Our roadtrip to Normandy was really all about cider. Visiting cider farms, meeting the creators behind it, seeing the production. And of course, drinking it. We went in a group of 6 friends, with two cars rented in Paris, all 6 with carry-on luggage, which turned out to be a huge mistake - we brought zero bottles home with us. However, we did get to taste plenty of diverse ciders, on a wide and multi-complex scale, ranging from natural stable-like cider with a direct reference to the surrounding horse stables, to the more refined, elegant bubbles.
Manoir & Haras De Sens
From Paris we headed 2 hrs West to Beuvron-en-Auge - an ‘archetypal Norman village’ is what it is referred to. And it truely has a resemblance to a doll-like setting with its old half-timbered houses along the short, but scenic main road.
We stayed two nights at Manoir & Haras De Sens - one of those castle-like places that fairytale dreams are made of. Nestled in its green setting, the Manoir covers an area of 100 hectars including stables and horse breeding. Loved staying here. Surrounded by grassing horses, tall old trees and then of course, the pink bathroom in our room.
Tasting at Dupont
Next morning we started out early with a tasting at the Familie Dupont estate in the heart of the Pays d'Auge region. Here they produce ciders, pommeau and calvados. The bar was set high here, and we loved the expressiveness in the taste. We were guided around the estate, walking around the blooming apple tree plantations, seeing the different cellars and the fungus heavy places for storing.
Les Jardins du Pays d'Auge
Post-lunch and cider tasting easiness at the beautiful gardens of Pays d’Auge.
Mont Sant Michel
Being a group of landscape architects, having studied at the same school, one has for sure been told about the wonders of Mont Sant Michel. This place has, to me at least, been a constant reference from a tutor when studying. Mont Sant Michel this, Mont Sant Michel that. To begin with I thought it was a place less travelled to, an unknown and very deserted place, somewhere in France. But this place is a tourist magnet. And it certainly is a really special place that I am happy to have ticked off my bucket-list!
Market day in Honfleur
With a map of pins scattered out over Normandy, it was only by conincidence that we timed our visit to Honfleur with Saturday, where the local food market is held. In front of the old church of Eglise Ste-Catherine the streets were filled with fresh green vegetables, fruits, salamis and sausages, seafood, eggs and apple juice.
Mini golf in Trouville
Trouville, is also known as Deauville’s older sibling. Located on the coast, it has sandy beaches and a long boardwalk, where the glamorous people flash their pressed coats, every day of the year. We took it easy, played a round of mini golf followed by an overwhelming sea food lunch at the fishing port.
La Ferme du Lieu Cheri
We circled the woods a few times before we reached this destination. Hidden in the woodlands lie La Ferme du Lieu Cheri, a small cider estate and B&B. We were recommended this place by local Emelie, that I met on a VisitFrance press event in Copenhagen a week before our departure - what a perfectly timed coincidence! The crooked house and the matching Dalmatian dog hosted us for one night. Here we drank their cider in the apple fields, accompanied by a fat full moon.
The cellar and estate at La Ferme
Next morning, Alexandre showed us around and gave us a tasting. Dalmatian dog was there too. Loved him.
Cambremer and Manoir de Grandouet
We went to Cambremer for the second time for a Sunday lunch, followed by a casual cappuccino + pain au chocolat at the square. Besides lunch our Sunday plan was to drive around along the cider route and just randomly drop by cider farms. However Sunday meant that not a lof of places were open. We were lucky to have timed our stop at Manoir de Grandouet, with the owners Sunday routine. Here we enjoyed the estate in the rain and tasted some strong calvados, keeping the spirit high!
Roadside cider tasting before arriving at Eric Bordelet
I spotted a blossoming pink cherry tree field and we pulled over. While I was getting my picture, the others had a spontaneous cider tasting. Had a real French moment. A little while later we arrived at the estate of Eric Bordelet - the last cider visit on our trip, but also the one we had been looking forward to the most! We first tried his cider in Copenhagen, at a Wednesday tasting at wine bar Ved Stranden 10. Since then, his pear cider has remained close to our hearts (if you can even say that about a cider…) - so it was truely a big moment, being at the estate in person, and meeting the man behind the elegant taste. Eric has a strong philosophy and is so so passionate. And I’m not lying when I say that his dedication comes across in the taste of his produce. Best cider to date.