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…

Marie-Agnès, cider superstar

To mark International Women’s Day, today’s post is dedicated to one of the few female cider and Calvados producers in Normandy to single-handedly run their own farm and distillery: Marie-Agnès Hérout. I first met Marie-Agnès on a cycling group press trip last September, when she welcomed myself, fellow journalists Clive and Mel, and Fran from…

Teatime in Bayeux

Bayeux in Normandy is a truly lovely place to visit, but I have to admit that even though my parents live just 20km away, I don’t go there nearly as often as I’d like, as most of my friends live in nearby Caen. But when one of my school friends, who now lives in Toulouse, came up…

Norman glamping

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend the night in a giant Calvados barrel? Probably not – I hadn’t either! But when I discovered that overlooking the lush countryside of the Pays d’Auge, B&B owners Patrick and Paulette had converted a 10,000-litre Calvados Barrel into a snug bedroom, I had to…

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…

Conquering Bayeux

Bayeux: this medieval city is undoubtedly best known for the world-famous UNESCO-listed Bayeux Tapestry, which resides there to this day, and is a fascinating 70m-long embroidery depicting the story behind the Norman Conquest. The tapestry itself, which now resides in the Bayeux Museum, is a marvel to behold. For an artifact that dates back to…

All you need to know about aperitifs à la Normande

Apéro’clock: that time of day when you head out for a glass of something cold and alcoholic! In many parts of France, you might see people reaching for the wine, but did you know that in Normandy the drinks menu revolves not around grapes, but around apples and pears? From fruit… Normandy cider, poiré [pear cider],…

What a load of tripe

Today is the day when I am literally going to talk a load of tripe. To commemorate World Tripe Day, this post focuses on a rather unexpected local delicacy from Normandy, or more precisely, from the bustling city of Caen: the famous tripes à la mode de Caen. In the Middle Ages, William the Conqueror made…

Mad for madeleines

This weekend, France celebrates Saint Madeleine’s Day on 22 July. I should confess to having a particular soft spot for madeleines; not only do I love eating the melt-in-the mouth cakes but my teenage daughter is called Madeleine. This first name seemed an obvious choice for a little Brit born and growing up in France…

Calvados Busnel, a family affair

Did you know that until the beginning of the 19th century, Calvados was just a drink that was produced on farms to be enjoyed with the family rather than sold? I was keen to learn all about this most Norman of tipples, and decided to pay a visit to the Busnel Distillery, the first major Calvados…

Happiness at Le Bréard in Honfleur

Many casual visitors to Honfleur congregate on the restaurant terraces around the picturesque Vieux Bassin. You can’t blame them for soaking up that glorious view, but take the trouble to explore the narrow streets that lead gently uphill behind the wooden church of St Catherine and you could be in for a treat, especially if…