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…

Perche Power

owever well you think you know Normandy, chances are you may be a little hazy about the Perche. Nestled in the south-east of the region, the Perche Regional Nature Park straddles the Normandy department of Orne in the west and Eure-et-Loir in the Centre-Val de Loire region. The Perche is rural Normandy at its very best….

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…

Top tables d’hôtes

As I take my first sip of pink champagne in the elegant salon of the Château de Saint-Paterne, I wonder if I could have got away with wearing slippers to dinner. Such is the friendly welcome at Charles-Henry and Ségolène De Valbray’s family castle near Alençon, you’re instantly made to feel at home. This is…

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…

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…

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…