NORMANDY, FRANCE February 13, 2014 – Hotels and restaurants in Normandy run the gamut from elegant chateaux and rustic inns to haute cuisine and charming country kitchens.
With quaint villages dotting the rural countryside of Normandy, travelers will find clean, friendly hotels and inns to suit any lifestyle, including morning wake up calls from church bells chiming in the distance. Add in down comforters and you have a recipe for the “rest” of your life.
Here are some suggestions:
The 1,000 year old castle, the private residence of Count Denis de Kergorlay has been in the same family since the days of William the Conqueror. Each room is appointed in a different era of French history. Most rooms begin at about $450 per night, however there are a couple lower priced rooms with private bathrooms that are across the hall. Breakfast is included Rooms $$$ Four Course dinners including wine and pre/post meal cocktails $$$
La Ferme Saint Simeon (Honfleur):
A luxurious 34 room 19th century farmhouse that is centrally located just outside Honfleur amid several of the most popular resorts of France: Deauville, Trouville, Cabourg and Cote Fleurie.
Standard rooms with garden view begin at about $250 $$$
Hotel Restaurant Lion d’Or (Bayeux):
This three-star hotel in an old coaching inn is convenient to the Bayeux Tapestry, Bayeux Cathedral and fantastic shopping. Rooms are comfortable and quiet. The restaurant, which has been operating since 1640, is perhaps the best in town. Standard double rooms start at about $125 $$
Special dinners for two begins at about $150 $$$
Hotel des Carmes (Rouen):
A romantic property on a peaceful square in the center of historic Rouen between the cathedral and the Abbey of Saint Ouen. Rooms are well appointed, clean and comfortable at a moderate price. Rates begin at about $100 for a double ranging to approximately $160 for a suite. $
Les Manoirs de Tourgeville (Deauville):
This 4-star property sits on a 17-acre park halfway between Deauville and Honfleur. It consists of five timber Norman manors and includes a large indoor swimming pool, spa and cinema. Rates vary according to season but begin at about $275 for a double during mid-season. $$$
Normandy Barrière (Deauville):
Situated in the center of Deauville close to the boardwalk, this elegant property combines the best of the old with the best of the new while capturing the essence of Normandy. Beautifully but simply appointed with light colored wood that is designed to capture the ever-changing light as it ricochets off the sand and surf. Rates start at approximately $300 per night. $$$$
Restaurants in Normandy tend to rely on fresh, local ingredients for their menus. Plan to indulge in cheesees like Camembert, Port L’Eveque, Livarot and Neuchatel made from the milk of region’s special breed of cow, easily recognized by the black ring around their eyes.
Normandy is also known for its seafood and duck with an honorable mention to veal and Normandy beef.
Apples are another regional specialty, sample the local Calvados, a brisk apple liquor, and a slice or two of tarte tartin, a glazed apple tart.
Although restaurants in Normandy are considered some of the best in France, they are generally low key and unpretentious. Here are just a few:
Le Mascaret (Blainville-sur-Mer, near Coutances):
Nadia and Philippe Hardy were flying in a helicopter when they discovered the farmhouse that became their restaurant. Philippe was once the chef for a French ambassador and Nadia was a prima ballerina. Today they combine their creativity into gastronomic choreography that takes dining to a new level. Take your GPS. It is a little tricky to find. There are also a few rooms, but the restaurant is the star attraction. $$$
*Note: Two websites are provided because the restaurant site is in French only
La Couronne (Rouen):
Some people say this is the oldest restaurant in France. Since only local, fresh and seasonal produce are used, the menu changes regularly but the specialty is pressed duck. Rated among the top 50 most exciting dinner venues by Conde Nast Traveler. $$$
La Tortue (Honfleur):
Combine value and charm and you have La Tortue which features traditional regional dishes in the ambience of a traditional half-timbered building. La tortue is French for “tortoise” or “turtle” but you won’t want to put your head in your shell here. The restaurant is seasonal from April – November. Reservations are suggested unless you go early. $$
(www.restaurantlatortue.fr) *Note: This website is in French only
La Grignatoiere (St Lo):
La Grignatoiere is one of those places the locals know about and mention to their special friends. Quiet and cozy with fantastic service (the chef will probably greet you at the door if he isn’t preoccupied), situated in the Normandy countryside. Steaks are cooked to perfection at the table on a wood grill stove. Chicken and veal are also excellent. $$$
(http://www.la-grignotiere.com/) *Note: The website is only in French
La Pommier (Bayeux):
One of the most popular restaurants in Bayeux, La Pommier features excellent seafood, especially the cod. Duck is also a favorite. Owners Isabelle and Thierry Lhuillery delight in treatting their guests to the best on local cuisine with an emphasis on apples, including Normandy’s famous apple tart. $$
Au Ptit Bistrot (Bayeux):
There is nothing like an authentic Brasserie in France. This small, but delightful, restaurant across the street from the entrance to Bayeux Cathedral is guaranteed to please. The intimate atmosphere combined with superb French cuisine creates one of those unique spots that leaves patrons smiling and talking when they leave. $$
Au Louis d’Or (Bayeux):
No list of restaurants in France would be complete without mentioning a creperie. Au Louis d”Or is close to the cathedral and a favorite hangout for locals. The specialty is “galettes” which are similar to crepes only larger and typically made from buckwheat. $$
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About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.
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