|  19 sep 2014

Maria Doulton: It's difficult to imagine a more spectacular setting for a day out in the country than Chantilly, just north of Paris, and it's here that the very first edition of the Chantilly Arts et Elégance event takes place. This event aims to bring together the best of fine living, be it vintage cars, concept cars, haute couture or even table settings, and a day out for all the family to enjoy.

Richard Mille, the Swiss watch company, has sponsored this event.

Richard Mille: This event is very, very much a lifestyle event, and the atmosphere remains very much family; you see a lot of children. There is a soul, and this is exactly what I like. It's good taste, family atmosphere and a friendly atmosphere.

Maria Doulton: Although the brand is known for its associations with Formula One and a much more testosterone-fuelled kind of mechanics, when you see it in this setting, you really see the side of Richard Mille that is the artistic side; the craftsmen who are working to the absolute pinnacles of perfection.

Richard Mille: Well, what I am always saying is that I have one foot in the 19th century and one foot in the 21st century. Those cars were made by artists, which is very far from the way it is done today. 

Maria Doulton: With 500 cars on show, this event of course attracts the petrol-heads, but it's also a great day out for women. You get a chance to put on a lovely hat and your nicest dress, and spend time admiring the finest things in life.   The thread that unites each of the events taking place here today is the fact that each represents the very pinnacle of achievement in its field. Take this 1930s Type 41 Bugatti Royale Coupé Napoleon that belonged to Ettore Bugatti himself. In its day, it represented the very height of cutting edge in engineering and way out-there design.

Male 2: In many ways, it's considered to be Ettore Bugatti's masterpiece. It was so large, so supremely powerful, so huge, and it came at so much the wrong time, which of course was the Wall Street crash.

Maria Doulton: Although it surprised people of its time - it was so audacious, so ambitious, and it was also so opulent - I mean a symbol of wealth like no other. 

Male 2: Bugatti's folly, in a way, but what a wonderful folly. 

If you enjoyed what you just read...

...we have a small favour to ask. We are an independent online magazine and we are very proud of the quality of our content, all of which we generate from our small office in Oxfordshire, UK. A contribution from you will enable us to maintain our independence and continue to share our passion for this world that we all love. As you are probably aware, advertising revenue across all media is falling fast, but we still want to keep our articles accessible to all. If everyone who reads this helps a little, we won’t have to ask for a subscription and will be able to keep doing what we do best, which we hope you appreciate.

Terms and conditions


We use our own and third party cookies to improve your experience and our services. If you continue, we consider that you accept their use. You can get more information on your website at cookies policy.