Holiday Homes In France
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Holiday Homes In France
The Normandy region of North West France
The dairy herds in this region of France produce the thick cream, butter and soft cheeses, which are used lavishly in Norman cooking. Apples from the orchards of the Pays d'Auge are made into calvados brandy and cider. Great horse country, there are several famous studs and equestrian centres. The River Seine runs through the region from Paris, 75 kilometres away, to its mouth at the port of Le Havre.
Rouen, lies on the left bank of the Seine and is the capital of Normandy. Dominated by the great cathedral of Notre Dame ( a favourite subject of Monet's), it was here that the trial of Joan of Arc took place and where she was burned at the stake. Noted particularly for its distinctive porcelain, there is good shopping and many places of interest.
Along the coast are the ports of Cherbourg, Dieppe and Le Havre and between them the elegant fashionable seaside towns of Cabourg, Trouville and Deauville. Good beaches and excellent restaurants. Trouville has a fine marina and casino. The D-Day Normandy Landing beaches include Arromanches, Omaha and Juno. Near the coast is Bayeux, famous for the Bayeux Tapestry, an 11th century embroidery depicting the Norman conquest of England in 1066.
A huge variety of fresh fish and shellfish. Excellent fruits-de-mer along the coast. Market stalls groaning with fruit and vegetables, mushrooms, herbs and flowers. Butter from Isigny and Gournay carved from great blocks, bowls of thick cream, the cheeses of Camembert, Pont l'Evêque, Livarot, the Pays d'Auge and a dozen others on the dairy counters.
Patés and terrines, andouille de Vire, a lightly smoked pork chitterling sausage with a black skin, mounds of rillets, potted pork, and fresh bread.
Lamb from the meadows of Avranches, gamey duck and chicken roasted or casseroled and served in a cream sauce with a dash of calvados or cider, which gives the cooking here its characteristic flavour. Good beef.
Fruit tarts, apple turnovers, butter brioches, puff-pastry galettes with jam, fallues, sweet pancakes, custards.
Calvados, as well as wine, is consumed traditionally between courses. Café-calva, when the brandy is served either in a small glass at the same time as the coffee, or else poured into the coffee cup when it is still warm, is a popular custom in cafes as well as at the table.
Excellent sailing along the coast and numerous small ports and marinas, which have berths reserved for visiting boats. Regattas during the summer. Beaches from Honfleur to Granville, most with water sport facilities. Golf courses throughout the region. Wonderful walking and cycling country.
Normandy is also serious horse country with studs and equestrian farms that hire out horses and organise treks for an hour or a day to riders of all levels of experience. Children are welcomed everywhere and included in all activities. Good fishing in the lakes and rivers. Exhibitions, concerts, fetes and festivals of all kinds. Lace from Alençon. Markets in most towns and villages on different days of the week.
Maritime. Warm summers with temperatures often reaching 30 degrees C. Rainfall concentrated in the autumn.
Regional airports in Normandy include Dinard, Caen with links to Paris, Ireland and the UK.
Paris is anywhere between 2 to 4 hours drive to most parts of Normandy. Ferry ports are Caen, Cherbourg, Dieppe and Le Havre.
Normandy is well connected by rail to Paris. Car hire is available at most main destinations.