Community and History at Chateau de Gudanes

Building community and preserving history at Chateau de Gudanes, photographed by Hilary Walsh

From the moment we discovered Chateau de Gudanes, we were mesmerized by its story, and charmed by its beauty. Tucked away in a quiet valley in the Midi-Pyrenees, the chateau has had countless lives, existing in various forms (a medieval fortress, a 15th century castle, an 18th century summer home) across hundreds of years. After a period of neglect in the early 2000s, it fell into ruin, its walls and ceilings crumbling to the ground and erasing layers upon layers of history in their wake. It was in this state that its current owners, The Waters family, found it and made the decision to undertake the daunting project of its restoration.

Since then, the family has dedicated themselves to preserving the chateau as carefully and as thoughtfully as possible, taking every measure to honor each element of its story - from grandeur to dilapidation. There is a certain authenticity to every aspect of the life they have created for themselves at the chateau, from the laundry hanging to dry in the mountain breeze and the galettes cooling in open windows, to the glow of candles illuminating the dark, starry nights. To visit is to enter another world, where the past feels decidedly more present and alive.

Creating this magical world has been no small feat, requiring tireless and meticulous effort on the part of the Waters family and all those who have offered a hand along the way (from expert historians and conservationists to gardeners and chefs). What the Waters have built is not simply a home to live in, but a community and a way of life that centers around collaboration and togetherness. We were deeply inspired by our time at the chateau, and by the people who make it so special. See below for a taste of chateau life, and see this piece on for a bit more about our trip there!

Karina wearing the Gables Dress in Midblue California Wildflower

Jasmine wearing the Hillside Dress in Bon Bon

Tracy wearing the Whisper Dress in Mustard California Wildflower and Larissa wearing the Nova Dress

Farmers market produce bounty!

Fresh herbs from the garden

Jasmine wearing the Mountain Dress in Cream California Wildflower and Karina wearing the Hillside Dress in Salt

BTS of our Fall 2019 shoot at the Chateau! See more on