The name Chantilly may ring a bell. That’s probably because handmade silk Chantilly lace has made the city famous since the 17th century. But the charming French city is home to far more than the black lace favored by nobles. Located less than an hour’s drive and 30 minutes by train from Paris, Chantilly is the perfect place for a weekend escape that feels light years away. You easily could spend more than 48 hours in Chantilly. In fact, it probably won’t feel like enough time when you start experiencing the sumptuous boutique hotels and gourmet eateries of this Hauts-de-France town. But if two nights is all you have, this guide will help you make the most of it.
48 Hours in Chantilly
Chantilly is an ideal place to escape Paris and breathe fresh air, but that doesn’t mean roughing it. Stay at the Auberge du Jeu de Paume. In the heart of the Domaine de Chantilly, book a room at this five-star hotel for an unforgettable Chantilly experience. The hotel impresses with wall-to-wall elegance from the 92 guest rooms and suites. Dine in the two gourmet restaurants, get pampered at the on-site Spa Valmont or simply walk the historic grounds to take in all of the chic luxury this home away from home provides. Close by is an equestrian center and golf course for an active 48 hours in Chantilly.
Eat and Drink
One of the best parts of staying at the Auberge du Jeu de Paume is that you don’t even have to leave the grounds to dine on gourmet eats. The chic bistro, Le Jardin D’Hiver, features seasonal cuisine that’s simple, refined and stylish. It’s a place to dine on French classics prepared with a dose of modern flair.
If the elegant black lace isn’t what comes to mind when you hear Chantilly, it’s probably the famous French whipped cream. Trying a true Chantilly cream is a must when visiting this town, and La Capitainerie is one of the best places to try it. Housed in one of legendary 17th-century chef Francois Vatel’s old kitchens, La Capitainerie is where you’ll find a simple menu featuring only the finest local produce and meats. The restaurant’s famous homemade Chantilly whipped cream is served year-round.
Much of what draws visitors to Chantilly is the lush natural scenery, which is a stark contrast to the paved streets of Paris. Visitors can dine among the gardens at Le Hameau, a peaceful restaurant in one of five rustic houses serving fresh local cuisine and an exquisite afternoon tea. Compare the world-famous Chantilly whipped cream here with the one you tried at La Capitainerie.
See French cultural heritage at its finest at the Château de Chantilly. This must-visit site includes the Grand Château, destroyed and rebuilt in the late 19th century, and the Petit Château, constructed for Anne de Montmorency around 1560. Here, you’ll also find the Musee Condé, home to some of the finest art pieces in the country. Make the Château de Chantilly your first stop upon arrival to uncover much of the city’s rich history and culture.
Also known as the Domaine de Chantilly, the château is home to exceptional gardens spanning 285 acres. The gardens span centuries of styles, dating back from the French-style gardens of the 1600s to the Anglo-Chinese Garden of the 1700s, and the English Garden of the 1800s. Travel through time while admiring the grounds, complete with fountains, statues, and photogenic mirrors of water.
Also within the grounds of the Domaine de Chantilly, and just steps from your opulent room at the Auberge du Jeu de Paume, are the largest horse stables in Europe, the Great Stables. Home to the Museum of the Horse, a number of equestrian shows, and more photo-worthy 18th-century architecture than you’ll be able to capture, the Great Stables are a must-see, whether you’re a horse enthusiast or not.
No trip to Chantilly is complete without admiring the black Chantilly lace that makes the town’s name so recognizable. The Musée de la Dentelle de Chantilly, or the Chantilly Lace Museum, invites you to view roughly 1,000 pieces of lace from the 19th century and learn about the process of making lace by hand.
Visiting so many sites in a short 48 hour period can be exhausting, so you owe it to yourself to visit the Spa Valmont back at the Auberge du Jeu de Paume. Here, you can choose from a number of signature treatments, ranging from a relaxing massage to a full day of luxury in the Turkish bath, sauna, relaxation pool and more. Following a day of beauty treatments and relaxation, there’s no doubt you’ll rest well knowing you’ve made the most of 48 hours in Chantilly, France.
Some of these links are affiliate, meaning I make a small commission, with no additional cost to you. This helps keep me stocked in French wine, as well as a roof over my head.