Our Visit to Giverny
On the first night of our road trip through Normandy in September of 2018, we stayed at a charming farmhouse hotel in Giverny, called La Dime de Giverny, that was originally built in the 13th century. Not only does it have incredibly beautiful and spacious grounds, it is very tastefully and wonderfully renovated, yet maintains many of the original building details throughout, such as original wood doors and windows that are full of character. It was also fascinating to learn about it’s history and past as a tithe barn house.
The hotel is located close to Monet’s Garden, the first destination of our trip. It is also close to the main area of town, but far enough removed to be utterly serene and peaceful. We arrived at the CDG airport around noon, picked up our rental car at the airport, and drove straight to Giverny. The drive was about 1.5 hours and very pleasant after leaving the airport area.
Instead of visiting Monet’s Garden that afternoon, we decided to rest at the hotel instead and enjoy the beautiful grounds before heading to dinner. The golden light that evening was so lovely, especially as it softly illuminated the stone building and the patch of sunflowers that we found. And although it was already September, I found some very fragrant lavender next to the building, along with some charming grape vines covering parts of the walls. Although the hotel was fully booked for that evening, we seemed to have the place to ourselves as we were able to arrange for an early check-in. It was a wonderful opportunity to take some photos of this beautiful and magical place!
About the Hotel
According to the owner, whom we chatted with during check-in and also the next morning, the building was originally a barn built in the 13th century to store the tithe (Dîme), a tax intended for the Catholic Church. Per the hotel website: “one tenth of all cattle and crop was taken from the farmers. The barn served to protect these harvests from the bad weather before they were redistributed to their beneficiary, the secular clergy of the Abbey of Saint-Ouen of Rouen. But with the fall of the Ancient Régime, during the Revolution, the barn lost its secular utility and was transformed into a farm building.”
The building was later turned into a spacious family house in the early 20th century and expanded with a square tower that was likely used as an artist’s studio. “From the 1990s the house is left in abeyance … For more than twenty years, La Dîme remained uninhabited, left abandoned to the bad weather until 2014 when it was acquired by the Bonnet family who, after important restoration work, brought the place back to life by transforming it into a Guest House and a reception hall.”
Today, it is a popular wedding venue and it is easy to see why, with the beautiful grounds, courtyard and indoor reception area. It is also a popular hotel with five rooms and two cottages.
We stayed in the only room available at the time of our visit, the “Farfalle”. While charming, we did have an issue with the small bathroom and shower and would have stayed in a different room if any were available. Regardless, we absolutely loved the hotel and would not hesitate to recommend it for anyone visiting Giverny!
Lavender wrap dress by J. Crew | Yellow sundress by Reformation | Sandals by Zara