Let the fun be gin!

Normandy natives have been producing the mighty Calvados (aka apple brandy) for years, but one distillery in the Pays d’Auge has now started producing a tipple that holds a special place in many a Brit’s heart: gin. The Calvados Christian Drouin distillery in the village of Coudray Rabut has been passed down three generations to…

The Calvados Experience is here!

Just a few miles from Normandy’s Flowered Coast, in the picturesque town of Pont-l’Evêque, a brand new tourist attraction opened this week: the Calvados Experience. Covering 3,000m2, this exciting multi-sensory experience explores the history of the traditional Norman apple brandy Calvados, via a one-hour interactive tour guaranteed to entertain all the family, not just the…

Marie-Agnès, cider superstar

To mark International Women’s Day, today’s post is dedicated to one of the few female cider and Calvados producers in Normandy to single-handedly run their own farm and distillery: Marie-Agnès Hérout. I first met Marie-Agnès on a cycling group press trip last September, when she welcomed myself, fellow journalists Clive and Mel, and Fran from…

From Normandy with love

Happy Valentine’s Day! In keeping with the occasion, we’ve chosen this most romantic of days to focus on Normandy’s most romantic of gastronomic fare, starting with the noble Neufchâtel. One of Normandy’s oldest cheeses, Neufchâtel is often recognised for its distinctive heart shape. Tradition has it that during the many wars during the Middle Ages between…

Norman glamping

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend the night in a giant Calvados barrel? Probably not – I hadn’t either! But when I discovered that overlooking the lush countryside of the Pays d’Auge, B&B owners Patrick and Paulette had converted a 10,000-litre Calvados Barrel into a snug bedroom, I had to…

A Norman rehash of bangers and mash

Happy National Sausage Day to one and all! Yes, 5th January is the UK’s dedicated day to celebrate all things sausage. Fittingly, we’ve thought of a warming winter recipe from Normandy (sausage-themed, naturally) to keep the cold out this crisp January morning: black (or white) pudding with apples, served with a healthy helping of pommes de…

How do you like them apples?

Ever seen a red-fleshed apple? Me neither, until I visited the Clos Cérisey farm in the Normandy département of Eure! Cider production in the Eure dates back to the 16th century. According to historical records, by 1868 there were already 13,600 cider trees in the area, a figure that has increased significantly thanks to local…

Not your ordinary caramel

I am sitting in a crêperie on the Quai Henri IV, the quayside overlooking Dieppe marina, on a sunny October Sunday. After a pleasant savoury galette, the time has come to please my sweet tooth. Among the usual crêpe toppings on the menu, such as whipped cream, Nutella and jam, one item stands out: Caramel…

Traditional cider in Le Sap

The Fête du Cidre à l’Ancienne [Traditional Cider Festival] takes place every year on the second weekend of November in Normandy’s cider country, the Pays d’Auge. The festival’s picturesque backdrop is the Ecomusée de la Pomme au Calvados museum in the village of Le Sap, which was a cider farm until 1937. The museum contains an exhibit…

Apple, cider and cheese, what more do you need?

Autumn in Normandy means foodie festivals galore. As one of France’s biggest apple growing regions, there are apple-themed festivals across the region almost every weekend in October.

5 food festivals to feast on this autumn

Normandy is a food lover’s paradise, particularly in autumn, so why not hop across the Channel and visit some of the foodie festivals taking place across the region? From cheese and seafood to the iconic apple, here is our pick of 5 Norman festivals not to be missed this year: 1) 17-18 September: Fête du…