Normandy’s fruit trail

Spring has sprung in Normandy! While not currently possible to visit our region, we wanted to wax lyrical about a wonderful and lesser-known area well worth a visit once it is OK to travel again: Normandy’s fruit trail. Last spring, my husband and I decided to set off for a short break in search of…

Made by the monks

Normandy is home not only to delicious cider and calvados, but also to the world-renowned Bénédictine liqueur. The origins and preparation of this tipple are shrouded in mystery, so I headed over to the Palais Bénédictine in Fécamp, Normandy, to see if I could shed any light on the matter. In spite of its name…

Delicious Dieppe

There’s no better place to start a visit to Dieppe than the weekly market. Recently voted the second best in France, it takes over the town’s streets and squares every Saturday morning. With it come the scents of ripe cheese, sights of bright flowers, and tastes of fresh fruit. And the foodie highlights don’t end…

Festive fare around the ports

Sail from England into any of Normandy’s four cross-Channel ports and you won’t have to venture far into town to stock up on a wealth of French festive fare for your home celebrations. The main Christmas meal in France is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve – le Réveillon de Noël – often starting with foie gras…

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…