Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Kitchen at Candé

This abandoned and derelict looking kitchen is in the basement of the chateau of Candé. The underground rooms have been opened to visitors for a brief few weeks over the summer, unrestored but cleverly illuminated by some art installations made from old slide projectors and such like.

These rooms, which look to have been untouched since Fern Bedaux's death in 1972, are an insight into the below stairs work that went into maintaining the glamorous life upstairs between the wars. There is a telephone exchange, to service the first private house in France with a telephone. The huge cast iron range cooker meant that meals could be elaborate affairs unthinkable in the late medieval days of the chateau when cooking was more or less limited to the vagaries of baking in a bread oven or roasting and boiling on an open fire. The range also augmented the constant supply of hot water, in a house which had the latest in American style plumbing. Above the range and along both sides of the wide corridor behind it there is food storage space, fully screened with fine brass mesh.


  1. This was reported in the paper [N.R] the other day...
    but wasn't particularly informative...
    featured the "artist", mainly!

    This is much better, thanks...
    that range is a beauty... it would be lovely to see it restored!
    They'd certainly be able to stock the place up from most of the local vide-greniers!!

  2. Tim: I thought the works of art fitted very well with the setting, although there was 20 - 30 of them, all more or less the same idea using a light source and a little motor to make found objects clank. 4 or 5 would have sufficed, but they were quite fun.

    The underground rooms are wonderfully atmospheric. I assume this is a prelude to restoring them, and they have real potential to present a very particular period and lifestyle. Candé is a greatly under-rated place.