The Domaine de Cyclone is a horse centre/chateau-mansion/B&B which on our recent July stay was for us one of the most authentic places we have ever encountered on our travels. Firstly, it is run single-handedly by Madame Petitot, a quiet spoken, enthusiastic woman who absolutely loves her home which she has been restoring for decades. (It was badly damaged both in WWI and WWII.) Secondly, it is old - right down to the 15th century tower, the ancient staircase with tiled steps, and the uneven wooden floors in the bedrooms. There is a cluttered and run-down feel to areas of the house, yet the bedrooms are prettily decorated, very clean, have up-to-date bathrooms, and look out at a paddock with majestic thoroughbred horses. Horses and horse racing are what this place is all about as the jockey jackets and caps and other race memorabilia which decorate the walls will attest. The location is in the small town of Baron, quite near Senlis and Chantilly, also not far from Charles-de-Gaulle International Airport.
This is first and foremost a working horse centre that happens to have five B&B rooms available. There is a relaxed and casual feel to the place, and we felt like welcome visitors to a thriving and purposeful community, where dogs greeted us, horses either watched us warily or stolled over to see if we had anything to offer them to eat. We came down to breakfast to find that the owner had made a small fire in the open hearth “to make the place gay” and breakfast itself was excellent - with freshly squeezed orange juice which was clearly an extra effort since our hostess had her forearm in a cast due to a riding accident. Our chats with Mme Petitot were in French, so we cannot say if English is spoken and/or understood, but surely people do manage to communicate somehow - we generally find.
Yes, the gardens could certainly be more neatly trimmed, but as we sat at dusk with our glasses of cider as night fell over this historic building, we felt that we were in quite a magical place. I am a little uncertain about posting a review about this B&B accommodation because while we loved it, it is possibly not for everyone. If you want fussy or elegant or everything “just so”, this is not for you. If you enjoy feeling as if you are glimpsing back in time, then perhaps you will enjoy this out-of-way B&B.
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