This dreamy estate was the private haven of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. For the Travellur writer's retreat, it was a place to shrug off the prying demands and curious distractions of daily life.

I just returned from Heaven—an inspiring Writers Retreat at Le Moulin de la Tuilerie in the charming French countryside where the air is so fresh, I could easily inhale the beauty that inspired Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas.
— Jan Sells

Welcome to a place finer than fiction.


Le Moulin de la Tuileries is a place out of time, a place to forget time for a moment and just let life unfurl. This exquisite sprawl of 18th century rustication was the perfect place to make up stories and stock up on the authentic slow living you cant find at home. 

The property is lovingly main-tained by the good people at the Landmark Trust. Comprised of several buildings and connecting  courtyards, it rambles upstairs and downstairs in a maze of rooms and passageways. The simple but luxe farmhouse chic interiors were so welcoming and included genuine keepsakes and furnishings belonging to its beguiling former owners.  

Edward VI of England abdicated his throne so he could run away with the woman he loved. This is where they found peace & happiness and cultivated the bohemian life they craved. We’re just following their lead. The Windsors were fond of house parties and entertained the great artists and performers of their day. I’d like to think that the Duchess would have approved of our pop up literary salon. I’d also like to think that Marlene Dietrich slept in my bed. The star-crossed lovers settled here after the war and this was the only house they ever owned. Her jeu d’esprit of perseverance is painted above the French doors in the great hall. It reads, “I’m not the farmers daughter, but I’ve been through the mill."

Our group of authors, novelists and screenwriters gathered in this dreamy sanctuary to work on current projects in repose, but also to restore creative resources. It was impossible not be swept away by the romance of this historical location and ponder what stories these walls and halls could tell!  Each writer found a cosy corner to coax their muses, and in the evening we gathered around a communal meal. When the path to creative production took a turn through the woods, the surrounding fields and forests drew us under their velvet spell. Early autumn foraging on our afternoon walks yielded delicate blackberries and wildflowers. Picnicking in the park of Chateau Marly was a sunny day pleasure. We even made a point to visit the chateau and domain of Alexandre Dumas and pay tribute to his gothic revival hideaway.

The gardens of Le Moulin de la Tuileries are a perfect mix of formal and meandering. Corners of overgrown ivy and flagstone courtyards contrive with neatly trimmed hedges to make a  perfect picture of manor house  charm. Paths winding over precious wooden bridges reveal quaint stone hermit huts and forgotten glasshouses. Just walking around the grounds was a pleasure.

Sliding into the local rhythm and meeting friendly natives is an important part of Travellur's slow travel modus. The weekly village market is a great place to do both. We met artisanal bread bakers who were truly passionate about their traditions, guys who raise their own game, cheese mongers a plenty and grand ladies out walking their dogs.

 My personal French country fantasy involves cooking fabulous French food and setting lavish tables.  So I played chef on this retreat and kept to classic French country dishes learned from real French people; dishes such as an extra rich cassoulet, earnest plates of charcuterie, brothy pintade aux choux (guinea fowl with cabbage), a cascade of local cheeses and homemade tartes aux pommes.

Thank you writers for following me down the rabbit hole to this pastoral wonderland. I hope it was as fruitful and fulfilling for you as it was for me. Overhearing passionate teatime conversations about the creative process, breakthroughs, and inspirations between hitherto strangers makes all what I do all worthwhile. I fear my attempts at sharing the beauty of this place hardly do it justice, but if I’ve inspired anyone to take a moment to contemplate the sweetness of life, I’ll be content. It was hard to leave this fairytale landscape and precious farmstead. I definitely have to come back here for more morning mist, forest walks and profound tranquility.

Travellur seeks out and deliveries the places where the sweetness of life flows abundant and this was no exception

Dear Nichelle, Victoria, Jan, Ingrid, Chastity, Dennis, Angela and Susie; you made this dream possible.


 picnic at marly

picnic at marly

Travellur’s paradigm of “slow travel” allows participants to luxuriate and create at their own pace in their own space. There is room for deep concentration as well as spontaneity. In such a freeing atmosphere, the women in our group bonded easily and supported each others’ efforts; I am sure we’ll see each other again.
— Jan Sells
 chateau de monte christo

chateau de monte christo

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