Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Normandy – part 4

Led by ‘Mauricette’ our faithful GPS, we easily found the B&B ‘Nature et Lin’ which our favourite cottage is part of. The former linen farm, which offers 4 chambres d’hôtes and a self-catering cottage, is located in the village of Néville, some 7 km inland from Saint-Valéry-en-Caux, halfway between Dieppe and Etretat.

When we drove up to the main house, the lady of the house immediately came out to greet us. This was our second visit, so it was nice to see her again. While my friend drove the car around to the little private parking spot close to the cottage, which sits at about 30 meters from the main house, I walked with Mrs. G. to the ‘Maison des Ecureuils’ (The squirrels’ house) as the little cottage is called. In the air I could smell the scent of a wood fire burning. When Mrs. G. opened the door that led into the cottage, I knew immediately where the scent came from. The fire in the open fire place was burning nicely, giving the room a nice and comfortable glow. The cottage was warm and welcoming.

Mrs. G asked us whether we wanted to cook ourselves. When we said that that was the general idea, she frowned. “We’ve had a bit of a problem with the electric stove. It’s out or order after a very bad thunderstorm last weekend. There was smoke coming out of the stove and since then it is completely out of order”. And she continued “I can supply you with a microwave oven though. Will that do?” It was a bit of a disappointment as I had planned to make bacon and eggs for breakfast the next morning, but the microwave would do fine to heat up our fish soup. We therefore accepted her offer, and half an hour later her husband Ph. brought over the microwave. He also asked us at what time he should bring us the croissants and baguette for breakfast. Being on holiday, we thought that 9 a.m. would be just fine.

By the time Ph. had left, it was beginning to get dark outside. So we put an extra log on the fire and drew the curtains. It was time to unpack our luggage and settle down for the evening.

The cottage in March 2009

We cracked open a bottle of Champagne to accompany the spicy boiled periwinkles and langoustines. After that we had an improvised light supper of steaming hot fish soup with garlicky croutons made of pieces of baguette that we had grilled over the open fire, followed by some local Normandy cheeses, such as Camembert, of course, and Livarot (also called ‘le petit colonel’, because of the strands of straw that are circled around the cheese, and look like the insignia a colonel in the army would wear on his sleeves).

The perfect ending of a perfect day!

(to be continued)



Anonymous said...

What a cute little cabin. The soup, cheese and champagne sound good too.

ladybird said...

Dedene, it's the perfect place for a little getaway ... and the drink and food only add to the pleasure!