My wife and I greatly enjoyed our 1-day visit to Senlis, especially because of the wonderful hosting job by Madame Poignant. She and her husband (originally from Germany) had lived in the U.S. for several years, mostly CA. She’s very well-traveled and sophisticated – and quite proactive for her guests. They live in an elegant and wonderfully-decorated home on the west side of their quiet, little street. And their few B&B units are right across the way. Our little apartment was clean and fairly spacious, with a small kitchen. The décor was simple and modern, despite being in an older building. She baked us some nice breakfast pastries. We also bought more breakfast food, plus dinner food, at a grocery store.
The building is just inside the second set of ramparts, which cover 40-50 blocks. The stairway just outside the B&B door leads up onto the ramparts, which offers a lovely stroll, particularly to the south because of the small river. Maybe about half of the original ramparts still exist, for this town of 16,000.
A six-block walk to the northwest delivers you to the heart of town. The first, much earlier ramparts covered probably just ten blocks. While none of those walls seem to remain, their confines are still apparent in the core street patterns. This central area boasts many nice stores and a fun atmosphere.
We had unwittingly hoped to travel from Senlis to Chartres on our departure day, which would require crossing through the vast, Paris metropolitan area. But this was Sunday of the weekend before the huge, August vacation exodus. There could be major traffic jams in all directions. Our hostess had helped us strategize on the day we arrived, including making a cab reservation for us early Sunday. When no cab then appeared, we finally knocked on her door again. She immediately jumped to our aid. At one point, she was simply going to have her brother drive us to CDG airport, where we could catch the convenient Air France shuttle bus to Gare Montparnasse and then the train to Chartres. But she was actually able to secure us a belated cab, on this very busy weekend. When we finally arrived in Chartres that afternoon, we were deeply grateful for all of her very helpful assistance.