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…

Snail trail

If you ask the average British teenager what gastronomic horrors feature on their ‘food to avoid in France’ list, you will no doubt be greeted with snails and frogs’ legs vying for top position. Snail farms, however, are great places to visit with friends and family as a quintessential French experience and, for the more…

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…

A pinch of Normandy saffron

Trug basket in hand, Myriam Duteuil carefully scans her saffron beds, assessing which of the crocus blooms are ready for harvesting. She carefully picks flowers that pass muster, taking care not to remove leaves with them as that can damage the bulb (or corm) beneath. Each flower yields just three of the precious red stigmas that are…

Chevalait, the magic of mare’s milk

For as long as she can remember, Belgian-born entrepreneur Julie Decayeux has always loved horses. Her parents both loved horses and she learnt to ride at a young age. She realised that she had a particular affinity with large-set horses when she was given a Welsh cob as a teenager – they instantly had a…

How about a glass of poiré this Xmas? Normandy’s take on bubbly…

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…