visiting the normandy beaches and where to stay

  This week I have been revisiting the Normandy landing beaches, and that beautiful part of the Normandy coast north of Bayeux.  I went for a few days with friends, and we were looking for the  informality of a house to rent rather than a hotel.     I found the most wonderful little house, beautifully decorated and equipped, and right on the sea at Port en Bessin.   This tiny port is exactly half way between Omaha Beach and Arromanches, and provided the perfect base for driving...

bringing a 16th century home back to life

  An hour’s drive from here, in the Perche which is just outside of Normandy,  is the beautiful medieval town of Bellême, really one of my favourite towns to visit for its huge doorways, arched gateways, imposing church and quirky shops. My favourite time of year to stop here is in the summer when doors and windows are thrown wide open and the sound of the church bell  strikes out over the slate roofs every hour. And if perchance, I needed to stay overnight, or longer, my immediate...

sharing secrets, a favourite restaurant …..

Today  I am talking about my very favourite place to eat when shopping at the Paris flea market  … Ma Cocotte. The restaurant opened two years ago, and is masterfully designed by French creator Philippe Starck.  The style is a wonderfully chic, relaxed, comfortable mix of vintage and new.  It feels distinctly French, and that impression is reinforced by the menu of very traditional French food. Stopping here for a weekend lunch is more than just finding somewhere to eat, it is immersing...

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