Since this is a blog mostly devoted to food, it’s only fitting to recap a trip that was also devoted 95% to food. 😉 This is a recap of our trip to France in winter 2015. We left the day after Christmas, and spent a week travelling from the coast of Normandy, to the champagne region, and finally to Paris. While I’m itching to see Paris in warmer weather, visiting over the holidays was a totally unique experience; from the Christmas markets to the twinkling lights and spending the afternoon in a warm cafe, I’m so glad we took the plunge to visit when we did.
On to the recap…
Normandy & Honfleur
We started out with two days in Normandy, in the beautiful town of Honfleur. I would 100% recommend this charming little coastal town as a base if you’re visiting the Normandy region, including the D-Day beaches, which we did.
We rented a car and drove an hour south on our first full day to meet up with our bus tour of the American beaches and cemetery. Another definite recommendation. We originally planned to see the sights on our own with the rental car, but would have missed the excellent commentary and stories provided by our guide. Both of us are history buffs, but I think even someone not interested in history would most definitely appreciate a tour of the area. The significance of what took place during the D-Day invasions is something that hits home emotionally, and I can say that the American cemetery was one of the most emotionally moving places I’ve ever visited.
Ironically, my favorite meal of the trip was my first- moules a la creme found at a little bistro in the harbor in Honfleur. With cider (of course), frites, and an assortment of Camembert to finish off the meal. (Cheese for dessert? I’m on board!)
As if it isn’t already clear, the main focus of this trip was food. 😉
We spent two nights in Honfleur and enjoyed all of the seafood we could find. Next to the mussles, the oysters baked in a garlic sauce came in a close second! We also discovered our love of croissants and cafe au lait, a breakfast that was repeated every single day of the trip.
Our next stop was Reims, in the Champagne region of France and about an hour to the east of Paris. We had a rental car, but from my research the trip could have been done fairly easily by train with a pit stop in Paris. We were glad to have the car and take things at our own pace. We didn’t make any side trips or pit stops on the drive, but enjoyed having the option if we had decided to do so.
It probably isn’t hard to guess why we chose to visit Reims for a night…
Of course I had to visit the birthplace of my drink of choice! We explored Reims and the beautiful cathedral for an afternoon before finding a cozy little wine bar to taste champagne to our hearts content. I also discovered that I like foie gras (before discovering a few days later that my stomach does not!).
The next day we toured the Tattinger cellars in Reims and decided that our basement would be a suitable champagne cellar, even if we couldn’t hold a fraction of the bottles in the caves at Tattinger. 😉
After our tour, we headed back towards Paris to return the car and hop the train into the city. I didn’t plan for this to be two posts, but now that I’m actually sitting down to write about it I think Paris probably deserves it’s own post.