A brick building in the forest
The best view of the Atelier is from the parking lot on the restored fruit wall, the last remnant of the walled vegetable garden. Through the gate there is an inviting path straight to the holiday home. You walk along monumental trees and flowering shrubs. After a few dozen meters you will pass two impressive pillars and a wrought iron gate, the official entrance for the guests of the Atelier. In a clearing in the forest, the charming brick building appears under a red tiled roof.
A living room with open kitchen
The original bluestone staircase gives access to the bel-etage. It is a beautiful entrance. You used to find the duchess's painting studio here, now it's a living room with an open kitchen, a large table and - a few steps higher - a salon. Everything is bathed in light, thanks to two large windows in the kitchen and a huge window in the salon. A smaller window next to the front door overlooks the path to the fruit wall.
With a crystal luster
On the floor of the kitchen is a tile to old model with a green and artichoke color motif. Those colors come back on the walls and they contrast beautifully with the black kitchen, the display cabinets and the chest of drawers. On the ceiling hangs a crystal luster from the large salon of the castle. In 2009 we received the duke d'Ursel's loan, along with a lot of furniture, paintings and books. Because he can not be placed back in the castle, we have proposed to the Duke to give him a new life in the Atelier.
The hand of Antonine
On the wall is the portrait that Antonine made in 1867 from her sister Alix. Under the luster is a large table with oak leaves, whose wavy edges are reminiscent of a tree trunk. For breakfast there are placemats with drawings of daily life in the castle and the Atelier, of course by Antonine.
A beech cathedral forest and flat-screen TV
The oak of the table is also reflected in the worktop of the kitchen, the wide staircase to the salon and the floor of that seating area. From the spacious sofa you have a beautiful view of the beech cathedral forest. These beech trees were planted during the construction of the studio in 1878 and they have grown into majestic trees. There are portraits of Antonine and her family on the wall of the drawing room and a flat screen TV is hidden in an antique cupboard.
There used to be a small extension to the painting studio with kitchen and service space. During the restoration he was transformed into a full-fledged stairwell, finished with blue stone and green-blue lime paint. Along old photos of the castle you reach the four bedrooms: two in the attic and two in the basement.
Claire and Sabine
Each room is named after someone who has posed for Antonine. We have chosen her four most beautiful portraits and always glued a life-size cut to the room doors. In the basement you will be welcomed by two charming ladies. Claire de Beughem was a friend of Antonine's daughter and occupant of the nearby Lippelo Castle. She posed in 1894. In 1900 Antonine made a pastel portrait of her brand new daughter-in-law Sabine Franquet de Franqueville. Both bedrooms have a solid oak floor and the ceilings are the preserved old trenches.
In the room of Sabine you will find a queen-size bed and Claire a king-size bed that can be separated into two single beds. Although they are half under the ground, there are windows and doors in the two rooms that give direct access to the park via a brick staircase. The ensuite bathrooms are equipped with a rain shower with white hand-molded tiles, a sink with an oak top and a toilet.
Marie and Léo
At the top of the staircase you will be met by Marie, who was immortalized in 1875 by her sister Antonine. In her room there is a king-size bed on a solid oak floor. The adjacent bathroom is equipped with a bath with rain shower, a sink, a toilet and a so-called goose trap. At the top, the serious looking eight-year-old Léo guards the entrance to his room. He was the eyeball of his sister-in-law Antonine and in 1875 posed for a large portrait, full-length. Behind the folding door you will find two single beds. When you look through the window, you feel like you are among the tops of the trees.
Attention: to reach the room of Léo you first have to cross the room of Marie and then the common bathroom.
With four bedrooms and three bathrooms there is room for up to eight people. We are curious about the guests we will receive. Are it mainly people who rent the castle and immediately make a weekend of it? Or cyclists and hikers who come to enjoy the Scheldeland? Or foreign tourists who choose a quiet place, centrally between the Flemish art cities? One thing is certain: after decades of deep sleep, this beautiful sleeper has finally been awakened again.
|Address: Kon. Astridlaan 200, Hingene|
|Zip/Postal Code: 2880|
|Latitude/Longitude: 51.1032209 / 4.277051000000029|