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Maisons Lafitte - chic and elegant

Maisons Laffitte is one of the most stylish and elegant neighbourhoods around Paris. It sits partly on an island in the River Seine, just a little way to the north-west of the city centre, and is a highly sought after suburb with great access to the capital (twenty minutes by rail) and a chic and tranquil air that is extremely attractive. All the benefits of Parisian life are available to residents of Maisons Laffitte, yet without the noise, grime and hassle of city centre living.

Maisons Lafitte Château

There is no shortage of heritage and history in Maisons Laffitte, and its gorgeous chateau is living proof. The fabulous building was commissioned by René de Longeuil in 1642, who was an incredibly wealthy financier and officer of the royal treasury. He chose Francois Mansart to be the architect and what resulted is a fine example of French baroque architecture, and is considered by some to be among the finest in France, in terms of its symmetry and perfection of design.

Development of the town

Originally called Château de Maisons, it was sold in 1818 to a Parisian banker called Jacques Lafitte, who started developing the surrounding land into more like how the town appears today. Members of his family also had an influence on the development, being involved in the building of the railway and the installation of the water supply. The family name "Lafitte" was added to the chateau and town in the late 19th century.

Shopping and dining

If Parisian life means first rate shopping and dining, then Maisons Laffitte will not disappoint. Well equipped to satisfy on both counts, the community offers all the usual shops and amenities, from supermarkets to the smaller boulangeries and boucheries, as well as nearly 50 bars and excellent restaurants, serving all types of food. Of course, just twenty minutes up the road you may have even more choice...!

Horse racing and other pursuits

Horse racing is big business in Maisons Laffitte, and the race track, or Hippodrome, is very popular among wealthy Parisians looking to enjoy a day out with a little excitement. The site occupies no less than 92 hectares of prime Maisons Laffitte land, and for aficionados of "the sport of kings" there is the Museum of the Horse to visit within the Maisons Lafitte Château as well. Of course, horse racing is not the only sport to be found in Maisons Laffitte, there is access to almost anything you can name in or near the town, including a swimming pool, golf centre and tennis courts.

Out and about

In a discussion of places to visit close to Maisons Laffitte, where do I begin? When you have all of a city like Paris stretched out at your feet, it seems churlish to suggest any place else... but dare I mention Versailles?

How to get there

Paris is so well supplied with airports, TGV stations, metro lines and road networks that access from the UK... or anywhere else for that matter, is simple. Maisons Laffitte is situated just twenty minutes from the centre of Paris. The airports of Paris are served by numerous airlines, including Air France, bmi, bmibaby, flybe, British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair, Jet2 and Aer Lingus. If you are travelling by train, the Eurostar will take you to Paris, from where you can connect to an onward train to Maisons Laffitte. If travelling by road, the town is close to both the A13 and A15, with the D308 going through the centre of Maisons Laffitte itself.

Property prices and availability in and around Maisons Laffitte

Desirable areas of Paris aren't cheap. Ever. Now that that question has been cleared up, it is also true to say that some areas are cheaper than others... but a chic bourgeois suburb such as Maisons Laffitte is certainly not the cheapest option. Not everyone is on a tight budget, however, and anyone with a little money to invest in an elegant property close to the world's most romantic capital city could do far worse than consider Maisons Laffitte. With a location desirability factor of ten out of ten, prices are unlikely to do anything but rise.

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Maisons Laffitte AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Maisons Laffitte?

Maisons Laffitte is located in the north of central France, just north-west of Paris. It lies in the north-east of the Yvelines department.

Maisons Laffitte Property Map


Île-de-France Guide

Île-de-France Property Map


Yvelines Guide

  Yvelines Map

Population: 23,000

Access: By air: Fly to Paris. By rail: The Eurostar will take you to Paris, and Maisons Laffitte is just twenty minutes from Paris by rail. By road: The D308 passes through the town.

Economy: The economy is strong and includes tourism, commerce and the leisure industry, specifically horse racing.

Interesting fact: Maisons Laffitte is partly situated on an island in the River Seine, providing one of Paris's most desirable and picturesque neighbourhoods.

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