The Square (“Le Parvis”), a new original name right down the Cathedral

Restaurant, tearoom or lounge bar, it all depends on you. But what remains constant is the beauty of the place, which plunges down medieval cellars but at the same time lifts us up to the 19th century at the third floor.

Out of seven floors, it covers the whole history of Chartres: from the Middle Ages at the basement to the 19th century at the third floor. This is the very last brand name opened right down the Cathedral, where was previously settled the handcraft shop Pénélope, the Square (“Le Parvis”). Restaurant, brasserie, tearoom or lounge bar, according to the mood and hour, « it is true that it is hard to put a name on it », smiles François Chadorge, secrete consultant onthis project lead by his son Guillaume. Both of them have on purpose wished to avoid labels, in order to give priority to the follwing idea: « transform this place into a welcoming establishment, at anytime in a particular atmosphere». The building highly contributes to this atmosphere. Right down the Cathedral tower Jehan de Beauce, north portal, its classical façade at the first floor reminds us the architecture of the Beaux Arts museum. The two upper floors, on their side, remind that Chartres was still under construction during the 19th century. The large window panes replace small ones. They enable each occupier of the Bed and Breakfast rooms, completing the bulding, the same and unobstructed view on the Cathedral.

But the most surprising is not visible from outside. One must enter, and most of all go downstairs, for a little excursion in the basement of Chartres, full of surprises. The Square (“Le Parvis”) indeed uses its famous Chartres on three levels. A little historical travel, here again, reminding that for long it was built above old houses. The current first level of cellar was the… ground floor during the Middle Ages. « Here, these were the shop doors which gave path on the street Cheval Blanc » explains François Chadorge.
To organise this underground life, the new owners have been liberal with the means deployed – one year – , under the leadership of the French buildings. The « flooring » for instance is in reality a paving doubled with a hiting system, to avoid the typical fresh sensation one can feel in cellars. Extractors have also been installed to avoid humidity.

Confessionnal and flat screen

But the real warmth of the place is also to be found in an accesible menu, exposing some little secrets which attracted the most faithful clients to the Chadorge family when they owned the Quai Fleuri in Voves, like the “pain perdu” with caramelised apples. Teh warmth is also due to the decoration discoveries of Mrs Elise Chadorge, which refused to live in the past and preferred a “glance” at the future while mixing old (including an old confessionnal of the 19th century coming from Gers) to definitely modern materials : optical fibre or plexiglas, flat screens, oilskined concrete, or wrought iron. To create this atmosphere, which suits not only to muffled discussions but also to jazz nights, that Guillaume Chadorge already plans in the third cellar level. When we were telling you this place is more than just a bar or a restaurant…”

Source : La Republique du Centre

The cathedral house


The view on the cathedral and traverse views throughout the whole house. The library in trompe loeil within the bathroom and the loundge bar in a crypt!

Good ideas:

You have a ringside to visit the cathedral and observe tourists who are doing the same, or the center of the largest stained glass window.

When on of the most wonderful cathedrals in France is on watch of your sleep!
The effect produced is unbelievable! You have the impression to sleep in its arms, down the royal gate. Indeed, the residence was included in the Chanoines  territory. Guillaume Chadorge, whose parents have for a long while held a gastronomic restaurant at the very heart of the Beauce, has just taken over the place by opening a sweaty-salty tea room right down the cathedral. Among other things, and thanks to his mother s help who dealt with the whole decoration, came out five Bed and Breakfast rooms. The cobblestones were handily cleaned and are just astonishing. The beige woodwork slightly pink with red borders for the first suite. The second, baptised « Henri IV », is deeply linked to Chartres history with its original floors and woodworks. A library in trompe loeil even worms you way to the bathroom. Different range at the second floor with « Pénélope », named after the emblematic shop in the city, is a bit flighty due to its round bed with black, white and metallic finery, deeply fashionable.

Maison (d’hôte) de la Cathédrale

Formerly Chanoines. Distinctive of the XVIIth century and enthousiast welcoming. Modern suites traversantes. Great with view on the cathedrale: everything is said! 110 – 120 euros.

Source : Nouvel observateur – mars 2009