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Under the sky of the Oise department, where the forests stretch for as far as the eye can see, chateaus punctuate the landscape along with many other relics from France's rich history. This one in particular has a touch more modesty than others, especially considering the property was not spared from the ravages of war, but much of its finery still remains. Where tall towers once stood in the Middle Ages, a large mansion surrounded by a moat now takes centre stage. It exudes an almost Norman air, as though the sea ought to be lapping at its feet. At the front, a formal garden with long buildings on either side ensures that the scale of the estate is not forgotten. The space and decor here provide the perfect setting for large receptions that are bound to be unforgettable.
At the age of forty when I was head of a company, I decided to move to Canada with the prospect of carrying on business and investing there. I quickly sold my house, but the consular procedures of the Canadian authorities lasted eighteen months and I began looking for a place to live in whilst waiting to leave. My wife and I visited many properties, and we fell in love with this chateau. It led to a change of plans and an unexpected professional adventure that we have not once regretted.
Wide shallow moats, which have been here since the Middle Ages, surround the chateau. A 17th century outbuilding with a four-sided roof has remained intact, its distinguishing feature is the use of both brick and stone on the facades which emphasises all the frames of the bay windows. Opposite the chateau, the 9,000m² French garden still has its original design.
The chateau was built in the 12th century and destroyed for the first time when the Spanish armies arrived in Flanders in 1653. In the 17th century, Jean de Macquerel (a king's squire) was the proud owner of the property. His descendants remained here until the 19th century. During the Great War, it housed a German military hospital and was destroyed when the troops left in 1917. The chateau was rebuilt in 1919 by Mr. Poulin, a sugar industrialist in the region, who gave the property the appearance it has today. We bought it in March 2000.
The Château de Quesmy is a seven hectare estate located just one hour from Paris. It boasts a privileged location in the Oise, at the crossroads of the three departments that make up the Picardy region. The location allows family events, professional receptions or work seminars to be easily organised in this rural area on a human scale. The chateau restaurant located in a wooded park offers a simple yet gourmet seasonal menu, featuring dishes made with fresh, seasonal products. The cuisine is above all traditional and reminiscent of the flavours of yesteryear.
La Cité des Bateliers, located in Longueil-Annel, is a museum dedicated to the inland waterway industry. Noyon Cathedral, which showcases the transition from Romanesque to Gothic architecutre, is the oldest Gothic cathedral in northern France (it dates from 1140). The quarries of Montigny (where Machemont stone is sourced) feature underground galleries, troglodyte dwellings and traces left by soldiers during the Great War all in one place. Dairy products can be bought at the Moulin de Guiscard farm, and the talkative farmers are always eager to tell visitors about their methods based on sustainable agriculture.
The chateau can accommodate and organise residential work stays, half-days for study, and any other professional events such as board meetings, team-building days or training events. Flipcharts, video projectors, microphones, speakers, are provided. The accommodation available consists of eighteen rooms and there is also an on-site restaurant which is open from March to September.