Horse Riding – We recommend Le centre Equestre du Val Loyer, St Sulpice de Grimbouvilee (02 32 41 45 34). Turn right out of the chateau and keep going. Turn right at the T junction that you reach after several miles and it is immediately on your left.
Golf – there are numerous good golf courses in the area. The nearest is at Deauville, and the spectacular course at Etretat is less than half an hour away.
Sailing and Sand Yachting – There is an excellent centre at Deauville – Le Centre Nautique, Promenade des Planches (02 31 14 02 19)
Tennis – there are some local courts behind the school in Beuzeville – less than 10 minutes away (02 32 56 63 96). There is also an excellent tennis club at Deauville with about 20 courts. They are to be found on the Boulevard de la Mer (02 31 14 02 18)
Places of Interest
Honfleur – A charming medieval port that has a wonderful market on Saturdays and has many bars and restaurants. Our favourite bar is L’Albatross, whilst our favourite restaurant is L’Absinthe. Honfleur was also the cradle of impressionism, and Monet developed his style here. There are a number of very good museums and sites – do not miss the wooden church. There is an excellent tourist office that can provide you with all the information.
Deauville – An extremely cosmopolitan seaside resort that is often referred to as the 21st arondissement of Paris. It has a casino, two five star hotels, all the major fashion boutiques, and some excellent restaurants. The beach itself is beautiful with a board walk and sea front bars.
Cormeilles – a charming village about 5 miles away. It is full of antique shops, and holds a tiny market on Sundays.
Landing Beaches – These are to be found in the area to the south east of Cherbourg through to Caen. Arromanches, Omaha Beach and the vast US cemetery are a 75-90 minute drive from the chateau whilst the furthest beach, Utah, is 1 hour 45 minutes away. Much can still be seen, including remnants of the artificial harbour, gun emplacements, etc. The main museums are to be found at Arromanches - La Musee du Debarquement (02 31 22 34 31), Bayeaux, Caen Memorial and Utah.
Regional Nature Park - The domaine is about 2 minutes drive from the limits of the "Boucles de la Seine Normande" Regional Nature Park. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty that is now protected by the state. It consists of the flood plains of the Seine river which are framed by chalk cliffs. As a result of regular flooding in the past the area is extremely fertile which results in very green countryside as this photo shows. Many rare species of flora and fauna are to be found in the park. The most interesting area is called Le Marais Vernier, which surrounds the village of the same name, where there is a bar. There is also an excellent view of the surrounding area from the lighthouse at St Samson de la Roque. This is about 15 minutes away if you leave St Maclou in the direction of the Tancarville Bridge.
Monet’s Garden – immortalised by his many paintings. It is to be found at Giverny, just outside Vernon. This is about an hour away by car – take the A13 to Paris from Beuzeville and leave at Junction 17.
Bayeux Tapestry – the famous tapestry of the last successful invasion of England by William the Conqueror in 1066. The Bayeux Tapestry is to be found in Bayeux, just under an hour from the estate. The tapestry is the only such document in the world, is in fact wool embroidery on linen cloth made in the 11th century measuring 70m by 50cm and displays a wealth of details.
One of the delights of France is buying top quality natural and fresh produce from independent shops and suppliers. I list our favourite places below:
Local Markets – Honfleur on Saturdays, Trouville on Sundays, Pont Audemer on Mondays, Beuzeville on Tuesdays. It is best to arrive before 11 am for all of these markets.
Bread – The last bakery on the right in Beuzeville going towards Pont l’Eveque, just after the Honfleur turning.
Cakes etc. – The patisserie just before the Honfleur turning in Beuzeville and next door to the Hotel Cochon d’Or. They also sell superb bread and rolls.
Wine – Le Cave au Vin down an alley on the right in the main square in Beuzeville. There is an excellent selection of wine in this shop.
Cider, Aperitif Normand and Calvados – M. Toutain makes all three of these and is to be found down a small lane to the left between the chateau and Beuzeville. It is signposted on the main road. M.Camut (available in the Cave au Vin, or direct from the producer in Lalande St Leger) for Calvados only – he has an excellent collection of old Calvados (60 years old or more)., and is one of the top producers with a world-wide reputation.
Supermarket – The Carrefour supermarket on the road to Honfleur in Beuzeville can cover most of your other needs. Larger supermarkets can be found to the south east of the estate in Pont Audemer, around 12 minutes’ drive.
There are numerous restaurants in nearby villages. Details can be found in the Michelin Guide a copy of which should be on the bookcase in the scullery, however our favourites are:
Auberge du Vieux Logis - Comteville (6km) One Michelin Star. 02 32 57 60 16
L'Absinthe - Honfleur (14km) Very good restaurant adjacent to the old harbour. 02 31 89 39 00
Chez Miocque - Deauville (20km) A smart Paris style brasserie 02 31 88 09 52
Les Vapeurs - Trouville (20km). Excellent food. 02 31 88 15 24
L’Auberge de l’Ecole Buissoniere – Quetteville (6km) simple but friendly auberge in a pretty setting. 02 31 64 30 20
Le Cremaillere - St Maclou (2km). Good food and excellent value. 02 32 41 17 75