It is the place of all fantasies. The one everyone is talking about in the hushed world of people of taste. And others. Primard, the former bucolic refuge of Catherine Deneuve, her country house for nearly thirty-five years, estate on the Eure, located an hour from Paris, reopens its doors, transformed into a luxury and charming hotel by the duo Guillaume Foucher-Frédéric Biousse , two men at the head of the Domaines de Fontenille, a hotel group that only has nuggets. Coming one from fashion, the other from the fine arts, these two buy only what strikes them to the heart and renovate, together, to the delight of those who dream of a cocoon and ‘somewhere else. After more than three years of work, while confinement is coming to an end, and city dwellers only yearn for calm and chlorophyll, Primard, a sort of Alice in Wonderland garden, is the place where you must have been once in your life. “I visited it four years ago, one November morning, in the pouring rain. With Frédéric, we were still Parisians. We regularly brought up the idea of a place to get away from it all on weekends. It was a desire, not yet a project. And, unsurprisingly, we couldn’t find anything, ”says Guillaume Foucher. In 2017, change of strategy. Methodically, he streamlined his research, and, in one week, visited several houses, including the domain of Primard. “At first sight, I fell in love with it. The 18th century building, the undulating presence of the Eure, the proportions of the house, the garden designed by Jacques Wirtz, the rose garden with 250 species, the orchard, and this park of around forty hectares, everything was romantic. It was not until the third visit that I realized it was Catherine Deneuve’s May. Everything exudes elegance, femininity and intelligence. The actress, whose passion was horticulture, has created a veritable garden of scents, mixing, here and there, fragrances that respond to each other, such as rose and linden. The drawn boxwoods form a unique French garden. Under majestic trees, horses, cows, graceful ducks and swans enliven this fairytale backdrop. Gérard Germaine, the faithful historical gardener of the estate, has agreed to follow the new owners, to perpetuate the soul of this timeless estate.
Guillaume and Frédéric first bought Primard for them, in order to settle there with their two dogs, Octave and Martin. “We were very happy there, but one day,” Frédéric continues, “we thought it was still a bit big for the four of us! And we decided to open it to everyone. ” Once again successful, for the creators of Domaine de Fontenille, in the Luberon, of Santa Ponsa and Torre Vella on the island of Menorca and of Hydrangeas du Lac, in the Landes. A coherent approach for those who do not have the feeling of “opening hotels, but houses”, who like to renovate and not transform. As a result, Château Primard is a blend of ultimate luxury, good taste and simplicity: Pierre Frey fabrics, tableware from Gien, earthenware from Charolles, Tectona furniture, Caravane sofas, a few vases by Sarah Lavoine, and these magnificent and playful suspensions from the Italian artist Paola Paronetto. As a confirmed esthete, Guillaume insisted that everything hanging on the walls be from the 18th century, like the castle. Here and there, we find very pretty paintings from his personal collection, such as this portrait of his great-grandfather who sits in the living room, above the bar, a brilliant contrast with these little earthenware snails that crawl mischievously on the walls, as if escaped from a magical shower. We also stop on pretty tits sitting on the top of a door or the edge of a fireplace. We imagine ourselves stretched out on a large cozy bed, in one of the rooms decorated with the refinement that characterizes the Domaines de Fontenille duo, each in pastel tones, here a subtle blue, there a powder pink, elsewhere a very green. blade. The bathrooms have kept their original bathtubs. Each window opens onto the Eure river which surrounds the castle, irrigating peaceful and lush vegetation. The main building, called the house on the Eure, has fourteen rooms. Two others in the park, the Maison du Verger and the Maison du Lac, offer twenty more. All as cozy. A little further on, the Susanne Kaufmann spa offers pampering relaxation after a long stroll through the park. The pleasures of the mouth are not forgotten. Chef Éric Frechon, who has also fallen in love with the place, is the menu of the three restaurants on the estate. “At the beginning, when Guillaume and Frédéric offered it to me, I was not very up for it, already having a lot of work. They insisted, took me to Primard. There, I immediately understood that it was like a kind of homecoming for me. And there was no question of anyone else making the map! “Result: a gourmet restaurant with around thirty covers