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Alain Ducasse to Open Restaurant at Versailles

Alain Ducasse to Open Restaurant at Versailles


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Versailles buildings will become a boutique hotel and high-end restaurant

Wikimedia/Eric Pouhier

Celebrity chef Alain Ducasse will be opening a fine-dining restaurant on the grounds of the palace of Versailles.

France is already home to some of the world’s highest-end restaurants, and it could soon be getting its poshest operation yet, because guests will get to dine like Marie Antoinette when Alain Ducasse is opens a restaurant at Versailles.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the board of directors of the Versailles Château voted to rent some of the castle’s buildings to become a high-end boutique hotel and an haute cuisine restaurant helmed by chef Alain Ducasse.

The building in question is known as the Grand Contrôle compound, which is on the left of the main palace building and overlooks the orange gardens. It once housed the French Finance Ministry under Louis XVI, but now is reportedly in very poor condition and not much remains inside that is leftover from its glory days.

French hotel group Lov Hotel Collection will reportedly invest $28.5 million to restore and renovate the buildings, and will then run an ultra high-end boutique hotel with 20 rooms, a spa, and an underground swimming pool on the grounds of Versailles. They’ll pay the palace rent of one million euros a year. The hotel and restaurant could be open in 2018.


Dining at Versailles: food at the time of the French royalty

Soup, like L'Oille, was popular in France in the 16th Century. Photo: Atelier Mai 98

To be invited to a feast at the Palace of Versailles in the days of French royalty was quite a prestigious honour - but that didn't mean you got to eat. Instead, you got to stand in a crowd and watch.

"The king ate in front of an audience - so you weren't actually invited to eat with the king, you were invited to watch the king eat," says the National Gallery of Australia curator Simeran Maxwell.

"So the king would eat and then his close members of the royal family would also be allowed at the table. Depending on your position you would be further and further back. And you would either be allowed to sit on something or you would have to stand."

But the food was in abundance, unsurprising given the opulence of the French palace. Meals included courses upon courses upon courses - a dinner set for what was considered a full French-style dinner contained 283 pieces for about 24 people.

"From the 16th century, soup was usually the traditional thing that started a meal. So on the menu we have for Louis XV [in the Versailles: Treasures of the Palace exhibition], he'd start his meal with four different types of soup. You didn't just get one, you got a lot," says Maxwell.

"Then you would have your entrees, and then a sort of pause which would include three or four other dishes, then you would have roast meat and that was traditionally served plain, spit roasted and sauces and salads and sides would come as separate courses. Then you would finish with what we would call dessert."

"They wouldn't necessarily eat everything but they would partake in some of everything. So in a course of a meal like this, you could be expected to try 20 to 30 dishes."

It was in fact food that not only played a part in the story of how the palace of Versailles came to be, but also in the French family's downfall. It all started Louis XIV was invited to his finance minister's estate for a feast, and he noticed something a bit fishy.

"He suddenly realised that this man had been siphoning money from his pocket creating this enormous estate - so he put him in jail and took his gardener, his architect, his painter and also his chef and so that starts the story of Versailles," says Maxwell.


Dining at Versailles: food at the time of the French royalty

Soup, like L'Oille, was popular in France in the 16th Century. Photo: Atelier Mai 98

To be invited to a feast at the Palace of Versailles in the days of French royalty was quite a prestigious honour - but that didn't mean you got to eat. Instead, you got to stand in a crowd and watch.

"The king ate in front of an audience - so you weren't actually invited to eat with the king, you were invited to watch the king eat," says the National Gallery of Australia curator Simeran Maxwell.

"So the king would eat and then his close members of the royal family would also be allowed at the table. Depending on your position you would be further and further back. And you would either be allowed to sit on something or you would have to stand."

But the food was in abundance, unsurprising given the opulence of the French palace. Meals included courses upon courses upon courses - a dinner set for what was considered a full French-style dinner contained 283 pieces for about 24 people.

"From the 16th century, soup was usually the traditional thing that started a meal. So on the menu we have for Louis XV [in the Versailles: Treasures of the Palace exhibition], he'd start his meal with four different types of soup. You didn't just get one, you got a lot," says Maxwell.

"Then you would have your entrees, and then a sort of pause which would include three or four other dishes, then you would have roast meat and that was traditionally served plain, spit roasted and sauces and salads and sides would come as separate courses. Then you would finish with what we would call dessert."

"They wouldn't necessarily eat everything but they would partake in some of everything. So in a course of a meal like this, you could be expected to try 20 to 30 dishes."

It was in fact food that not only played a part in the story of how the palace of Versailles came to be, but also in the French family's downfall. It all started Louis XIV was invited to his finance minister's estate for a feast, and he noticed something a bit fishy.

"He suddenly realised that this man had been siphoning money from his pocket creating this enormous estate - so he put him in jail and took his gardener, his architect, his painter and also his chef and so that starts the story of Versailles," says Maxwell.


Dining at Versailles: food at the time of the French royalty

Soup, like L'Oille, was popular in France in the 16th Century. Photo: Atelier Mai 98

To be invited to a feast at the Palace of Versailles in the days of French royalty was quite a prestigious honour - but that didn't mean you got to eat. Instead, you got to stand in a crowd and watch.

"The king ate in front of an audience - so you weren't actually invited to eat with the king, you were invited to watch the king eat," says the National Gallery of Australia curator Simeran Maxwell.

"So the king would eat and then his close members of the royal family would also be allowed at the table. Depending on your position you would be further and further back. And you would either be allowed to sit on something or you would have to stand."

But the food was in abundance, unsurprising given the opulence of the French palace. Meals included courses upon courses upon courses - a dinner set for what was considered a full French-style dinner contained 283 pieces for about 24 people.

"From the 16th century, soup was usually the traditional thing that started a meal. So on the menu we have for Louis XV [in the Versailles: Treasures of the Palace exhibition], he'd start his meal with four different types of soup. You didn't just get one, you got a lot," says Maxwell.

"Then you would have your entrees, and then a sort of pause which would include three or four other dishes, then you would have roast meat and that was traditionally served plain, spit roasted and sauces and salads and sides would come as separate courses. Then you would finish with what we would call dessert."

"They wouldn't necessarily eat everything but they would partake in some of everything. So in a course of a meal like this, you could be expected to try 20 to 30 dishes."

It was in fact food that not only played a part in the story of how the palace of Versailles came to be, but also in the French family's downfall. It all started Louis XIV was invited to his finance minister's estate for a feast, and he noticed something a bit fishy.

"He suddenly realised that this man had been siphoning money from his pocket creating this enormous estate - so he put him in jail and took his gardener, his architect, his painter and also his chef and so that starts the story of Versailles," says Maxwell.


Dining at Versailles: food at the time of the French royalty

Soup, like L'Oille, was popular in France in the 16th Century. Photo: Atelier Mai 98

To be invited to a feast at the Palace of Versailles in the days of French royalty was quite a prestigious honour - but that didn't mean you got to eat. Instead, you got to stand in a crowd and watch.

"The king ate in front of an audience - so you weren't actually invited to eat with the king, you were invited to watch the king eat," says the National Gallery of Australia curator Simeran Maxwell.

"So the king would eat and then his close members of the royal family would also be allowed at the table. Depending on your position you would be further and further back. And you would either be allowed to sit on something or you would have to stand."

But the food was in abundance, unsurprising given the opulence of the French palace. Meals included courses upon courses upon courses - a dinner set for what was considered a full French-style dinner contained 283 pieces for about 24 people.

"From the 16th century, soup was usually the traditional thing that started a meal. So on the menu we have for Louis XV [in the Versailles: Treasures of the Palace exhibition], he'd start his meal with four different types of soup. You didn't just get one, you got a lot," says Maxwell.

"Then you would have your entrees, and then a sort of pause which would include three or four other dishes, then you would have roast meat and that was traditionally served plain, spit roasted and sauces and salads and sides would come as separate courses. Then you would finish with what we would call dessert."

"They wouldn't necessarily eat everything but they would partake in some of everything. So in a course of a meal like this, you could be expected to try 20 to 30 dishes."

It was in fact food that not only played a part in the story of how the palace of Versailles came to be, but also in the French family's downfall. It all started Louis XIV was invited to his finance minister's estate for a feast, and he noticed something a bit fishy.

"He suddenly realised that this man had been siphoning money from his pocket creating this enormous estate - so he put him in jail and took his gardener, his architect, his painter and also his chef and so that starts the story of Versailles," says Maxwell.


Dining at Versailles: food at the time of the French royalty

Soup, like L'Oille, was popular in France in the 16th Century. Photo: Atelier Mai 98

To be invited to a feast at the Palace of Versailles in the days of French royalty was quite a prestigious honour - but that didn't mean you got to eat. Instead, you got to stand in a crowd and watch.

"The king ate in front of an audience - so you weren't actually invited to eat with the king, you were invited to watch the king eat," says the National Gallery of Australia curator Simeran Maxwell.

"So the king would eat and then his close members of the royal family would also be allowed at the table. Depending on your position you would be further and further back. And you would either be allowed to sit on something or you would have to stand."

But the food was in abundance, unsurprising given the opulence of the French palace. Meals included courses upon courses upon courses - a dinner set for what was considered a full French-style dinner contained 283 pieces for about 24 people.

"From the 16th century, soup was usually the traditional thing that started a meal. So on the menu we have for Louis XV [in the Versailles: Treasures of the Palace exhibition], he'd start his meal with four different types of soup. You didn't just get one, you got a lot," says Maxwell.

"Then you would have your entrees, and then a sort of pause which would include three or four other dishes, then you would have roast meat and that was traditionally served plain, spit roasted and sauces and salads and sides would come as separate courses. Then you would finish with what we would call dessert."

"They wouldn't necessarily eat everything but they would partake in some of everything. So in a course of a meal like this, you could be expected to try 20 to 30 dishes."

It was in fact food that not only played a part in the story of how the palace of Versailles came to be, but also in the French family's downfall. It all started Louis XIV was invited to his finance minister's estate for a feast, and he noticed something a bit fishy.

"He suddenly realised that this man had been siphoning money from his pocket creating this enormous estate - so he put him in jail and took his gardener, his architect, his painter and also his chef and so that starts the story of Versailles," says Maxwell.


Dining at Versailles: food at the time of the French royalty

Soup, like L'Oille, was popular in France in the 16th Century. Photo: Atelier Mai 98

To be invited to a feast at the Palace of Versailles in the days of French royalty was quite a prestigious honour - but that didn't mean you got to eat. Instead, you got to stand in a crowd and watch.

"The king ate in front of an audience - so you weren't actually invited to eat with the king, you were invited to watch the king eat," says the National Gallery of Australia curator Simeran Maxwell.

"So the king would eat and then his close members of the royal family would also be allowed at the table. Depending on your position you would be further and further back. And you would either be allowed to sit on something or you would have to stand."

But the food was in abundance, unsurprising given the opulence of the French palace. Meals included courses upon courses upon courses - a dinner set for what was considered a full French-style dinner contained 283 pieces for about 24 people.

"From the 16th century, soup was usually the traditional thing that started a meal. So on the menu we have for Louis XV [in the Versailles: Treasures of the Palace exhibition], he'd start his meal with four different types of soup. You didn't just get one, you got a lot," says Maxwell.

"Then you would have your entrees, and then a sort of pause which would include three or four other dishes, then you would have roast meat and that was traditionally served plain, spit roasted and sauces and salads and sides would come as separate courses. Then you would finish with what we would call dessert."

"They wouldn't necessarily eat everything but they would partake in some of everything. So in a course of a meal like this, you could be expected to try 20 to 30 dishes."

It was in fact food that not only played a part in the story of how the palace of Versailles came to be, but also in the French family's downfall. It all started Louis XIV was invited to his finance minister's estate for a feast, and he noticed something a bit fishy.

"He suddenly realised that this man had been siphoning money from his pocket creating this enormous estate - so he put him in jail and took his gardener, his architect, his painter and also his chef and so that starts the story of Versailles," says Maxwell.


Dining at Versailles: food at the time of the French royalty

Soup, like L'Oille, was popular in France in the 16th Century. Photo: Atelier Mai 98

To be invited to a feast at the Palace of Versailles in the days of French royalty was quite a prestigious honour - but that didn't mean you got to eat. Instead, you got to stand in a crowd and watch.

"The king ate in front of an audience - so you weren't actually invited to eat with the king, you were invited to watch the king eat," says the National Gallery of Australia curator Simeran Maxwell.

"So the king would eat and then his close members of the royal family would also be allowed at the table. Depending on your position you would be further and further back. And you would either be allowed to sit on something or you would have to stand."

But the food was in abundance, unsurprising given the opulence of the French palace. Meals included courses upon courses upon courses - a dinner set for what was considered a full French-style dinner contained 283 pieces for about 24 people.

"From the 16th century, soup was usually the traditional thing that started a meal. So on the menu we have for Louis XV [in the Versailles: Treasures of the Palace exhibition], he'd start his meal with four different types of soup. You didn't just get one, you got a lot," says Maxwell.

"Then you would have your entrees, and then a sort of pause which would include three or four other dishes, then you would have roast meat and that was traditionally served plain, spit roasted and sauces and salads and sides would come as separate courses. Then you would finish with what we would call dessert."

"They wouldn't necessarily eat everything but they would partake in some of everything. So in a course of a meal like this, you could be expected to try 20 to 30 dishes."

It was in fact food that not only played a part in the story of how the palace of Versailles came to be, but also in the French family's downfall. It all started Louis XIV was invited to his finance minister's estate for a feast, and he noticed something a bit fishy.

"He suddenly realised that this man had been siphoning money from his pocket creating this enormous estate - so he put him in jail and took his gardener, his architect, his painter and also his chef and so that starts the story of Versailles," says Maxwell.


Dining at Versailles: food at the time of the French royalty

Soup, like L'Oille, was popular in France in the 16th Century. Photo: Atelier Mai 98

To be invited to a feast at the Palace of Versailles in the days of French royalty was quite a prestigious honour - but that didn't mean you got to eat. Instead, you got to stand in a crowd and watch.

"The king ate in front of an audience - so you weren't actually invited to eat with the king, you were invited to watch the king eat," says the National Gallery of Australia curator Simeran Maxwell.

"So the king would eat and then his close members of the royal family would also be allowed at the table. Depending on your position you would be further and further back. And you would either be allowed to sit on something or you would have to stand."

But the food was in abundance, unsurprising given the opulence of the French palace. Meals included courses upon courses upon courses - a dinner set for what was considered a full French-style dinner contained 283 pieces for about 24 people.

"From the 16th century, soup was usually the traditional thing that started a meal. So on the menu we have for Louis XV [in the Versailles: Treasures of the Palace exhibition], he'd start his meal with four different types of soup. You didn't just get one, you got a lot," says Maxwell.

"Then you would have your entrees, and then a sort of pause which would include three or four other dishes, then you would have roast meat and that was traditionally served plain, spit roasted and sauces and salads and sides would come as separate courses. Then you would finish with what we would call dessert."

"They wouldn't necessarily eat everything but they would partake in some of everything. So in a course of a meal like this, you could be expected to try 20 to 30 dishes."

It was in fact food that not only played a part in the story of how the palace of Versailles came to be, but also in the French family's downfall. It all started Louis XIV was invited to his finance minister's estate for a feast, and he noticed something a bit fishy.

"He suddenly realised that this man had been siphoning money from his pocket creating this enormous estate - so he put him in jail and took his gardener, his architect, his painter and also his chef and so that starts the story of Versailles," says Maxwell.


Dining at Versailles: food at the time of the French royalty

Soup, like L'Oille, was popular in France in the 16th Century. Photo: Atelier Mai 98

To be invited to a feast at the Palace of Versailles in the days of French royalty was quite a prestigious honour - but that didn't mean you got to eat. Instead, you got to stand in a crowd and watch.

"The king ate in front of an audience - so you weren't actually invited to eat with the king, you were invited to watch the king eat," says the National Gallery of Australia curator Simeran Maxwell.

"So the king would eat and then his close members of the royal family would also be allowed at the table. Depending on your position you would be further and further back. And you would either be allowed to sit on something or you would have to stand."

But the food was in abundance, unsurprising given the opulence of the French palace. Meals included courses upon courses upon courses - a dinner set for what was considered a full French-style dinner contained 283 pieces for about 24 people.

"From the 16th century, soup was usually the traditional thing that started a meal. So on the menu we have for Louis XV [in the Versailles: Treasures of the Palace exhibition], he'd start his meal with four different types of soup. You didn't just get one, you got a lot," says Maxwell.

"Then you would have your entrees, and then a sort of pause which would include three or four other dishes, then you would have roast meat and that was traditionally served plain, spit roasted and sauces and salads and sides would come as separate courses. Then you would finish with what we would call dessert."

"They wouldn't necessarily eat everything but they would partake in some of everything. So in a course of a meal like this, you could be expected to try 20 to 30 dishes."

It was in fact food that not only played a part in the story of how the palace of Versailles came to be, but also in the French family's downfall. It all started Louis XIV was invited to his finance minister's estate for a feast, and he noticed something a bit fishy.

"He suddenly realised that this man had been siphoning money from his pocket creating this enormous estate - so he put him in jail and took his gardener, his architect, his painter and also his chef and so that starts the story of Versailles," says Maxwell.


Dining at Versailles: food at the time of the French royalty

Soup, like L'Oille, was popular in France in the 16th Century. Photo: Atelier Mai 98

To be invited to a feast at the Palace of Versailles in the days of French royalty was quite a prestigious honour - but that didn't mean you got to eat. Instead, you got to stand in a crowd and watch.

"The king ate in front of an audience - so you weren't actually invited to eat with the king, you were invited to watch the king eat," says the National Gallery of Australia curator Simeran Maxwell.

"So the king would eat and then his close members of the royal family would also be allowed at the table. Depending on your position you would be further and further back. And you would either be allowed to sit on something or you would have to stand."

But the food was in abundance, unsurprising given the opulence of the French palace. Meals included courses upon courses upon courses - a dinner set for what was considered a full French-style dinner contained 283 pieces for about 24 people.

"From the 16th century, soup was usually the traditional thing that started a meal. So on the menu we have for Louis XV [in the Versailles: Treasures of the Palace exhibition], he'd start his meal with four different types of soup. You didn't just get one, you got a lot," says Maxwell.

"Then you would have your entrees, and then a sort of pause which would include three or four other dishes, then you would have roast meat and that was traditionally served plain, spit roasted and sauces and salads and sides would come as separate courses. Then you would finish with what we would call dessert."

"They wouldn't necessarily eat everything but they would partake in some of everything. So in a course of a meal like this, you could be expected to try 20 to 30 dishes."

It was in fact food that not only played a part in the story of how the palace of Versailles came to be, but also in the French family's downfall. It all started Louis XIV was invited to his finance minister's estate for a feast, and he noticed something a bit fishy.

"He suddenly realised that this man had been siphoning money from his pocket creating this enormous estate - so he put him in jail and took his gardener, his architect, his painter and also his chef and so that starts the story of Versailles," says Maxwell.