Today the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop headed off to Chantilly, known for it’s lovely whipped cream, genuflecting horses, and fancy French lace! (La vie française est toujours magnifique!!) The day started off with a casual stroll through Chantilly’s downtown area where some of our participants made friends with the local cats 😉 Next up, an amazing hat and jewelry shop where our writers tried on some French berets and classic fedoras and struck a pose worthy of any good hard-boiled femme fatale 😉 After our Chantilly noir moment, we stopped by a local teahouse for some café gourmand, and then headed off to the stables to see the genuflecting horses! The show, Cheval, Rêve, & Poesie, featured dancing horses, acrobats, court jesters, and beautiful music and costumes from France, Russia, Spain, China, and India! After the program, some of the ladies sat down for a drink and observed the flâneurs passing by. Then Gina & I headed off to the Château de Chantilly to check out the gorgeous private art collection, beautiful classical library, monkey room, and animal motifs in the château. Janet captured a wonderful shot of a skinned lion tapestry (which she says helped spark her creative writing but which might also haunt her forever), and another group of writers, including Nannie, Norma, Stephanie, and Janet, went off to explore the sheep and lambs on the pastures of Château de Chantilly, and in doing so, found some hidden steps to an ancient and ruined bridge which lead to a hidden island. Climbing the moss-covered steps, they found a perfect, secluded spot to spend awhile composing a new tale and some new poetry. All in all, our little trip to Chantilly was filled with hidden treasures, secret enclaves, much delicious food and food for thought, and unexpected moments of poetry.
– Rita Banerjee, Cambridge Writers’ Workshop’s Creative Director