This week I crossed off a very big thing that has been on my current bucket list, 25 Things for My 25th Year: visit the main filming location for one of my favorite films, Ever After: A Cinderella Story. But first, some background info about my experience with this film’s shooting locations.
I visited this region of France, the Périgord, once 4 years ago, but it wasn’t until I was in the city of Sarlat that I realized where I was. Sarlat is a gorgeous city, by the way, and it’s where they filmed the “town” scenes of Ever After. During that same trip I also toured the ruins of Château de Commarque, which, I found out the other night, was also a filming location for this movie! (Click here for the picture proof) So, technically I have now visited 3 of the filming locations for one of my all-time favorite films :) On to Château de Hautefort!
In the Cinderella film Ever After, Château de Hautefort serves as the home of the King and Queen of France and their rebelliously romantic son, Prince Henry. In real life, Château de Hautefort is considered the jewel of the Périgord, a region in the southwest of France.
When we visited the castle it was undergoing renovations on one of its towers. It’s rare to visit a castle when it’s not being renovated, but nevertheless it was still a very beautiful castle to see in real life! The park itself is exquisite. I felt like I was in my own fairytale as I walked around the gardens and the courtyards that I easily recognized from one of my most-watched movies. My husband can attest–I was fangirling!
And now for the pictures! (There are tons!)
This exterior courtyard is where I fangirled the most. It’s where Danielle and Henry have their first banter, where the Prince becomes enraptured by her. Even though there was the restoration of one of the towers going on while we were there, it was still a beautiful visit.
This interior courtyard is breathtaking. I would love to eat my lunch out here, overlooking the quaint city of Hautefort. Or spend an afternoon out here lounging with a book. It. Is. Beautiful.
This is also the scene where they shot the masked ball, although I didn’t recognize that at first. In the movie there are hundreds of props and people and it looked completely different, but just as lovely in its own way.
This is the staircase the Grimm brothers are seen going up in the beginning of Ever After. It’s a simple yet elegant staircase that invited guests would have used when visiting the castle.
This room, I discovered after rewatching the movie last night, was used in several scenes:
♥ The Grimm brothers meeting with the Grande Dame takes place here (you can recognize the marble bust by the window).
♥ This room is also used as the throne room, both for when Henry and his parents have the disagreement about the arranged marriage and for Rodmilla and Marguerite’s “trial” at the end of the movie. The room looks very different due to all the added wall coverings, but the flooring is the same.
Some historical facts:
♥ The Fireplace Room was formally a great hall which was formally a medieval dungeon!
♥ The fireplaces themselves are not original as they were destroyed in a devastating fire in 1968 (which happened to be the second of two great fires in the castle’s history)
My favorite room of the castle (at least of the ones that are open to public viewing) was the Lady’s Bedroom. If this were my bedroom, I would never leave it except to walk in the gardens or to take a bath in my beautiful conjoined bathroom:
I enjoyed touring the dining room especially because it was not ruined in the 1968 fire. The artwork on the walls is from the 17th century.
Another enchanting room, this is the bedroom my husband would love to call his own. I love the canopy bed and the bookshelves and the desk, and pretty much everything about this room. There was also a lovely fireplace I was unable to photograph.
I recognized this passageway as soon as I entered it. There wasn’t much to see down there except for the old kitchen that you could only get a glimpse of from the doorway.
Directly in front of the entrance to the castle lies an extensive park. Dogs are allowed in the park and gardens, which was fortunate for us since we visited the castle on our trip home from vacation and Solo was with us. Matt and I took turns visiting the castle’s interior and then we were able to stroll through the castle grounds together.
The gardens are arguably the most beautiful part about Château de Hautefort. My pictures do not do them justice, but you can see for yourself how intricate everything is.
Several scenes from Ever After were shot in these gardens, including:
♥ The conversation in the early evening between the King, Queen, and Prince Henry when they come to a compromise on the marriage was shot beneath this covered walkway. While I was there I even quoted the Queen’s line: “Choose wisely, Henry. Divorce is only something they do in England;” ;)
♥ Rodmilla and Marguerite have tea with the Queen in the back gardens, which would be the absolute best place to have tea. It smelled like roses everywhere.
♥ Prince Henry finds out about Danielle’s “engagement” in these side gardens:
Ok, so that was A LOT of pictures to post, but who doesn’t like looking at pictures of pretty castles? ;) Hope you enjoyed this post, whether you’re an Ever After fan or not!
55 thoughts on “25 Things: Ever After’s Château de Hautefort”
I adore Ever After! I haven’t watched it in a while, so I need to re-watch it a.s.a.p. I am so jealous because WOW it’s all so beautiful! It’s seriously just like a fairy tale. I was drooling as I scrolled down the page. When I got to the lady’s room I thought the exact same things! I would never leave that room either. Thank you for sharing. I’m going to hide in your suitcase next time you go somewhere awesome. lol ;)
I already want to go back!! I would have been just fine sitting in the park gazing at the castle all day haha it was gorgeous!
How awesome! I love visiting filming locations — I got to see where lots of the Mel Gibson/Heath Ledger movie The Patriot was filmed, and it was such fun. But not nearly as splendid as this! Wow. Thanks for sharing all those pics!
Where did they film The Patriot? That’s one of my favorite films :) I cry every time haha
They filmed a bunch of it in South Carolina. Battles and also some interiors. I was there like 12 years ago, so memories are a little fuzzy — I think it was interiors for Benjamin Martin’s sister-in-law’s house? The scene about hiding under the table was there, for one. They had a bunch of props and costumes on display too.
I haven’t watched the movie for a long time, alas. I listen to the soundtrack quite a bit still, tho.
That’s such an intense scene too! Cool! If I’m ever in SC I’ll try to check it out :)
I love Ever After (and this castle is absolutely beautiful)
Me toooo (obviously ;) )! And the castle literally took my breath away when I saw it. I kept feeling like I was in the movie! Lol
Pingback: End of the Year Survey! | macarons & paperbacks
Merci Maggie! I am an australian travelling around france in a few weeks. I also watched Ever After far too many times as a young girl, and was trying to decide if visiting the Chateau was worthwhile… you have convinced me! Now to practice my Danielle de Barbarac impressions.
Yay! I hope you thoroughly enjoy it :) I can attest that it is gorgeous in the summer.
Pingback: May & June Highlights | macarons & paperbacks
I adore this film. Love your post. I visited the Dordogne (Sarlat, Hautefort, Beyac) in 2007 for a day in Sarlat. Rented a car to go to Hautefort and stumbled across Beynac… I have a trip planned for April 2016 for a week and will visit all the sites again with more time while dragging a friend along. She’s never seen the movie but I will make her watch it on the way there :-)
Fun!! I would love to see Beynac as well :) I hope you enjoy your trip to Dordogne; I can’t wait to revisit it again one day.
Pingback: October Highlights! | macarons & paperbacks
Pingback: November Highlights! | macarons & paperbacks
This is my favorite movie too (just finished watching it now for the umpteenth time haha)!!! I actually moved to Madrid in September and I googled the castles because I thought maybe I could visit them and stumbled across your blog. I love it! i just started a blog too maybe you could check it out sometime :) https://girlontherunsite.wordpress.com
Ohh stay in Sarlat.. that is the village they were in and Hautefort is 45 minutes away and Beynac, where she was held prisoner is on the outskirts of Sarlat… so much to see in that area.
I know, Beynac is the next castle I want to see!
I’m thrilled to know you found my blog because of this post! It’s probably my favorite post that I’ve written. I will most certainly check out your blog :)
I’m in Sarlat today.. we will visit Beynac in the next few days and in when we leave in May 3rd, we will stop at Hautefort..
I am so envious! How did you enjoy Sarlat, Beynac, and Hautefort?
Two years ago already! Loved it soo much. Want to go back again. Have you seen this site? http://www.northofthedordogne.com/dordogne-films.php
Love this movie (just finished watching it for the millionth time) and your photos of this extraordinary castle are so lovely! Thank you for sharing your adventure with us!!
Aww I’m glad you enjoyed my post! I think it’s about time I rewatch this movie for the millionth time as well ;)
I loved the post and lovely references of movie. I’m dying to visit this place.
I hope you’re able to visit one day! It’s gorgeous :)
Maggie, I stumbled on your site by accident after watching Ever After today. I love this version of Cinderella – so believable! I was curious about the castle and various locations in the movie; were they real or just a set. You answered every question I had and the pictures are just breathtaking! Thank you so much!
I’m so glad you stumbled upon my blog post! I had always wondered the same thing about the castles and filming locations. I hope to return to that area of France again one day to see the other castles from Ever After :)
Maggie, I have long been an obsessed fan of Ever After (even though I was two years old when it came out). I am currently studying abroad in France, and I am planning to visit this very castle for the very same reason. I would love some tips on transportation if you have any to offer! As a car-less college student who is relying on buses and Air bnb’s, anything would help! It was amazing to stumble upon your blog. You’re living my dream :)
Hi Danielle! Sorry I didn’t see this comment sooner (I’ve been a little bit MIA on my blog lately). Did you visit the castle yet? I’m sure there are trains that can take you to the area, but I’m not sure how direct the routes are from where you’re living. If you’re under 25, train tickets are discounted so take advantage if you can! How are you enjoying France?
Can someone tell me where the ruins Prince Henry met with Danielle from Ever After? It was his favorite spot to read, meditate. Planning on visiting sites of the movie in France next year.
I do not know where the ruins were filmed, but I would love to visit them. It seems all the other filming locations are in this area of France, though, so maybe you’ll find it :) enjoy your trip!
Absolutely enchanting and great pictures.
Thank you! It was a lovely visit :)
Hi Maggie, came across your blog when searching for Ever After filming locations. I recently watched the movie again for the first time in ages – it was a movie I watched a lot with my sister when I was younger, but I definitely appreciate it more now that I’m older. I’m just here to re-iterate what everyone else has said about how the locations are stunning and how you’re so lucky you got to visit! :) I was in France for a few days back in 2014 as well, but we only got as far as Versailles (which is amazing). It would be amazing to one day be able to travel across France and visit all the chateaus.
PS like Terri, I’ve also been trying to find out the location of the ‘ruins’ of Amboise; that seems to be the only location that’s a bit obscure. Really looked magical though – I wonder if anyone’s found it.
Thank you, Aria! Versailles is beautiful, too! I only visited in the winter, so I’m looking forward to going back one day when the gardens are open.
I really hope you can visit Château de Hautefort one day! You’ll really feel like you’re walking through the movie, and all the rooms and grounds are gorgeous.
I would also love to see the location of the ruins. I haven’t done much research on it, so I’m not sure where it’s located, either. I’d like to revisit this region of France for a more extended period, so if that happens I’ll be visiting all the castles and ruins I can :)
Hi Maggie: I loved your post about Hautefort. My friend & I are HUGE fans of Ever After & are planning our European castle tour for May 2019. The whole vacation was spurred when I was watching Ever After and decided that I wanted to see all the chateaux. We’re planning on seeing all the chateaux in the movie and Sarat-la-Caneda. No doubt, we too will be quoting lines from the movie in specific areas all over. Your pictures and specifics about locations in the movie are awesome! We’ll definitely be checking them out.
Hi Terri, I have been to Hautefort two times now and same with the region. If Maggie will share my email with you, or if she is OK I can link you with a tour group out of Sarlat and an amazingly affordable apartment in Sarlat that we used two years ago. That is, if you are interested. Hautefort is 45 minutes away and you’ll need a car.
Oh my gosh! I was looking for a tour group when I found this blog!! We already have a place to stay and a rental car reserved. You’re welcome to find me on Facebook so we can communicate.
Hope you have a wonderful trip, Terri! The castles of Europe are simply magical, and this one is even more so if you’re a huge Ever After fan.
Absolutely! We’ll meet you there. :-)
Can I come, too?? ;)
Hi Maggie & Connie: My friend & I made it to Hautefort a little over two months ago. IT WAS AMAZING!! We totally fan-girled out all over the place. We freaked out every time we recognized something from Ever After. And I made sure to tag Drew Barrymore on all my Instagram posts. I really didn’t want to leave. It was a magical place. We also found a couple other places in Sarlat that were used for filming. AND we drove past a castle ruin that we wondered if it was used as the ruins of Ambrose??? We decided that we want to move to that area of France and start an Ever After tour.
Count me in! I’d love to live near Sarlat. It’s been 5 years since I visited and I can’t wait to go back someday. I’m so glad you enjoyed your visit!
I just watched “Ever After” AGAIN and found your beautiful photos while searching the filming locations on IMDb. Thank you for the beautiful tour! Wish I could do it, too! What a joy!
Glad you enjoyed the post! I hope you get to visit this beautiful chateau one day, too!
I just watched Ever After now for the hundredth time. It never gets old! My favorite adaptation by far. That and Disney, ofcourse! I stumbled upon your blog when I decided to finally search where it was filmed. This chateau is gorgeous! I would love to visit this the next time I’m in France again. I love that you’re as inlove with the movie as I am. 😊 It’s a real treat to know how many people loved the film too.
All the Best, Bong
I’m so glad you found my blog post! I haven’t blogged in a couple of years now, but this post is the only reason I keep my blog online. I had no idea so many people were as in love with Ever After as I am. I’ve watched it tonight and last night, and I’ll probably watch it again before the week is over. I hope that you can visit the chateaux for yourself one day! I myself am dying to go back!
How wonderful. I had just given birth to my daughter when the movie was on TV so i must have watched it hundreds of times as I sat feeding my new bundle of joy. She is now 22 and loves the movie and castle as much as I do. We were in Paris for a couple of days with on family in 2019, but didn’t have the time to go. It is definitely on the bucket list for our mother-daughter trip. Instead, we visited London where they had a Leonardo DaVinci exhibit where we saw the original ‘ the Head of Leda” which the the painting that DaVinci painted in the movie!! We didn’t know we would stumble upon the exhibit, but what a great surprise since we didn’t visit the castle. I’m glad you had a great trip. How long did you stay?
I’m so glad you were able to see the DaVinci exhibit! That sounds wonderful :) we only visited Sarlat and the chateau for a day as we were passing through on our way back home. I hope to revisit again and take several days to explore the region and the other castles. It’s a truly beautiful area.
Dear Maggie have been watching Ever After (again) and when I do I always find myself doing a random google search for filming locations and its my first time coming across your blog-thankyou so much. Its so nice to see someone passionate about visiting the spaces where things have happened. I have been to the Loire a few times now but like many people on your blog look forward to visiting the Périgord. I hope you also make it back and yes if anyone tracks down the actual ruins used for the ‘ruins at amboise’ scene please share :)
Thank you! I haven’t blogged in a few years, but I keep my blog up for this post specifically. People seem to find it all the time and I’m happy to share it with fellow Ever After fans. Hope you are able to visit one day, too!
I have vacation credits to use up with a tour company. One of the options goes to Sarlat for 4 nights, and I’m thinking of doing that one and then renting a car (again) to go to Beynac and Hautefort. Many other countries are options, but I just love this area and I think it would to be totally chill to have a few days on my own (Already been 2x)
That sounds like a wonderful time! I’ve only been to Sarlat for one afternoon/evening, but I would love to go again!