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…

From Normandy with love

Happy Valentine’s Day! In keeping with the occasion, we’ve chosen this most romantic of days to focus on Normandy’s most romantic of gastronomic fare, starting with the noble Neufchâtel. One of Normandy’s oldest cheeses, Neufchâtel is often recognised for its distinctive heart shape. Tradition has it that during the many wars during the Middle Ages between…

Norman glamping

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend the night in a giant Calvados barrel? Probably not – I hadn’t either! But when I discovered that overlooking the lush countryside of the Pays d’Auge, B&B owners Patrick and Paulette had converted a 10,000-litre Calvados Barrel into a snug bedroom, I had to…

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…

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],…

Traditional cider in Le Sap

The Fête du Cidre à l’Ancienne [Traditional Cider Festival] takes place every year on the second weekend of November in Normandy’s cider country, the Pays d’Auge. The festival’s picturesque backdrop is the Ecomusée de la Pomme au Calvados museum in the village of Le Sap, which was a cider farm until 1937. The museum contains an exhibit…