Arty pit-stops

Normandy has seen many famous artists come and go, among them iconic painters like Monet and writers like Oscar Wilde. Here are some of my favourite haunts where you can follow in their illustrious footsteps and stop for a bite to eat or a coffee. I have also included some bonnes adresses of interesting watering…

Peckish this Pâques?

Normandy is a great place to be at Easter (or Pâques as it’s known in France) what with all that tasty French chocolate to eat! But did you know that becoming a chocolatier takes a lot of training and the average French person eats 7kg of chocolate every year? Chocolate first came to France in 1615…

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…

Tickling Monet’s Palate

The father of the Impressionist movement, Claude Monet, lived for half his life in the quaint village of Giverny along the banks of the Seine. He moved  to Normandy in his later years in 1883 with his future second wife and their eight children. From this point onwards, Monet’s work started to gain recognition and…

Say cheese!

Tomorrow marks National Cheese Lovers’ Day in the USA, an occasion so worth celebrating that, even though we’re not American, we just had to jump on the bandwagon! After all, Normandy is renowned around the world for being a cheese-producing region, thanks to the abundance of rich milk produced by its many lovely Norman cows….

5 foodie hot spots in Normandy you may not know about

Suffering from the January blues? Why not book yourself a weekend away in Normandy this winter and enjoy one of the many foodie hot spots in the region? With many hotels in Normandy offering fantastic restaurants on site – in some cases, a Michelin star or Bib Gourmand too – once you arrive, you can…

A Norman rehash of bangers and mash

Happy National Sausage Day to one and all! Yes, 5th January is the UK’s dedicated day to celebrate all things sausage. Fittingly, we’ve thought of a warming winter recipe from Normandy (sausage-themed, naturally) to keep the cold out this crisp January morning: black (or white) pudding with apples, served with a healthy helping of pommes de…

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…

Live like a local: Saturday at the market in Évreux

The best thing my husband and I did 16 years ago, was to move from the South of France to Évreux in Normandy. We’ve met such lovely people since then and our quality of life is second to none. Ideally located just 65 miles from Paris, Évreux is a small town, not too busy, with…

Apple, cider and cheese, what more do you need?

Autumn in Normandy means foodie festivals galore. As one of France’s biggest apple growing regions, there are apple-themed festivals across the region almost every weekend in October.

A pinch of Normandy saffron

Trug basket in hand, Myriam Duteuil carefully scans her saffron beds, assessing which of the crocus blooms are ready for harvesting. She carefully picks flowers that pass muster, taking care not to remove leaves with them as that can damage the bulb (or corm) beneath. Each flower yields just three of the precious red stigmas that are…