Update, June 17th: La Clef des Champs has downsized and re-located. I’ll have an updated review on the area in due course. My thanks to Miro Collas for the update.
La Clef des Champs (literally, “the key fields”, often used to indicate being out in the countryside) is a homestead region designed by Rose Ulrik (Rose Siabonne), which opened in April 2018. Caitlyn and I were able to visit not long after it opened – courtesy of a tip-off from Shakespeare and Max (♥ as always!) – and found it to be a simple, rustic design that is both restful and has what might be for some, a tiny bit of an edge to it.
In keeping with its name, the region presents an open, undulating landscape on to which have been scattered a couple of continental farm houses and outbuildings, giving the suggestion the land might be open-sided fields. Visitors arrive in the north-east corner of the region, backed by cliffs and rocky slopes on three sides, while the fourth inclines gently down to the lands below, cut neatly by a farm track.
This hilltop is home to a modest café, proudly flying the French and Canadian flags and with a motif of the region – a series of large metal keys – hanging from one wall. From the worn patio outside of the café it is possible to look southwards over a small bay watched over by a lighthouse, to where one of the two farmhouses sits, its back to the sea, the track from the hill winding by a short distance away.
However, follow the track down the hill from the café, and before you get to the farmhouse, you’ll find the track forks, one arm continuing south past the little bay and towards the farm mentioned above, the second arm pointing a short finger west to where the second of the farms sits, chickens parading along its patio. Stepping stones offer a way onward, crossing the grass and skirting the house to curve past a little orchard and reaching on towards the farm’s outhouses, the way partially guarded by geese. A little way beyond this farm is a railway track, overlooked by an old warehouse sitting on a slight rise as the land reaches its western seaboard.
The fields between these two farms lie open to wander, a small pond offering a place to sit and, going by the bucket alongside the wooden chairs, plenty of good fishing. It looks south to where a single aged wall stands atop a low hill, the last remnant, it would seem, of a much larger structure that once occupied the hill.
Just beyond the hill with its ruined wall, the landscape is again scooped into a shallow bay, a wooden deck set out over the water to face a small island bearing a windmill. A rowing boat can be obtained from the rezzer on the deck, allowing visitors to cross the water to this little island and explore the windmill and enjoy a little more privacy from the rest of the region.
Deer and horses are to be found scattered around the region, together with numerous places to sit outdoors and enjoy the setting. These range from swings slung beneath the boughs of trees, to simple park benches to blankets waiting with lavish picnics, to the aforementioned decks and chairs – some of which also have food and drink at the ready. A little to the north of the windmill island sits an outdoor stage for music events, gently floating on the water and reached via stepping-stones – although admittedly, I’ve no idea if events are held there.
Elegant in its simplicity, La Clef des Champs makes for a relaxing visit, and rezzing is open for those wishing to use props with their photography – just do please remember to clean up behind you. There’s also a Flickr group for those wishing to submit their finished pictures. And the edge to the region I mentioned at the top of this article? It’s nothing serious for the open-minded; but do keep in mind this is an Adult region in which, although not overt, adult activities can take place.
- La Clef des Champs (Serena Chantilly, rated: Adult)