Fun at the Fête du Ventre

Rouen is a foodie city at any time of year, but when the Fête du Ventre et de la Gastronomie Normande [Festival of the Stomach and Norman Gastronomy] comes to town, there’s no better place for a food lover to be. This annual festival takes over the city center and fills streets and squares with…

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…

Buying local in Bayeux

Over on this side of the Channel, think of Bayeux and I bet your boots that images of its world famous UNESCO listed tapestry come to mind.

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…

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…

Poiré fermier at Ferme de l’Yonnière

The below blog post is an excerpt from brand new guide ‘The Cider Insider’ by Susanna Forbes, published by Quadrille, available in bookshops and on Amazon. In 1999 terrible storms whipped through the Domfrontais region, hauling out trees young and old, offering the poireculteurs of the region a reminder of the power of nature. Yet Jérôme Forget at…

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…

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…