Overlooked by its chateau and its superb chimney, the Domaine de Labourdonnais is a reminder of the splendour of a bygone age. And yet… For several years, the heart of this former sugar estate has found new life in its carefully managed redevelopment as a close-knit village with a delightful lifestyle.
While the Domaine de Labourdonnais is best known for its cultural aspects, taking visitors on a wonderful journey through its chateau and along its beautiful tree-lined pathways, it is evolving to become a special place unlike any other in its neighbourhood. The outlines were first mooted in the 1990s, focusing on four sectors – leisure, sport & well-being, agriculture and property. Alongside agriculture, leisure and events in tune with the historical and cultural setting have been the starting point for a diversification process rooted in a vision for the future.
Fruit processing, and particularly the construction in 1995 of a factory, producing jams and real fruit jellies based on a family recipe, was the first step in a development that celebrates the area’s rich natural resources.
A lively neighbourhood
The Domaine’s ambition is becoming increasingly clear – to become the area’s one-stop place. Various developments are gradually adding to its attractiveness and the neighbourhood is starting to establish itself as the North’s meeting place. In fact, it is already abuzz with activity being ideally located close to the North-South highway and where the area’s main private schools have been set up.
In such a lively neighbourhood where parents, pupils and a range of business company personnel cross each other’s paths, the vision of a village on a human scale is quietly emerging. Its former artisans’ buildings, surrounded by greenery and some venerable old trees, have been restored and converted into offices. In due course, a delicatessen (La Corbeille) offering a range of products and La Terrasse Restaurant will make the Domaine’s lifestyle even more attractive, tempting oases of calm for both those in a hurry and those wanting to enjoy a break.
The Domaine de Labourdonnais has developed its infrastructure to include sporting and well-being services. Its grounds, which sit peacefully amongst sugarcane fields, attract sports enthusiasts of all levels and its various dental, medical, paramedical and laboratory facilities are in regular use. There’s a good reason for that. What better place for taking care of your health than beneath the shade of stately old trees in an area filled with birdsong!
It is easy to appreciate the Domaine’s beauty, charm and genuine character. Its development has been designed to fully blend in with its ancient greenery and period stonework, resulting in a living and work environment that is hard to match, at once energising and inspirational.
Le Quartier des Serres: the Domaine’s vibrant heart
With its opening scheduled for the end of the year, the Quartier des Serres is all about celebrating life. This haven of Labourdonnais-style tranquillity represents the first stage of a chic and welcoming village, where everything is taken care of. Built where there were once anthurium greenhouses, the neighbourhood has retained all its former spirit of place. With colourful flowerbeds scattered all around and magnificent hanging plants, the living environment taking shape before our eyes has a timeless quality.
Open to the air and to the sunlight, this new area is the realisation of the Domaine’s dream. It is Labourdonnais’ vibrant heartland, where two wide alleys connect earlier workplaces to the new, and the sports and educational areas to the centre of the Domaine. Bordered by former artisans’ quarters, architectural gems from another time, and a large events hall, the Quartier des Serres feels very special. To one side, superb period-style longères house offices and, to the other, stands a smart and pleasant shopping arcade with, amongst others, an ATM, a chemist’s, Cups & Co, La Papeterie du Village and art galleries.
A fresh way of life is taking shape across the Domaine de Labourdonnais: perhaps a visit to the gym before starting the working day, a quick lunchbreak at La Terrasse, even an impromptu spot of shopping followed by a hearty pancake in the afternoon – and that’s without mentioning being able to jump into the swimming pool on the way home.
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