The unassuming exterior of a small, thatched building conceals the glittering gorgeousness that is The Shell Cottage.
The Shell Cottage sits amongst 2000 hectaires of parkland at Chateau de Rambouillet between Versailles and Chartres in France. The curved walls of the interior are inlaid with neoclassical pattern made from thousands of intricately wired and pinned shells.
I think it was built around 1780 for the widowed Princess of Lamballe by her wealthy father in law the Duc de Penthievre, maybe some learned reader could confirm whether I am correct.
If searching the net for images of The Shell Cottage you might see upholstered furniture in the room. I do not recall seeing any on my visit but I was there with a big group of friends and a large art installation occupied the centre of the room.
Originally the rotunda would have been illuminated by candles and I was told that the alcoves contained perfume burners.
Athough there is no kitchen, the room was used often for dining; a perfect picnic spot. A separate 'ladies chamber' shares the same buildng and is hand painted in an Italianate style.
The Chateau Rambouillet and gardens are open to the public for much of the year. In my opinion it is well worth a visit and there is much more to see whilst there such as the Queen's Dairy and the Chateau Rambouillet its self. I would love to return and spend the day exploring. See Rambouillet Tourism for informaton