May 19, 2010

Rent The Mill, the Duke & Duchess of Windsor’s Cottage in France!

I’ve talked about the Landmark Trust in England a few times on Pigtown*Design. They take properties in the UK, renovate them and then rent them out. We stayed in a pair of knitter’s cottages one summer in the Cotswold hills. Le Moulin de la Tuilerie 6The Landmark Trust is working with Conservatoire du Littoral, the protectorate of the French coastline, to renovate and preserve a number of buildings along the coast, but they’re starting with an inland building, Le Moulin de la Tuilerie in Gif-sur-Yvette, the one time home to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, also known as The Mill.Le Moulin de la Tuilerie 1Just 35 km from Paris, this was the only house that the Duke and Duchess ever owned, and they lived there from 1952 until the late 1960’s. Most weekends, they would drive from their house in Paris to this little property where the Duke could potter about the garden and create his own little corner of England. Le Moulin de la Tuilerie 3In the book, Windsor Style, by Susie Menkes, an entire chapter is devoted to life at Le Moulin de la Tuilerie. Le Moulin de la Tuilerie 4 In the book, she talks about Billy Baldwin’s visit to the house. He had this to say about the taste of his fellow Baltimorean: Most of the mill was awfully tacky but that's what Wallis had – tacky southern taste, much too overdone, much too elaborate and no real charm.Le Moulin de la Tuilerie 2The interiors were stripped by the Lebanese millionaire who last owned the property , but one of the few remaining pieces of the Windsor-era interior is a mural which the Duchess had painted. It’s a commentary on how she felt she was treated by the press – especially the UK press. Le Moulin de la Tuilerie 5 Or, from Landmark’s description: The Duchess’s jeu d’esprit, created for her by decorator Stéphane Boudin, still presides from the wall of the large first floor living room – ‘I'm not the miller’s daughter, but I have been through the mill.’

Landmark has not attempted to recreate the Windsors’ bright and eclectic furnishings and décor, but has furnished the house with an echo of Englishness and with much to recall their happy times here. Le Moulin de la Tuilerie 7

For more information about this property, please click here.


  1.'d say the Duke and Duchess had impeccable taste in French country homes!

  2. I'll never understand why the nouveau riche so desire to own prime historic land then they show their true gauche colors & strip it.
    Thank God the trust is around but I feel a bit sad.

  3. I too am a fan of the Landmark Trust and would have stayed in one of their Cornish properties if not for their "no pets" rules. Anyway, they do great work!

    Plus, what a lovely cottage ... ah, to get back to France and relax in the countryside ...

  4. Ye gods and little fishes... what a gorgeous house. I believe I'll rent the bathtub and move in for a month or two! Sigh.

  5. I too admire the Trust enormously but I don't envy them the big decision - to renovate the decrepit buildings back to which bit of history? The royal couple might have had charmless, garish taste but were they the most important owners? Should the Trust have gone back to an earlier era for Le Moulin de la Tuilerie?

    Many thanks for the great link


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