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…

Four new drinks to try right now in Normandy

Not your ordinary bottle of wine Well, this is certainly something new! What if the next big thing was…kiwi wine! Two things you never would have thought to combine, together at last. All this thanks to Gustave Lecadieu. In the small village of Belmesnil, halfway between Dieppe and Rouen, the young Frenchman started fermenting the…

Cyril Zangs cider: naturally does it

The below blog post is an excerpt from ‘The Cider Insider’ guide by Susanna Forbes, published by Quadrille, available in bookshops and on Amazon. It’s an Aladdin’s cave, Cyril Zangs’ cellar. Bottle cages are stacked high, plus what seems like oceans of A-frames, there for the twisting-and-tilting game known as riddling, to clear bottle-conditioned and bottle-fermented ciders…

Cook up a romantic Norman feast

I’ve always had a soft spot for Normandy cattle with their distinctive brown and white markings and eyes like liquid chocolate.  But as I walk into the yard of the Ferme Lévêque near Neufchâtel-en-Bray in the Seine-Maritime département, I can’t help feeling I’m in the presence of bovine royalty. Normandy cattle provide milk for the…

The year of apples

On her many travels through Normandy, guest writer Carolyn Boyd has discovered how to enjoy the region’s apple produce in each of the four seasons… As frost crunches underfoot in the orchards and a new year begins, so too does Normandy’s calendar of festivities and activities celebrating all things apple. While autumn may be the…

Give a Christmas cheer, Rouen Givré is here!

Rouen is a firm favourite with visitors to Normandy. There’s just something about those multicoloured half-timbered houses and gothic churches on every street corner – as French cities go, the ‘city of 100 bell towers’ (as Rouen was once called by French writer Victor Hugo) is certainly up there with the prettiest of them! For that…

Autumn aperitifs

In many parts of France, you might see people opting for the wine when they fancy an aperitif, but did you know that Normandy’s drinks revolve not around grapes, but apples and pears? From fruit… Normandy cidre, poiré [pear cider], Pommeau and Calvados are all made with a mixture of apples and/or pears, chosen from…

5 tasty tips for doing Bastille Day the Norman way

This weekend is ALL about France, so why not celebrate Bastille Day and France making the World Cup Final and the Tour de France passing through Normandy by trying one or two of these classic Norman dishes? Bon appétit ! 1) Marmite Dieppoise (aka Normandy fish stew) Local legend has it that this Normandy classic was…

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…