Monday, 5 July 2010

Northern Normandy Part 1

Just back from a brilliant trip to France, the area between Dieppe and Rouen. Surprisingly pleasant ferry from Newhaven.  Due to its early departure, stayed night before in the Premier Inn (vg) and ate at the Brewers Fayre (!). Not at all bad. 
Wonderful hidden chateaux and manor houses in Northern Normandy, all with luxuriant gardens. Exactly where they all were is rather a blur in my mind as we were driven around by hospitable Anglo-French friends, but I managed to find some websites to go with the photos. 
Above the glorious Chateau de Herbouville, with its impressive mixed vegetable and flower garden all designed in little squares and diagonals. It's open afternoons in July-August.  Below roses at St Marguerite sur Mer, which has a memorial to allied soldiers who died in the abortive Dieppe Raid of 1942 under Lord Lovat.
The Chateau de Miromesnil above, birthplace of de Maupassant, has a magnificent park with English-style walled garden.
Parc de Moutiers below was designed by Lutyens, with a Jekyll garden, but sadly it was closed when we passed. We did see the nearby church perched above the sea at Varengeville sur Mer.

Lots of unbelievably delicious food, of course, including juicy oysters bought at the quayside.  Apparently the lack of an R in the month doesn't matter as regards these particular oysters.

I've often visited the western half of Normandy to see the WW2 beaches and the Bayeux tapestry, and Monet's garden further south (it's all in my novel Paris Imperfect!),  so it was interesting to see this verdant, unspoilt, uncrowded area. Of course, Rouen was pretty busy, more on that city and art next time.

9 comments:

LindyLouMac said...

I do miss the gardens of Northern Europe, oh well can't have it all. At least i can enjoy your photos, thanks for sharing.

Talli Roland said...

Wow - gorgeous! I've never been to Normandy. Now you've convinced me I need to go there!

Debs said...

So beautiful. I love France, but although we can see the coast from our bedroom, we don't go nearly enough.

Susie Vereker said...

Thanks, LindyLM, Talli and Debs. Talli, I've often visited the other end of Normandy for the WW2battlefields and the Bayeux tapestry, and then there's Monet's Garden further South. (It's all in my novel Paris Imperfect!) So it was v.interesting for me to see the Dieppe area. Maybe I should add this comment to the main page.

liz fenwick said...

Looks like a beautiful trip.
lx

Dedene said...

What a very nice trip. Normandie is a fantastic area.

sablonneuse said...

Did this trip inspire you to write another novel or is there one on the way?

Susie Vereker said...

Thanks for your comments, LLM, Talli, Debs and Liz. (great to see you at the conf) Sandy, I don't know about another novel in France yet. Maybe I should go back!

Susie Vereker said...

Dedene, lovely to hear from you.