Archive for the 'Normandy' Category

Château d’Audrieu – Audrieu

Chateau d'Audrieu - Audrieu, France

The medieval city of Bayeux is crawling with Americans due to its proximity to Normandy’s  historic D-Day sites, which meant that the restaurants within walking distance of our hotel catered to Yankee tastes. Rather than endure anything less than a stellar meal, we hailed a cab to Château d’Audrieu. I counted far more cows than people on the 14 kilometer countryside ride. The grounds leading up to the château were immaculate.

Chateau d'Audrieu - Audrieu, France

Château d’Audrieu, which boasts a Michelin star and is tucked inside a swanky Relais & Châteaux property, was quite a departure from the homey, family-run establishments that we visited in Burgundy and outside Normandy. We hadn’t been served by suited gents since we departed from Paris.

Chef Olivier Barbarin, who has been leading the brigade here since 2009, combines local ingredients with modern flare.  It was interesting to compare his fine dining point of view with our more rustic dinner from the night before at Manoir de l’Acherie in Sainte-Cécile.

Chateau d'Audrieu - Audrieu, France

Our table was set with fresh flowers and a single candle. The large windows opening into the courtyard made for an idyllic view.

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Manoir de l’Acherie – Sainte-Cécile

 

Manoir de l'Acherie - Sainte-Cécile - Normandy

From beautiful Burgundy, we packed our bags, hopped a train, and traveled to Normandy. Mom requested a stop in this northern region to observe the historic D-Day beaches. We also fit in a trip to Mont Saint-Michel, a rocky tidal island and commune dating back to the 6th century.

In between our two chief sightseeing adventures, we had a stupendous feast of Norman delights at Manoir de l’Acherie. Dining in charming, family-owned restaurants serving local specialties was the highlight of exploring the French countryside. I hope to make a whole vacation of inn-hopping in the future.

Manoir de l'Acherie - Sainte-Cécile - Normandy

The restaurant was located on the first floor of the Le Manoir de l’Acherie inn. Our reserved table was beautifully set in the French tradition upon arrival. The textured, pale yellow tablecloth and napkins were jazzed up by bold chargers.

Manoir de l'Acherie - Sainte-Cécile - Normandy

While mom sipped a glass of red to start, The Astronomer and I shared a bottle of cidre (4.50€)a specialty of the region. Whereas the ciders we’ve sampled in America are sweet, bubbly, alcopoppy creations, the stuff made in Normandy is legitimately funky with just a splash of fruitiness. The scent of the cider reminded The Astronomer and me of the pungent goat cheese shop we visited in the Loire Valley. The essence took some getting used to, but by the end of the bottle we were both big fans.

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