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. Tickets can be purchased at the Estaminet Kasteelhof, 8 rue st Nicolas (opposite the windmill) in Cassel.

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

Indulge your passion for fabulous food in northern France

In 2010, UNESCO awarded French cuisine ‘World intangible heritage status’, reflecting the importance of great food in France. A nip across, or under, the English Channel to northern France reveals a wealth of gastronomic delights. From lush produce at street markets, to tasty treats at the supermarket, cheese shops, wine shops and boulangeries that smell so […]

Continue Reading

A most incredible art event for 2019 | Lille3000 is weird, whacky and wonderful

In 2015 I went to the Lille for the opening parade of Lille3000. I had no idea what to expect. I’d heard from friends that it was a quirky and incredible art “event” but nothing prepared me for the reality. Held every few years, Lille3000 is a huge event with what seems like a strange […]

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

What to see and do in Cassel Hauts-de-France

Approach the town of Cassel in the department of Nord, Hauts-de-France, from the flat countryside passing field after field. Cars wind their way helter-skelter-like, up and around the Mont of Cassel until suddenly, they reach the cobbled roads that lead into the small town with big views at the top of this famous hill of […]

Continue Reading

Lille northern France | Charm and culture by the bucket load

Lille is known for its cultural allure – it was European City of Culture in 2004 and has never looked back. Old Lille’s architecture is stunning, a bit like a miniature Paris but with a dash of Flemish influence. Janine Marsh explores Lille’s delights… Lille at a Glance Vieux Lille, the old town, is vibrant, […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

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

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top