Heading to Normandy? Gillian Thornton rounds up the finest places to stay and eat along the Norman coast from hotels full of character to self-catering apartments. Note: This article is part of a bigger magazine feature called “Travel to Normandy: A Shore Thing”.
Warriors and artists alike have traversed Normandy across the centuries, leaving their marks on the landscape and culture of the region. After a long day discovering the history of the area from the Battle of Azincourt museum to the Remembrance Trail, enjoy a delicious meal in one of the many brilliant restaurants that make the most of the outstanding seafood available. Then, rest your head in peaceful accommodation by the sea, so you are raring to go the next day.
3* Hôtel Le Fer à Cheval, Trouville-sur-Mer
Family-run hotel consisting of two traditional houses close to each other in the town centre, the main house in traditional brick and the smaller one with a charming inner courtyard. Near to beach, shops, restaurants and thalassotherapy/spa centre.
Hôtel Entre Terre et Mer, Honfleur
Two former fishermen’s houses on Place Hamelin in the heart of the old town with 14 bedrooms plus a separate house with three guest rooms overlooking the old harbour. Gourmet restaurant and Oyster Bar bistro.
3* L’Absinthe, Honfleur
Nine rooms and two suites in two separate buildings close to the old harbour. Gastronomic restaurant in two character rooms from 15th and 17th centuries, plus quayside terrace.
3*Le Clos Normand, Dieppe
Cosy rooms at a traditional country inn in the village of Martin-Église, 6km from Dieppe. The restaurant has been awarded a Michelin Plate and serves local produce in a beamed dining room with a large brick fireplace.
3* Le Donjon – Domaine Saint-Clair, Etretat
Three clifftop houses in a quiet clifftop park above Étretat with views of the sea and rock arch. Private house atmosphere with five cosy lounges, 25 individually designed bedrooms, an outdoor pool, and a gourmet restaurant with a Michelin star awarded in 2020.
L’Erguillère, Port Racine, Pointe de la Hague
Get away from it all at this clifftop hotel overlooking the tiny harbour of Port Racine at Pointe de la Hague. Nine bedrooms, lounge, and bar with panoramic sea views, plus a breakfast and tearoom.
3* Hôtel des Isles, Barneville-Carteret
Upbeat seaside décor and gastronomic restaurant at seafront location on Barneville Beach, 1km from the centre of Barneville-Carteret.
Château de Chantore
Luxury château B&B, close to Avranches and with a distant view of Mont Saint-Michel. Two suites and three rooms were renovated in 18th-century French style. Grand buffet breakfast. Extensive park with lakes, rare trees and seasonal flowers.
Les Petites Suites Dieppoises, Dieppe
Two new self-catering apartments sleeping 2-3 people each, created in empty commercial premises and furnished with an eclectic collection of bric-a-brac. Expect aviation memorabilia in Le Petit Prince and fashion items in L’Atelier Couture.
La Tables de la Villa, Le Tréport
Bistro-style fare, largely based on seafood but also some classic dishes. Front row view of Le Tréport’s quayside and chalk cliffs.
La Marmite Dieppoise, Dieppe
Cosy interior with exposed brickwork where chef Nicolas Quesnel serves local seafood, meat and poultry. His marmite dieppoise is a pot of mixed seafood in scrumptious broth accompanied by steamed potatoes.
Le Bréard, Honfleur
Gastronomic restaurant with modern interior and courtyard garden in a historic building near Place Sainte-Catherine. Seasonal menus add international flavours to traditional Norman produce. Also four guest bedrooms at la Maison des Arts.
La Voile Blanche, Ouistreham
Situated on Sword Beach close to the Brittany Ferries terminal, local produce from land and sea is served indoors or on a terrace with sweeping sea views. www.lavoileblanche-ouistreham.fr
La Trinquette, Grandcamp-Maisy
Close to Omaha Beach and the Maisy Battery, this third-generation catering business began as a take-away food hut in 1967 and is now a popular seafood restaurant run by Maître Restaurateur François since 2014.
La Contremarche, Granville
Parisian-style bistro created in a former 19th-century fish market in the Old Town. Stylish contemporary cuisine using seasonal local produce from chef Bastien Pinel. Outdoor terrace for summer days.
By Train: Regular services from Paris Gare Saint-Lazare and Gare Montparnasse: www.ter.sncf.com/normandie
By Air: Normandy is within easy reach of three international airports – Paris Charles de Gaulle, Paris Orly and Nantes International.
From France Today magazine
Lead photo credit : Château de Chantore offers luxury stays near Avranches © Gillian Thornton
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