Thursday's Child: Normandy

Thursday, September 30, 2010






One of our most pleasant surprises was our visit to Etretat.  I knew very little about the area before we arrived, other than the beach that the girls were looking forward to.  We expected it to be picturesque because it was one of Monet’s favourite subjects.  But the photos we saw in advance didn’t do it justice.  Etretat’s small beach is sandwiched between colossal rocky cliffs, and we walked from one end of the escarpment to the other.  Between the natural arch and the tall bluffs, it was a photogenic town and a great place to relax after busy Paris.







We spent two night in Bayeux, visiting the D-Day beaches and seeing the breathtaking Bayeux tapestry.  We stayed at Clos de Bellefontaine, an elegant bed and breakfast on the edge of the historical district.  The rooms and gardens were lovely, but what made the B&B so special was the service.  Carole speaks perfect English and helped us plan our sightseeing in the area.  And when one of us left a stuffed animal there, she mailed it to us in Canada at her cost!



Our best food in France came courtesy of the wonderful Villa Fol Avril.  Located in the tiny village of Moutiers au Perche, this villa was our home for our last three days in Normandy. 

In some ways, this was our favourite part of the trip.  After a week and a half of busy sightseeing, it was a joy to stay put for a few days in an area that had no huge attractions but many small delights.  We spent each day seeing local sites and relaxing by the pool, and each evening in the restaurant at the inn, eating food so fabulous it nearly brought me to tears.  The fixed price meal we enjoyed on our first night was one of the best I’ve ever eaten.  The shrimp and avocado hors d’oeuvre was an incredible mélange of flavours I’d never think to put together.  And the frozen nougat dessert was a delightful blend of meringue and fruit.  Given Andrew’s shellfish allergies, I won’t be attempting to recreate the shrimp dish, but I’ve already scoured the internet for frozen nougat recipes.  Once I find one that’s worthy of the original, I’ll post it on this blog!

Next month:  Four hotels that are worth the challenge to get there!


10 comments:

Barbara said...

What lovely photos, Beth! Those cliffs are amazing!
When time allows, it's so much more enjoyable to stay in one place and get to know the area, the restaurants, the quiet places, the history and you can relax.
Can't wait to hear more.

El said...

It looks like a spectacular place to visit. I'm bookmarking your restaurant suggestion in case we ever visit. Thanks!

Sophie said...

Lovely & spectaculair views!!

I love France & even Normandy!!

Joanne said...

Thanks so much for this lovely tour of normandy! I would love to visit someday!

Gabe's Girl said...

I am still trying to catch up on blogs. What a wonderful post to start off with. I love the pictures, descriptions, and scenery. Just a great read all around. Glad you had a wonderful vacation. Those memories make life extra special!

jillbert said...

How lovely! I haven't been to that part of France but now I want to go. And I want you to make frozen nougat and blog about it!

Claudia said...

Timely - must postmark. Husband and I are going to Normany Spring 2011. This just gets me more excited. For both the beauty and the history.

Jencrafted said...

Lovely pictures. I didn't get to go to Normandy but your photos are making me wish I did. Keep the posts coming!

Lynne said...

Normandy looks very much like the English coastline, but then again, they aren't that far apart. I took a cooking class years ago in Dieppe and fell in love with Normandy. Great post! I'll be visiting England these next two weeks and hope to document my trip, too.

Reeni said...

What a gorgeous place! The pictures of the sea side look ethereal.

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