Glorious Granville

There’s something quite magical about the seaside town of Granville, with its bustling port, dramatic coastline and medieval Upper Town set high upon the hill. Stepping through the historic gate, into what was once a smuggler’s haunt and strategic Norman defence (against the pesky English), is like stepping back in time. During the summer months,…

Perche Power

However 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….

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…

Savour the flavours around the Mont-Saint-Michel

The most visited French monument outside Paris, the Mont-Saint-Michel enchants travellers from across the world with its narrow winding streets, panoramic viewpoints and imposing hilltop abbey. Surrounded by water at high tide, its unmistakable outline is visible from miles away, a landmark for pilgrims since medieval times. But this glorious corner of Normandy is also…

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…

Feeding the gourmets of tomorrow

‘Are we having armpit bread for tea?’ My friend was bewildered at first by her son’s request during a French camping holiday. Then the euro dropped! Every morning, they visited the village bakery for their bread and the children were allowed to carry baguettes carefully home. And where did they put them? Under their arms…

Delicious D-Day 75 detours

What with the 75th anniversary commemorations of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy taking place between now and the end of August, and D-Day just a week away, we thought we’d share our five favourite spots for a bite to eat near the D-Day Landing Beaches… Sword Beach Ouistreham was given the code name Sword…

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…

The joy of simple

It takes a dedicated foodie to map out their dining experiences before leaving for a holiday, researching restaurants through reviews and booking tables in advance. As rewarding as that is, I’ve had some great meals in Normandy in restaurants I’ve found by accident: when hunger strikes – especially when you’re in the company of small…