Care for some pear this NYE? Normandy’s answer to bubbly

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…

Festive fare around the ports

Sail from England into any of Normandy’s four cross-Channel ports and you won’t have to venture far into town to stock up on a wealth of French festive fare for your home celebrations. The main Christmas meal in France is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve – le Réveillon de Noël – often starting with foie gras…

See in the New Year with some Norman cheer

To be frank, I have always had a bit of a problem with New Year’s Eve, which can be the ultimate in anticlimaxes. However, last year my husband and I treated ourselves to an evening out at a local gourmet restaurant. The menu was surprising, the food exquisite and the wines were chosen for us…

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…

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…

Bénédictine, made by the monks

Normandy is famous not only for the production of delicious cider and Calvados, but it is also home to the world-renowned Bénédictine liqueur. The origins and preparation of this tipple are shrouded in mystery, so I popped along to the Palais Bénédictine in Fécamp to see if I could shed some light on the puzzle….

The whole of Normandy’s your oyster at Xmas!

Did you know that the best way to eat an oyster is to chew it? This was one of the culinary tips I learnt when I paid a visit to Normandy’s major oyster production region, the town of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue at the tip of the Cotentin Peninsula.

Foodie Caen

When it comes to food, fun and festivities, the Norman city of Caen ticks every box. Situated in the département of Calvados, famous for its apple brandy of the same name, its cider and its ripe creamy cheeses (Livarot and Pont-l’Evêque), Caen is a lively university town boasting fantastic restaurants, bars, medieval landmarks and much…