Jean Cocteau, the famous novelist, spent the last 17 years of his life in this pretty haven of peace of Milly-la-Forêt, near Paris.
He fell in love with the house
“The house was waiting for me.” As soon as he visited it in 1947 with his companion the actor Jean Marais, Jean Cocteau fell in love with this discreet residence, nestled in the heart of Milly-la-Forêt, at the end of an alley. This Louis XIII building is a former outbuilding of the Château de la Bonde, owned by Admiral de Graville in the 15th century. With its Louis XIII facade, its two hectares of garden surrounded by the irrigation canals and the moats of the neighboring castle, this charming setting offers a real haven of peace to the director of Beauty and the Beast and author of Les Enfants terribles, who needs to recharge its batteries out of sight and the effervescence of Paris.
An ecclectic decor
He spent the last 17 years of his life there, until his death in 1963. He rests today in the nearby Saint-Blaise-des-simples chapel, alongside his last companion. Jean Cocteau’s bestiary Strolling through the various rooms furnished and decorated by Cocteau himself and which have remained as they are, from the living room to the study, via the bedroom, immerses you in the mythological and baroque universe so characteristic of his work. Thanks to the advice of his friend, the decorator Madeleine Castaing, Jean Cocteau gave free rein to his imagination, constructing an eclectic decor in which sphinxes, mermaid and merry-go-round horse harmonize with imitation leopard tapestries and horned furniture to compose a mysterious melody. Like a dreamlike journey through the poet’s work !
The poet’s garden
With the seasons, the garden is transformed. Marked out by the moat of the Château de la Bonde, the garden of Jean Cocteau’s house offers a walk in the heart of a very rich fauna and flora. Freesias in spring, roses in bloom in summer, apple trees in September (Reine des Reinettes, Arkanes and other Merlroses), and hellebores in winter, the diversity of varieties will delight the most curious.
You can visit Jean Cocteau’s house, more information here