Avallen, new nectar of the Normans

Sustainable drinks brand Avallen has partnered with Difford’s Guide and premium drinks distributer Mangrove UK to launch the very first World Calvados Day, which took place earlier this week on Tuesday 20 October. We caught up with Stephanie Jordan, Drinks Business’ Woman of the Year 2020 and Avallen co-founder, to find out more about Normandy’s first sustainable calvados…

Normandy’s fruit trail

Spring has sprung in Normandy! While not currently possible to visit our region, we wanted to wax lyrical about a wonderful and lesser-known area well worth a visit once it is OK to travel again: Normandy’s fruit trail. Last spring, my husband and I decided to set off for a short break in search of…

A journalist jaunt in cider country

On 12-13 February 2020, five journalists hailing from the US, the UK and Germany were invited by Normandie Attractivité, the regional marketing agency, to discover for themselves one of Normandy’s most famous exports, cider. Over two days, they were welcomed by some of the best Norman producers of cider, pommeau and calvados before attending CidrExpo…

Care for some pear this NYE?

A picturesque medieval walled town overlooking the Varenne river, Domfront grew up around the strategically situated stronghold Domfront Castle in the sixth century. It was here that the dispossessed Henry Beauclerc, youngest son of William the Conqueror, rallied support among local lords and was eventually crowned Henry I of England in 1100 and Duke of…

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…