By Julie Falconer
There’s no better way to start a visit to Alençon than with food. This part of France has everything from classic bistros to cider producers and cooking classes.
From casual Chez Fano to fine-dining establishments like Restaurant La Suite and the Chateau de Saint-Paterne, I experienced a range of the city’s offerings on my trip. I even had a prix-fixe lunch at a traditional place called Le Bistro.
When it comes to drinks, Desfrieches Cider Factory in Sainte-Marguerite-de-Carrouges is the place to go during harvest season. I took a tour of the orchards and cider-making facilities with the owner, who walked my group through the process of making everything from Pommeau to Calvados.
Alençon also offers visitors a chance to cook their own meals. I went to L’atelier Gourmand one day to learn how to make a local lunch. An instructor guided us through the process of preparing everything from fish to potatoes and an apple dessert.
And that’s to say nothing of the markets. The one in front of the basilica has everything from fresh produce to meat and cheese for sale.
There’s more to experience in Alençon than food, but with so many delicious things to enjoy, it was hard to tear myself away from the culinary side of the place. When you visit, I have a feeling the same will be true for you.
Photos by E. Chatel