Monday, May 24, 2010

What is not to love?

I just love this photo. 
It is relaxed, playful and it is all happening in a gorgeous setting.
What is not to love?

I could probably stop here but it gets better.

We are looking at the entry to Domaine du Sault
in the South of France, outside of Cannes.

The story starts with a table made from an old millstone.

It is the people who sat around the table one evening 
in 1948 that linger in one's mind.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, 
Clark Gable and Tyrone Power to name a few. 
The evening was aptly organized by one of the  
most celebrated hostess's of the time- 
'Elsa Maxwell reigned as America’s top party-giver in the mid-Twentieth Century. Labeled “The Hostess with the Mostest” by the press, her rise to command the ballrooms of New York, Vienna and London took her worlds away from her humble Iowa beginnings.'

I am sure the heady days of Elsa and her soiree's are sadly missed at Domaine du Sault.
I imagine they can still be heard on a summer's evening under the moonlit sky. 
It seems the home and grounds have always been destined for wonderful parties.

What is not to love about a home with a history?
Who knows what little trysts took place all those years ago?

It goes back even further, as parts of the house date back to the sixteenth century.
Ah, if these walls could talk, the tales they would tell....

The owners today are California based and have lovingly restored the house.

As you can see from the photos, the house has a wonderful feel to it. 
Elegant and family friendly, is that possible?
 It seems to be here. 
I can imagine children playing with crayons and paper on the dining table 
and books and legos scattered about. All with a minimum of fuss to clean up.

I am most impressed by the determination of the owner.
She took measurements of all the rooms, had the drapes made in California
and shipped them over in two 40-foot containers with assorted antiques and family furniture.
Having just crossed the sea with two 40-foot containers myself, I know this was no small feat.

They have since raised the millstone table to allow for more 
comfortable dining and the parties carry on.

The owner's thoughts on the house....
'It is so special, It has so much history. 
You really have the feeling there's a presence.'

I would say she is one lucky lady :)

Reference~ House & Garden magazine, August 2007
Photography~ Melanie Acevedo


  1. Oh I loved this! What a gracious home! Wonderful. And what an amazing dinner that must have been. I love Elsa Maxwell, and her book, too. A fantastic find - thanks for sharing.

  2. Beautiful photographs, the title of this post perfectly sums up my thoughts - what is not to love? Indeed, what is not to love about houses with so much opulence and character? She most certainly is a luck lady to live in such a wonderful abode :)

  3. I would agree- a lucky lady and family! Wouldn't you have loved being a fly on the wall or bunny in the brush?

  4. Sumptuous...and I'd love to be a guest in that opulent residence...

  5. Is this a hint that you know her well and she will soon be invitingyou to her humble abode?? ;-) Do tell hehehehe...

  6. Ohhhhh to spend a weekend there!!

  7. Yes, I would say that she is one VERY lucky lady and what a fabulous house. Breathtaking. x

  8. Hi Jeanne
    What a lovely home and estate,, imagining being there during the heydays of Elsa's parties!! fantastic!...

    Although I bet you through a good party too! ????
    Have a lovely week Jeanne and hope Mr H doesn't get stuck again.. although you could send him to the Grand Bazaar to pick up a few kilims!!! xxx Julie

  9. What a beautiful home full of character and history! Thank you so much for sharing it. xx

  10. What a beautiful home full of character and history! Thank you so much for sharing it. xx

  11. I can't stop thinking about those trysts! Hats off to the new owner for doing so much to preserve an amazing piece of history. Thank you Jeanne for broadening my education...again!

  12. Every house has a story and every story has a house somewhere in it.

    Joy always,

  13. Ive seen a feature on this somewhere as well, and fell in love with the idea then. Youve just reminded me of this and Ive fallen in love all over again!! How fabulous!!

  14. I loved this! What a gorgeous place, and what a fascinating lady!

  15. I wonder is she occasionally hears laughter on the wind?

  16. It's no accident the lovely landscape has each element of a pollinator garden.

    Most people are drawn to them without knowing this key factor.

    We are as powerless to resist these landscapes as are the birds, bees, bats, possums, chipmunks, squirrels & etc...

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  17. Bonjour Jeanne,
    So lovely, and I agree everything is elegant, but you can picture a family living there, crayons and all! Your posts are alot like that - elegant but so welcoming!
    Yes if you have a chance to grab the Eurostar over to the YSL exhibit, it's on through 23 Aogust!
    Have a good week,

  18. What a beautiful home, and how lucky to live in such a place.

  19. That is one gorgeous house. I, too, love a home with a history. I have an old book by Elsa Maxwell I picked up at a garage sale years ago. I wonder if anything about the house is in it.


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