Glorious Granville

There’s something quite magical about the seaside town of Granville, with its bustling port, dramatic coastline and medieval Upper Town set high upon the hill. Stepping through the historic gate, into what was once a smuggler’s haunt and strategic Norman defence (against the pesky English), is like stepping back in time. During the summer months,…

Normandy from the source

Claude Monet’s gardens at Giverny are known the world over; the weeping willows, lily-pads and ornate bridges were all made famous by his Impressionist paintings, but to see the real thing is a privilege. When I visited a few years ago, under a stormy autumn sky, the flowers were coming to their natural end and…

Hungry for herrings

It’s November on the Normandy coast, and the air is thick with the delicious smoky smell of fresh, grilled fish. It can only be the annual herring and scallop festival in Dieppe. Every year, visitors flock in their thousands to this bustling port town on the Alabaster Coast (as this scenic part of Normandy is known), to…

Perche Power

However well you think you know Normandy, chances are you may be a little hazy about the Perche. Nestled in the south-east of the region, the Perche Regional Nature Park straddles the Normandy department of Orne in the west and Eure-et-Loir in the Centre-Val de Loire region. The Perche is rural Normandy at its very best….

Fun at the Fête du Ventre

Rouen is a foodie city at any time of year, but when the Fête du Ventre et de la Gastronomie Normande [Festival of the Stomach and Norman Gastronomy] comes to town, there’s no better place for a food lover to be. This annual festival takes over the city center and fills streets and squares with…

All things apple

The village of Beuvron-en-Auge, located on Normandy’s 40-mile cider route, is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France and at first glance, it’s easy to see why. With its seventeenth-century half-timbered houses and pretty village square, Beuvron-en-Auge is charmingly picturesque and looks almost like a film set. One autumnal Saturday night last…

Why you should go to Toute la Mer sur un Plateau

1. The Toute la Mer sur un Plateau seafood festival takes place on 28-29 September right on the port of Granville, so you can pretty much eat seafood fresh off the boat! 2. Granville is France’s number one shellfish port, so if anyone can put on a cracking seafood festival, it’s certainly this town. 3….

Reasons to love a picnic

Aside from the Michelin stars and legendary classic cuisine, there’s another style of gastronomy the French do very well: the picnic, or rather, le pique-nique. The very word derives from the French words for ‘pick’ and ‘nique’ meaning small thing, so little wonder the French are good at lunch or indeed dinner out in the fresh…

Savour the flavours around the Mont-Saint-Michel

The most visited French monument outside Paris, the Mont-Saint-Michel enchants travellers from across the world with its narrow winding streets, panoramic viewpoints and imposing hilltop abbey. Surrounded by water at high tide, its unmistakable outline is visible from miles away, a landmark for pilgrims since medieval times. But this glorious corner of Normandy is also…

Buying local in Bayeux

Over on this side of the Channel, think of Bayeux and I bet your boots that images of its world famous UNESCO listed tapestry come to mind.