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…

A journalist jaunt in cider country

On 12-13 February 2020, five journalists hailing from the US, the UK and Germany were invited by Normandie Attractivité, the regional marketing agency, to discover for themselves one of Normandy’s most famous exports, cider. Over two days, they were welcomed by some of the best Norman producers of cider, pommeau and calvados before attending CidrExpo…

Care for some pear this NYE?

A picturesque medieval walled town overlooking the Varenne river, Domfront grew up around the strategically situated stronghold Domfront Castle in the sixth century. It was here that the dispossessed Henry Beauclerc, youngest son of William the Conqueror, rallied support among local lords and was eventually crowned Henry I of England in 1100 and Duke of…

Cyril Zangs cider: naturally does it

The below blog post is an excerpt from ‘The Cider Insider’ guide by Susanna Forbes, published by Quadrille, available in bookshops and on Amazon. It’s an Aladdin’s cave, Cyril Zangs’ cellar. Bottle cages are stacked high, plus what seems like oceans of A-frames, there for the twisting-and-tilting game known as riddling, to clear bottle-conditioned and bottle-fermented ciders…

The year of apples

On her many travels through Normandy, guest writer Carolyn Boyd has discovered how to enjoy the region’s apple produce in each of the four seasons… As frost crunches underfoot in the orchards and a new year begins, so too does Normandy’s calendar of festivities and activities celebrating all things apple. While autumn may be the…

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…

Let the fun be gin!

Normandy natives have been producing the mighty Calvados (aka apple brandy) for years, but one distillery in the Pays d’Auge has now started producing a tipple that holds a special place in many a Brit’s heart: gin. The Calvados Christian Drouin distillery in the village of Coudray Rabut has been passed down three generations to…

The Calvados Experience is here!

Just a few miles from Normandy’s Flowered Coast, in the picturesque town of Pont-l’Evêque, a brand new tourist attraction opened this week: the Calvados Experience. Covering 3,000m2, this exciting multi-sensory experience explores the history of the traditional Norman apple brandy Calvados, via a one-hour interactive tour guaranteed to entertain all the family, not just the…

The Tale of the Norman Ale

If you thought that Normandy was all about cider and calvados, then think again! Following the national trend for craft beer, the region has seen several new brands launch in recent years, the most emblematic of which being La MIN (Made In Normandy). With its retro look and its logo representing the Mont-Saint-Michel, it has…