Back when the sun was still shining in Paris in September, we ventured out to Versailles to see something pretty. It was afternoon by the time we arrived and the line to the main château was so long we thought we'd never make it inside. I remembered I'd always wanted to visit the other palaces of Versailles anyway so we walked the twenty minutes through the beautiful grounds to seek them out.
I'd romanticised these pretty little palaces in my head, picturing Marie Antoinette escaping to the grassy grounds of the Hameau de la Reine for her nature connection and to the small Trianons for her raucous parties à la Sophia Coppola's 'Marie Antoinette' (my favourite film of all time).
You'll see the Grand Trianon, laced with pink marble all around it like icing on a cake and the Petit Trianon with its all-blue sitting room not unlike a giant bowl of Wedgewood. There's the theatre, housed in a tiny round white building, untouched for centuries, dark, eerie and preserved behind glass. And there's Marie Antoinette's private hamlet, hameau in french, a replica of a country village complete with thatched roof cottages, vegetable patches, wildflowers, lakes and farm animals.
Roaming around these opulent palaces, it's not hard to see why France's anger and resentment towards the Monarchy boiled over into a full on revolution. While France was starving, Marie Antoinette was spending lavishly and Louis XVI was making all manner of poor financial decisions on behalf of his country. It's still a beautiful place though, Versailles, especially now it's been returned to the people and all can come and enjoy it.
p.s. If you want to cover the grounds of Versailles quickly or just cover every corner, you can rent a bike inside, more details here.