Normandy from the source

Claude Monet’s gardens at Giverny are known the world over; the weeping willows, lily-pads and ornate bridges were all made famous by his Impressionist paintings, but to see the real thing is a privilege. When I visited a few years ago, under a stormy autumn sky, the flowers were coming to their natural end and…

Hungry for herrings

It’s November on the Normandy coast, and the air is thick with the delicious smoky smell of fresh, grilled fish. It can only be the annual herring and scallop festival in Dieppe. Every year, visitors flock in their thousands to this bustling port town on the Alabaster Coast (as this scenic part of Normandy is known), to…

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…

Four new drinks to try right now in Normandy

Not your ordinary bottle of wine Well, this is certainly something new! What if the next big thing was…kiwi wine! Two things you never would have thought to combine, together at last. All this thanks to Gustave Lecadieu. In the small village of Belmesnil, halfway between Dieppe and Rouen, the young Frenchman started fermenting the…

Five Normandy products that have nothing to do with apples

Normandy is justifiably famous for its apples – whether you sip a heady calvados, swig a glass of formidable cider or devour a sweet apple tart, there are myriad ways to enjoy them – but beyond the orchards, the region has a variety of other products to try. Bénédictine The jaw-dropping Bénédictine Palace in Fécamp…

Le Havre ticks the boxes for food & footie this June

When you think of foodie destinations in France, Le Havre is not exactly what springs to mind. Yet this buzzing coastal city in Normandy is a great weekend destination for foodies, families, friends and now footie fans, thanks to the fact that it is hosting seven matches during the FIFA Women’s World Cup between 7…

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…

Nine foodie events for 2019

15-17 March: Foire au Boudin – Mortagne-au-Perche (Orne) Love it or loathe it, black pudding is the king of the party at Mortagne-au-Perche’s annual Foire au Boudin. Tucked away in the Perche Regional Natural Park, this quaint and picturesque town welcomes thousands of hungry visitors every spring for one of Normandy’s most famous food fests….

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…