Normandy’s fruit trail

Spring has sprung in Normandy! While not currently possible to visit our region, we wanted to wax lyrical about a wonderful and lesser-known area well worth a visit once it is OK to travel again: Normandy’s fruit trail. Last spring, my husband and I decided to set off for a short break in search of…

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…

Macarons made for munching

Macaroons, or macarons as the Brits now tend to call them, are very à la mode on both sides of the Channel, with Ladurée cropping up in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Vanilla, pistachio, chocolate, coffee and lemon are usually the go-to flavours, but have you ever tried snail, marshmallow or caramel and calvados flavour? Meet Patricia. Once…

Delicious Dieppe

There’s no better place to start a visit to Dieppe than the weekly market. Recently voted the second best in France, it takes over the town’s streets and squares every Saturday morning. With it come the scents of ripe cheese, sights of bright flowers, and tastes of fresh fruit. And the foodie highlights don’t end…

My travels in Normandy…

Guest writer Pippa Cleeve on the joys of shopping with a motorhome in Normandy There are many reasons to buy a motorhome, but one is for the richness of shopping opportunities it affords. You only need to hop across the Channel and sample the many treats available to buy at a French market to be…

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…

Festive fare around the ports

Sail from England into any of Normandy’s four cross-Channel ports and you won’t have to venture far into town to stock up on a wealth of French festive fare for your home celebrations. The main Christmas meal in France is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve – le Réveillon de Noël – often starting with foie gras…

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,…

Normandy from the source

Claude Monet’s gardens at Giverny are known the world over; the weeping willows, lily-pads and ornate bridges were all made famous by his Impressionist paintings, but to see the real thing is a privilege. When I visited a few years ago, under a stormy autumn sky, the flowers were coming to their natural end and…