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…

Off yer bike! Five foodie stop-offs you should factor into your cycling holiday

1. Oysters in Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue (EuroVélo 4) Did you know that oyster farmers in Normandy produce roughly a quarter of all oysters produced in France? If you’re a lover of oysters, Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue in the north-east corner of the Cotentin Pensinsula is a particularly good place to go. Saint-Vaast oysters are well known for their subtle nutty…

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…

Conquering Bayeux

Bayeux: this medieval city is undoubtedly best known for the world-famous UNESCO-listed Bayeux Tapestry, which resides there to this day, and is a fascinating 70m-long embroidery depicting the story behind the Norman Conquest. The tapestry itself, which now resides in the Bayeux Museum, is a marvel to behold. For an artifact that dates back to…

All you need to know about aperitifs à la Normande

Apéro’clock: that time of day when you head out for a glass of something cold and alcoholic! In many parts of France, you might see people reaching for the wine, but did you know that in Normandy the drinks menu revolves not around grapes, but around apples and pears? From fruit… Normandy cider, poiré [pear cider],…

Made in the Manche – 10 treats to try

The Manche département of Normandy is home to a great many artisan food and drink producers who each make and sell delicious specialties à la Manchoise. Here are 10 treats to try when visiting this picturesque part of Normandy! 1) Biscuits from Sainte-Mère-Eglise Inspired by the wartime history of the town, well-known shop Le Biscuit de…

Calvados Busnel, a family affair

Did you know that until the beginning of the 19th century, Calvados was just a drink that was produced on farms to be enjoyed with the family rather than sold? I was keen to learn all about this most Norman of tipples, and decided to pay a visit to the Busnel Distillery, the first major Calvados…