And its so easy to hop across the Channel to reach food festivals that take place across the region. Here’s our pick of Norman festivals:
September 29-30: Festival Toute la Mer sur un Plateau (Granville)
Just an hour away from the Mont-Saint-Michel, Granville is France’s number one shellfish port and is known to the French as ‘the Monaco of the North’. Its popular seafood festival, Toute la Mer sur un Plateau [All the Sea on a Plate], attracts around 55,000 visitors a year, and no less than 16 tonnes of seafood are brought fresh off the fishing boats for the occasion. The festival boasts markets, pop-up seafood restaurants, cooking demos, free tastings, folk music and entertainment for all the family.
http://bit.ly/GranvilleTouteLaMerSurUnPlateau (French only)
October 6-7: Fête de la Crevette (Honfleur)
Enjoy a taste of the sea at the Fête de la Crevette in Honfleur, where you can discover the town’s speciality, the mighty shrimp, in a distinctly maritime environment. Walk through the pirate village, peruse the arts and crafts stalls and dance along to a sea shanty on the old fishing quay. With shrimp peeling competitions, a fish market, concerts and other entertainment, there’s a lot of fun to be had.
October 13-14: Fête du Ventre et de la Gastronomie normande (Rouen)
The name of this Rouen festival literally translates to Festival of the Stomach and the Norman gastronomy, and has become an unmissable gastronomic event in Normandy since it was founded in 1935. The festival takes place over the third weekend of October in the Rouen’s historic city centre around the Place du Vieux Marché. Over two days, the streets are filled with market stalls, where top chefs, artisans and local producers in traditional Normandy costume promote locally sourced products – apples, cheese, cider, meat, dairy products, jam and more – all available to taste and purchase.
www.rouenconquerant.com/la-f-te-du-ventre (French only)
October 28: Fête de la Pomme, du Cidre et du Fromage (Conches-en-Ouche)
Two hours from Ouistreham and 90 minutes from Le Havre, the Apple, Cider and Cheese Festival in Conches-en-Ouche has become quite the event in Normandy. This year’s anticipated 35,000 visitors can expect a farmers market, tastings, cooking demos, folk music, regional cider, honey and gingerbread, traditional Norman games and an abundance of pop-up restaurants serving Norman specialties.
http://bit.ly/FeteConchesEnOuche (French only)
November 10-11: Fête du cidre à l’ancienne (Le Sap)
An hour south of Ouistreham, the village of Le Sap’s annual cider festival celebrates the ancient art of cider making and the traditional practice of using a working horse to power the apple press, demonstrations of which take place at regular times over the two days. There’s a great atmosphere, with music, dancing, pony rides for the children, and market stalls selling local products. In addition to your freshly pressed cider, you can also enjoy a baguette with your favourite Norman cheese or an apple tart.
http://bit.ly/LeSapFeteDuCidre (French only)