To be frank, I have always had a bit of a problem with New Year’s Eve, which can be the ultimate in anticlimaxes. However, last year my husband and I treated ourselves to an evening out at a local gourmet restaurant. The menu was surprising, the food exquisite and the wines were chosen for us to accompany the six-course meal and included a trou normand and champagne. Looking around in Normandy for this year, here are my top five recommendations for great places to eat out on New Year’s Eve:
This is a 5-star gourmet break with a difference, including an overnight stay, dancing, a special New Year’s Eve menu and a bottle of champagne at restaurant La Belle Époque. The Hôtel Barrière Le Normandy Deauville oozes charm and sophistication, and is handily positioned on the seafront for long walks along the beach on New Year’s Day.
Tucked away in a quiet spot in the Andaine forest, on the edge of the cosy spa town Bagnoles-de-l’Orne, Le Manoir de Lys is a sumptous Relais de Silence hotel with a Michelin-starred restaurant. The New Year’s Eve menu, which includes foie gras, caviar, scallops and camembert, is mouthwatering and there is musical accompaniment to while away the evening.
This quirky, boutique hotel offers wonderful views over the iconic seaside village of Étretat, much loved and painted by Monet. For the New Year’s Eve menu, the accent is on excellent local food with scallops from Fécamp, Rouen-style duck and traditional French onion soup in the early hours! A warm welcome awaits in the recently restyled restaurant with its brightly painted murals, overlooking the sea.
The old school charm of this mill on the banks of the River Seine with its duck egg blue half-timbered façade is the ideal spot for a romantic get away for a New Year’s Eve en amoureux. There is a playful gastronomic menu on offer for 31 December with some French classics and nice Norman touches, including a velouté of oysters from Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue.
The New Year’s Eve menu on offer in this resolutely modern restaurant combines the joint passions of the chef, Emmanuel, and sommelier, Joachim, to give you the perfect dining experience. Not far from Avranches, at the southernmost point of the Bay of the Mont-Saint-Michel, La Toque aux Vins is the ideal spot to enjoy the best of local food, including Granville oysters, as a treat to see in the New Year in style.
For more information on food and drink in Normandy, visit the Normandy Tourist Board website.
Cover photo © Domaine Saint-Clair Le Donjon | Text: Alison Weatherhead