paris. Last year we went with some friends, had a cosy picknick and an amazing time. We enjoyed it so much that we decided to go back this year and to spend a weekend there.

The little town in the North of France is especially known for their castle 'Chateaux de Chantilly' which has beautiful gardens. Unfortunately we didn't had the time to visit, but as we plan on going back next year again, we will put it on the to-do-list. On the site you also have a horse museum and in the centre of Chantilly you can find lots of small bars, places to eat and because of the houses made out of French stones, you get the feeling of being in the South of France. A vacation atmosphere and really peaceful. Perfect to combine with a couple of days in Paris itself. 


*. Where did we stay?
During the weekend of 'Prix de Diane' a lot of hotels are asking crazy prices. Simply because it's more of a luxurious and prestige event. My friend had the luck to find a hotel on a vacation website and we payed 95€/person for the room. The resort 'Dolce Chantilly', where we stayed at, had a private pool, an amazing breakfast room with view on the fields and an impressive golf course which we could see from our room (it was also surrounded by a river with fishes). A little fairy 
tale-ish decor. 

The rooms themselves are less luxurious than the entrance and are a little dated. But that doesn't take away the royal feeling when entering the entrance of the hotel and we stayed one night so it was more than perfect. It's also located at 10minutes from the Hippodrome, so not too far at all.

 


*. Where did we eat?
We forgot to book at a restaurant, so the typical 'well known' and hotspots were fully booked. Well especially those in a normal price category. 'Cause in town you have a lot of restaurants which are a little more expensive. TripAdvisor is a perfect tool to help you on any location! It even helped us to find the place we've been at: 'Les P'tits Toqués'. It was 15min from the hotel, a little out of the centre, but the food was delicious and fresh. Isn't it the most important? And nearby you have bars and lounges with a Parisian vibe. Love it!

Les P'tits Toqués is an American burger restaurant. As it was good weather we ate on the terrace but the interior is really nice with old Chesterfield couches. We had a tapas plate, a delicious Aperol Spritz and ofcourse a Hamburger. You need to count approximately 35€ a person when going there. The prices from other restaurants more in the centre are around 60-90€ pp but it's ofcourse another kitchen.



*. The event itself.
'Grand Prix de Diane' is a horse race in groups in June (this year it was the weekend of the 17th of June). The distance of the race is 2 100m and they crown the best foal of 3years old. While holding the event you can enjoy music from artists, spend time in a carroussel and have a picknick with friends on the Hippodrome of Chantilly. 

People are dressed up in their most beautiful dresses and suits and are all wearing a special hat. The designs are sometimes big, impressive, creative and artistic. But also smaller and sophisticated models can be spotted. On the picknick fields every one can have a ticket (20€ in pre sale) and can bet on the courses. But next to that area you also have the tribune, the Jardin des Propriétaires (the owners of the horses garden) and the VIP lounge which is just behind the picknick field. 

Last year we did place some bids on the horses, but with my luck in the game I never won. My friends at least did but I don't know what it is with my karma when it comes to winning the lottery or any kind of money. Even though they say that if you're not lucky with money, you're with love. But neither of them are positive right now, haha!

The most important reason we go each year is to enjoy a lovely time with friends, have a little royal feeling and because we can hold a big picknick. 




Thanks to Mme. Fadele Holvoet, the woman in the picture, we had the opportunity to discover the 'Jardin des Propriétaires' and had a lovely time enjoying the course from only a couple of metres from us. It's such a great experience to see the power of these horses when they run the course and the vibes at the event are something you need to experience at least once in your life time. I started to appreciate the love for horse races and can't wait to be back next year! Will you be there as well?

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