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From wheat mill to textile factory to years of abandonment before being converted into a house; the history of this property has been eventful to say the least. Who could believe that this elegant house, where the comfort of guests is given such great importance, was once the scene of such hard work? Tranquility now resides at the edge of the water and in the middle of the woods. Not far from the capital, guests are welcomed into a pleasant refuge where they can recharge their batteries and discover the lands of the Oise which are rich in history and architecture.
My previous work led to a lot of travel and stays in hotels around the world. I wanted to bring all the things I love and all the little things that I missed from the places I visited together. France is my homeland and I was looking for somewhere that embodied the essence of its culture, history and nature. On our first visit to the Moulin Royale, a small deer crossed the stream and it was at that moment that we decided this property would become our new home. We love the tranquility and the historical richness of the surrounding streets that were once walked by Napoleon and Eugenie in the old village of Compiègn.
The building is at the edge of a stream and is surrounded by several hectares of forest. It was once a wheat mill before being transformed and expanded into a textile factory in the early 1800s. The main building once housed four three-story waterwheels that powered the mill. Some of the original wheel casings are now used as benches along the river and some of their original brackets can still be seen in the living room.
The original mill, which is now the hunting lodge, was a flour mill and appears in history books from as early as 1616. At that time, four streams crossed the estate and turned the large stone wheels, the vestiges of which are still visible in the gardens today. The property was then transformed into a textile factory in the 1830s and specialised in the colouring of fabrics and cottons. The mill quickly attracted the attention of the royal household and became its supplier. Empress Eugenie de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III, took an interest in the production and work of the mill. She had it restored at the end of the 1840s to develop the production of colours and textiles for the royal palaces of Pierrefonds, Compiègne and Fontainebleau. The Empress Blue colour of Eugenie's hat acquired its namesake. Thanks to Greta Garbo, the hat became a fashion favourite in the 1930s and the more modern styles remain a royal staple. At the end of the Empire, the mill fell into disrepair and was eventually abandoned. In the 1960s, it was purchased by a Russian philanthropist who removed the large central wheels from the mill, redirected the streams to their current locations, and added four floors to the main building. Successive families transformed and took care of the estate before we became the lucky owners.
The mill is surrounded by a natural forest of fourteen hectares populated by deer, foxes, squirrels and many birds. A small stream crosses the property and in the summer, trout come to spawn and stay here for several months. Walks in the forest or riding through on our mountain bikes will no doubt satisfy nature lovers. We can prepare picnics on request before you set off for a walk or they can be enjoyed by the river as you bask in the sunset. We organise barbecues on site under the weeping willows. The Moulin Royale has a table d'hôtes available by reservation. Dinners are prepared with local products and are served in the hunting room or on the terrace, depending on the season. The Moulin Royale is equipped with an American billiards table, table football, a piano and a heated swimming pool.
The Château de Pierrefonds, the Palais de Compiègne, and the forest for hikes and trekking. Try Sam's unique Lebanese restaurant in the old town of Compiègne, or sit by the lake at Tony's in Pierrefonds for seafood. Long walks, horse riding, golf and hot air ballooning are also activities that are available nearby.
The Mill Royale can accommodate small receptions and weddings for up to fifty people. Accommodation can also be provided for eight guests on site.