Chantilly: The icing on the top of the cake

The Chateau de Chantilly : one of the beauty of the French Renaissance

Chantilly is known worldwide for its Chateau and horse stables, and for its whipped cream. It is located 55 kilometers north of Paris.

The Chateau of Chantilly belonged to several princely dynasties who contributed to its development through the centuries. Its origins date to the middle ages and its development is closely related to the history of France. The Chateau was originally a fortress along the northern road to Paris. It got its facelift during the Renaissance period. Owned by Constable Anne de Montmorency, supporter of Francois I, the chateau was renovated to become a summer residence. But in 1632, the château was confiscated by the King. In 1643, it was returned to Charlotte de Montmorency, wife of Henri II de Bourbon, Prince of Condé. The Chateau entered the Era of Enlightenment under the princes of Condé. Stables, Jeu de Palme, and the Chateau d’Enghein were added to the Domain. Sadly the Grand Chateau was dismantled during the Revolution. The stones resold. The lineage of the Duke of Condé ended and the Domain was left to a nephew, Henri d’Orleans, Duke of Aumale, who rebuilt the Chateau and leagued the Domain to the Institute of France. The Duke of Aumale was the son of the last King of France, Louis-Philippe. This prince is considered to be the greatest collector of his time. He made Chantilly the showcase for his countless masterpieces and precious manuscripts – the Condé Museum. A long list of cultural showcases: art galleries, the reading room, furnished suites, the stables, and the grounds are open to visiting publics.

chateau de chantilly

The kitchens of Chantilly : a legendary place !

Now imagine the high times of the Chateau during the Renaissance period. The kitchens of the château were famous for the majestic dinners organized by François Vatel, steward of the Prince of Condé. His culinary expertise was much appreciated.  One of his reputed touches to his desserts still attributes its name to the banquets held in Chantilly. A sweetened whipped cream topping – known today as Chantilly. This whipped topping is very different from American frosting. All it takes is cream, sugar, maybe a hint of vanilla, and wrist power to whisk together this delicious dessert topping.

cuisine chantilly

But Vatel’s destiny wasn’t so sweet. Vatel was responsible for an extravagant banquet for 2,000 people hosted in honor of Louis XIV by Louis, the great Condé in April 1671 at the Château de Chantilly. According to a letter by Madame de Sévigné, Vatel was so distraught about the lateness of the seafood delivery and about other mishaps that he committed suicide.

This year’s final stage of the Tour de France is the icing on the top of the cake ! The stage starts at Chantilly.  It hasn’t been since 1984 that the finishing stage has started from the north of Paris.

The last stage is 113 kilometers long; starting from the Chateau de Chantilly, finishing on the Champs Elysées. Discover France proposes you a unique experience : see the Grand Finale in style with grand stand seats !

Meanwhile, try the original recipe of the Chantilly whipped cream, so delicious !

Recipe for Chantilly whipped cream

Ingredients: 1 cup heavy cream (chilled)

½ tsp Vanilla extract

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Whisk ingredients in metal or glass bowl until firm and can stand on its own.

Avoid using plastic bowls. Keep in refrigerator until served.

Bon appétit !

crème chantilly