Tuesday 11 July 2017

Hauteville House

Now to the highlight of our trip to Guernsey. You know how sometimes when you're not expecting a great deal your expectations are completely confounded? That's what happened when we visited Victor Hugo's house in St Peter Port. Timed entry, to be pre-booked, only so many visitors allowed each day. We walked up the hill to the exterior of an unremarkable looking house. We were early, would we like to sit in the garden? Well, I'm always happy to sit in a garden! We walked along this narrow passageway.
and out into the sunshine and a view over the harbour.

On the terrace there were Victor Hugo's novels to peruse

and the rear exterior of the house to admire.
This is how it looked before Victor Hugo added the exterior steps to access the garden directly from the upper stories.
His wife and friends in the garden.
What an entrance!

A blaze of colour as the door is opened to the billiard room.
Such dramatic changes as we moved from dark to light. Hugo certainly wasn't a man for whom less is more!

The tiled dining room.
(Note the plastic bucket under the sink. The house will be closed through 2018 for much-needed restoration work to be carried out.)

Then up the stairs to discover more delights.

1868, Victor Hugo in the red drawing room.

A detail of the beaded wall decoration
and a little withdrawing corner of the room.

1878, Victor Hugo on his terrace.

At the top of the house all is light and bright,
with a view out to sea.
Up here is his own small bedroom with steps up to the roof.
What a magical place.


  1. Thank you for sharing - we visited Guernsey years ago and Victor Hugo's house was the highlight for us, closely followed by Castle Cornet. The house is so individual and it was lovely to see it again through your visit.
    Best wishes

    1. Hello Ellie. We had such an excellent guide to take us round the house, a young Frenchman who was very well informed and well read. He kept telling us stories as though they were family secrets!

  2. Victor lived well. I liked his outside view more than the inside.

    1. He did indeed, his books made him a very wealthy man. The interiors were fantastic but rather oppressive and I think his family felt the same.

  3. So different inside from outside though I do love the delft heater tiles. And that widow's walk is gorgeous too.

    1. 'Widow's walk' - is that the upper terrace? Sounds a bit grim, Donna!

  4. That is a very magical place, that entrance is something else. I love the roof top and the view!!! And the stairwell, I've always thought I'd be happy living in a castle with such a stairwell lol...but then who would clean it??? :) Thanks for sharing your trip!

    1. That stairwell is dark enough not to need cleaning - that's the sort of method that I work with!

  5. Replies
    1. Tom, you've made me laugh out loud! I just went round the place saying, 'Oh, wouldn't Dad have LOVED this!'

  6. Still haven't caught up entirely with you yet, but, wow, thank you for this! Now to one day find out a little more of who Victor Hugo is... Another day!

  7. What a beautiful and magical place! Would love to visit it...
    Have a happy week!

  8. Fascinating! Not so sure about the tiled dining room...

  9. I really enjoyed all your posts about Guernsey, we have visited there a few times and love it. We have never visited Victor Hugo's House and we certainly have missed one of Guernsey's Gems. Sarah x