Mortagne, the birthplace of boudin

‘Mortagne-au-Perche’s butchers are happy people,’ François, a local butcher tells me. ‘They make money and they love what they do.’ This is in spite of a grueling schedule, rising at 5am and working until 7pm, six days a week. That said, I can think of worse places to work. Mortagne-au-Perche is situated in the heart…

My travels in Normandy…

Guest writer Pippa Cleeve on the joys of shopping with a motorhome in Normandy There are many reasons to buy a motorhome, but one is for the richness of shopping opportunities it affords. You only need to hop across the Channel and sample the many treats available to buy at a French market to be…

Cook up a romantic Norman feast

I’ve always had a soft spot for Normandy cattle with their distinctive brown and white markings and eyes like liquid chocolate.  But as I walk into the yard of the Ferme Lévêque near Neufchâtel-en-Bray in the Seine-Maritime département, I can’t help feeling I’m in the presence of bovine royalty. Normandy cattle provide milk for the…

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…

A culinary journey through Caen

It’s morning at the market in Caen. Sun shines down on produce, lighting up berries and melons as traders wish me bonjour. The Friday market is one of the city’s culinary highlights, not least because it spans streets and traverses squares as it takes over the centre with its sights and scents. But there’s more…

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…

Eggceptionally good omelette

A thousand years of history, faith, and talent have shaped the Mont-Saint-Michel, the ‘Wonder of the West’. Legend has it that in 708, the Archangel Saint-Michel appeared before Bishop Aubert and commanded that a sanctuary be built on Mount Tombe, an island in the middle of the bay that saw some of the highest tides…

Normandy’s Black Pudding Festival

One of my favourite comfort foods for the wintry months is black pudding, so I was really happy to set off to the Foire au Boudin annual black pudding festival this time last year. This three-day food fest, which takes place on 17-19 March this year, is a well established event in the Normandy calendar. Every spring…

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…