The Jardins du Mont des Récollets in Cassel, Hauts de France

Written by on November 8, 2018 in Nord-Pas de Calais

Stunning countryside of Cassel in Nord, Hauts-de-France

Deep in the heart of the rural countryside of Nord, Hauts de France, lies an extraordinary garden. The Jardins du Mont des Récollets is an award winning garden with spectacular views in a most beautiful part of northern France…

Owner and gardener extraordinaire Emmanuel de Quillacq took over what was his grandfather’s farm, in 1986. Having always worked in an office, he developed an overwhelming passion for the glorious countryside and the town of Cassel. After studying at the famous Versailles school of gardening, in 1990 he started work on the garden and sine then has devoted his life into turning the once neglected farmland into a fabulous garden that visitors fall head over heels for.

A Flemish garden like a Breugel painting

You enter via an alley of apple trees to discover a grand “room” of topiary, of hydrangeas, roses, wild meadow flowers. There are 15 “rooms” in the garden, they are of all different styles but flow effortlessly, one to the other. You can’t help but think it looks a bit like something out of a Breugel painting. “It’s Flemish renaissance” says Emmanuel, “that’s what inspired me and drives the design, over time the style has slowly evolved…”

The view from the garden over the surrounding countryside is breathtakingly beautiful. “When I first saw this place, it reminded me of Breughel’s painting the Hunters in the Snow” says the green fingered Emmanuel, and if you see the painting, you’ll see what he means. “It’s like a window on nature here, framing a different view every single day.” Indeed, there are windows cut into hedges all over the place offering a different perspective on the landscape. It’s said that on a clear day you can see the English coast from here and the Belfry of Bruges!

Topiary, hazel, viburnum and hawthorn all feature in this Flemish style country garden. In spring there are hundreds of bulbs in flower, in summer the landscape is rich and brightly coloured, in autumn the garden turns shades of gold, red and orange. The planting compositions are intriguing, gentle and charming but also surprising and vibrant. Allow 1-2 hours to explore the 1.5 hectare gardens and majestic, incredible views.

Oodles of charm, a quirky café and a captivating country oasis

This is a magnificent garden to visit. It is peaceful, lush and beautiful, and was voted favourite garden of the French in 2011.

You can take a break at the little café which is full of charm – as well as artifacts of yesteryear. Lunch is of the traditional Flemish style, made with local products and fruit from the garden and is open daily through July and August, at other times by appointment for groups.

Visiting times and details: open from 10 April to 15 October. Details of opening times and tickets can be found here: www.parcsetjardins.fr/jardins/626-jardins-du-mont-des-recollets

Cassel is about an hour’s drive from Calais, and thirty minutes from the lovely market town of Saint Omer.

Discover more great things to do and see in the area: www.tourisme-nordpasdecalais.fr

Related Articles

Le Touquet Paris-Plage, Northern France

Le Touquet Paris-Plage is a small seaside resort on the beautiful Opal Coast of northern France. Architecturally it has a mix of British Edwardian and French Belle Epoque styles. Combined with a zest for outdoor living (and its own microclimate), swanky shops and excellent bars and restaurants. It’s a brilliant place for a weekend break […]

Continue Reading

Museums, Monuments and Arts Venues of Lille

Lille in northern France is one of the most cultural cities in the country. There are more than a dozen museums and art venues in the city and every three years or so Lille goes arty-party mad with a major several-months-long art festival known as Lille3000 in public buildings and the streets. Palais des Beaux […]

Continue Reading

Family-friendly holidays in northern France

If you’re wondering where to go this year for a quintessential French holiday that’s a real family pleaser then look no further! Just across the English Channel you will find long golden sandy beaches, rock pools where you can fish for shrimp and mussels, discover secret inlets and see seals sunbathe. Somewhere you can buy […]

Continue Reading

Le Shopping List for a day trip to Calais France

When it comes to a day trip to France, wine isn’t the only thing that should be on your shopping list… When you take a day trip to Calais, build in time to shop for great French produce. Right next door to the Eurotunnel station is Cité Europe. A huge shopping mall stuffed full of […]

Continue Reading

Gravelines between the sea and the country in Hauts de France

Gravelines is a bright if sleepy little town which rests between the two great harbours Calais and Dunkirk. Once an important entry port to France in its own right, the origins of Gravelines go back many centuries. History of Gravelines It was the primary commercial entrance point for the City of Saint Omer which lies […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top