Travel

Colette's country homes

Reporting from Paris

Like many Parisians, Colette spent her summers out of town in a chain of country houses connected to the various phases (and lovers) in her life.

The first was Les Monts-Bouccons in eastern France, a gift from Henri Gauthier-Villars, her first husband, who went by "Willy." Between 1900 and 1905 she entertained friends in the modest manor house, gardened and worked out on a portable gym to keep in shape for music hall roles. Strapped for cash a few years later, Willy took the property back.

No matter. By then Colette had formed a liaison with Missy, a rich marquise and notable cross-dresser who bought her an estate near St. Malo on the Brittany coast and didn't take it back when Colette jilted her for Henri de Jouvenel. She summered at Rozven for the next decade with her daughter by De Jouvenel and his stepson Bertrand, whom she seduced.

De Jouvenel's family home in the Perigord, where Colette wrote several books, is now a luxury hotel: Château de Castel Novel, http://www.castelnovel.com, with doubles starting around $140, not including breakfast. In the nearby village of Brive-la-Gaillarde, there's a Colette garden.

Her last beloved country place was La Treille Muscate on the Route des Salins just outside St.-Tropez. She lived there with her third husband, Maurice Goudeket, until the sleepy little fishing village on the Cote d'Azur was discovered by annoying tourists and fans.

travel@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • A Colette tour
    A Colette tour

    Hotels and restaurants along the route.

  • Colette's Paris
    Colette's Paris

    Follow in the footsteps of the celebrated writer who scandalized Paris for decades, with a side trip to her quiet Burgundy hometown.

  • Palais-Royal in background
    Palais-Royal in background

    A couple enjoys the park with the Palais-Royal in Paris, in background, where Colette lived at the end of her life and was given a state funeral when she died in 1954.

  • In Colette's own words
    In Colette's own words

    Colette had a gift for the bon mot. Most of these come from "Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette" by Judith Thurman.

  • Standoff
    Standoff

    A STANDOFF ESCALATES: A boat carrying a U.S. Navy crew rushes to bring humanitarian aid to the fishing trawler Ching Fong Hwa in November. The trawler had been overtaken by pirates off Somalia, and a Chinese sailor was killed.

  • Bomb detected
    Bomb detected

    BOMB DETECTED: Iron, a German shepherd trained to sniff out explosives, weapons, wires and other threats, and handler Sgt. Joshua T. Rose, right, wait as military explosives experts investigate a bomb that Iron found south of Baghdad.

  • On the job
    On the job

    ON THE JOB: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Blake T. Soller follows his explosives-sniffing dog, Pluto, in a home being searched for bombs southeast of Baghdad.

  • Viewer Picture by
Comments
Loading