Suffering from the January blues? Why not book yourself a weekend away in Normandy this winter and enjoy one of the many foodie hot spots in the region? With many hotels in Normandy offering fantastic restaurants on site – in some cases, a Michelin star or Bib Gourmand too – once you arrive, you can kick back in the warm all weekend if you want to!
Get inspired by our sumptuous selection of gourmet accommodation:
1. Bagnoles-de-l’Orne: Le Manoir du Lys****
Need to recharge the batteries with a country break? The Manoir de Lys is just the spot; an old hunting lodge in the heart of the Andaines forest, close to the spa and golf course in Bagnoles de l’Orne. Enjoy top quality comfort throughout the manor house, as well an an indoor and outdoor pool, not to mention one of the region’s finest restaurants – everything you need, in fact, for a relaxing stay.
Chef Franck Quinton is in charge of the kitchen, serving creative and delicious dishes with a highly personal touch. A Michelin-starred chef for the past 19 years, above all, his priorities lie in seasonality, local produce and regional specialties.
“My cooking is of the moment, and I want it to be as wonderful as nature. I’m happy with my hallmark, which is nature and natural.”
Our favourite dish: It has to be the assorted forest mushrooms fresh from the Andaines forest – delicious!
Set menus start at €46 | Rooms start at €109/night
2. Étretat: Domaine Saint-Clair Le Donjon***
In a prime position overlooking the town, the Domaine Saint-Clair Le Donjon resembles a film-set, with its 100-year-old crenelated tower. The atmosphere continues inside this rambling seaside villa, with baroque-style bedrooms, all extravagantly decorated. After a visit to the spa, dine by candlelight with a view of Étretat’s famous cliffs.
Discover delicious flavours at the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, which has been awarded 3 forks in the Michelin Guide. On the menu is local cuisine, traditional dishes revisited and a seasonal menu. Depending on what produce is available at the market, the chef gives free rein to his inspiration, transforming ingredients into sublime dishes, with particular emphasis on seafood. Between March and October, dishes feature fruit, vegetables and herbs fresh from the kitchen garden.
Our favourite dish: Without a doubt the chocolate orange dessert!
Set menus start at €29 | Rooms start at €90/night
3. Audrieu (near Port-en-Bessin): Château d’Audrieu****
Situated between Caen and Bayeux, the Château d’Audrieu is an 18th-century listed historic monument, surrounded by 62 acres of English and French gardens and fruit and vegetable patches. Decorated in true 18th-century style with all mod cons, a spa and a heated outdoor swimming pool, the Château d’Audrieu is the epitome of luxury.
Chef Olivier Barbarin proposes a constantly evolving menu at the hotel’s lavish restaurant “Le Séran”, which boasts three beautifully renovated dining rooms complete with a 600-bottle wine cellar covering one entire wall!
“My thirst for discovering new things coupled with my exciting career alongside top Michelin-starred chefs allows me to offer a cuisine that is both simple and delicious. By showcasing the flavours of the huge range of products from Normandy and vegetables from the château’s kitchen garden, I want to offer everyone who comes to eat at “Le Séran” a unique experience.”
Our favourite dish: The filet de boeuf à la foie gras – simple, succulent and cooked to perfection.
Set menus start at €65 | Rooms start at €264/night
4. Saint-Germain-sur-Ay (near Lessay): La Ferme des Mares***
Overlooking picturesque marshland, a haven for migratory birds, the Ferme des Mares sits close to the coast in the village of Saint-Germain-sur-Ay. This large 17th-century farm has had a complete makeover, individually decorating every bedroom, some traditional, others contemporary, all exquisite. A stay here is a breath of fresh air in every sense of the word.
In the elegant dining room, a relaxed atmosphere and top service provide a memorable dining experience. The chef has a refreshing outlook on food, showcasing locally sourced seasonal produce and natural flavours, producing eclectic dishes that taste every bit as good as they look!
“Above all, we set out to be thorough in all that we do. We pay equal attention to French culinary heritage and the sourcing of the very best that local producers have to offer. That’s the melting pot from which we aim to create something brand new.”
Our favourite dish: The squid-ink linguine with cod and squid – fresh, fragrant and flavourful!
Set menus start at €27 | Rooms start at €86 / night
5. Surville: Manoir de Surville****
Amidst cornfields between Évreux and Giverny, the beautiful Manoir de Surville has kept its timber framing, stonework and 14th-century roof tiles, while the former cattle barn has been transformed into superbly decorated and furnished bedrooms. With recliners in the garden and the spa for that all-important ‘pick me up’, this is the perfect place to unwind.
The philosophy of Chef Jordan’s kitchen is to serve seasonal and creative gourmet cuisine, concentrating on both authenticity and simplicity. High-quality ingredients are of the utmost importance, and there is only one menu which changes every day to reflect what is available at the market, comprising a starter, main course, cheese plate and dessert.
Our favourite dish: The citrus fruit and meringue dessert with basil makes for a tangy taste explosion!
Set menus start at €39 | Rooms start at €180 / night
For more information on gourmet accommodation in Normandy, visit the Normandy Tourist Board website.
Cover photo © Manoir du Lys | Text: Fran Lambert