Mauritius photo of Aerial view of Chateau Labourdonnais

Aerial view of Chateau Labourdonnais

Photography by Photographer Kevin Mahadoo
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The Château de Labourdonnais, a castle like no other.

The Chateau de Labourdonnais, described as a castle in nature, is a magical and poetic place where history merges with architecture, flora, orchards and cuisine that gives life to this castle. Located in the north of the island, more precisely in Mapou, the Château de Labourdonnais is in the heart of a splendid garden where endemic plants and exotic trees of all kinds cohabit.

Its history

The Château de Labourdonnais was built on a property that was at the time the former property of Christian Wiehe, a prominent Mauritian personality. It is moreover this last one who will make the castle famous. He started the construction of the castle in 1856. Its architecture, extends on two levels and becomes then one of the most beautiful colonial houses of Mauritius. The main material being teak, the Château de Labourdonnais is made of a double gallery with colonnades which protects the castle from the sun and thus facilitates ventilation. When we pay attention to the layout of the rooms in the house, we emphasize the style of the time with a central hallway that leads to the dining room and the large living room. The bedrooms are then located on the first floor.

The visit

The visit begins with a beautiful view: the magnificent alley of the intendances, which leads to the main entrance. Once past this alley, you will find yourself in the vestibule, splendid with its double opening, between courtyard and garden. On the first floor is the dining room with its beautiful hand-painted wallpaper decor. Next to it is the office of the house, where the housekeeper's world is displayed, with the dishes and the beautiful silverware of the time. The living room is also very large and decorated according to the trends of the time. After these main parts, you can also discover the master's office, and then the upper part on the floor with the master bedroom with its Victorian inspired decor. The next step is the audiovisual projection room and the exhibition rooms.

The gardens and orchards

Once you have visited the castle, you can enjoy a walk through the lush gardens and ancient orchards. These wide paths will take you to a quiet environment where you can discover the multiple riches of the domain. In addition to endemic plants, the orchards are home to nearly fifty varieties of century-old mango trees, spice trees such as the nutmeg tree, the clove tree or exotic fruit trees such as the jacot apple, the sapodilla, the jamalac or the cytherea plum tree. A little further in the orchards, you will find fruits such as papaya, mango, guava or passion fruit used in the making of the Labourdonnais product range, without artificial coloring or flavoring. You will be able to discover and taste these products at the tasting bar and at the castle store. During your walk in the gardens, you will also be able to meet new friends in the park specially designed for the Aldabra tortoises.

The Mascareignes Rum Factory

The Mascareignes Rum Factory was created in 2006 and will mark the diversification of the sugar cane industry. In activity only during the period of the cutting of the sugar cane, one can however visit it throughout the year. The visit of the rum factory will make you discover the columns of distillation, the tanks, as well as the techniques of ageing of the agricultural rum. You will be able to have all the necessary information on the manufacture of this alcohol thanks to the totems placed outside. The rum products of the rum distillery, i.e. the Rhumeur and La Bourdonnais labels, are available at the tasting bar and at the castle's boutique.

The tasting bar

The visit ends at the tasting bar, to the delight of your taste buds. Your entrance ticket includes a tasting of the different products that come from the rum factory or the orchards. You will find a wide range of local products such as jams, fruit jellies, fruit juices and sorbets. The Castle Shop which, in a contemporary style, will allow you to buy some souvenirs of your visit and thus bring some back to your loved ones. You will find a wide range of products from decorative objects related to the colonial art of living, or to the garden such as rum, fruit jellies, spices, and many other products. La Table du Château is the restaurant of the estate. Contemporary and refined, the restaurant offers a fine and gastronomic cuisine, full of creativity and which emphasizes the products of the domain, such as fruits and vegetables.

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