Revisiting Honfleur

Honfleur has a special place in my heart; my dad recommended visiting this beautiful village in Normandy, France with my boyfriend. Dad being a real France expert and the boyfriend (now my husband) being from South Africa, it was a very special three days.

The harbour 'le Bassin' of Honfleur.
The harbour ‘le Bassin’ of Honfleur.

My dad passed away last May, and we decided to revisit Honfleur for my birthday the end of August. A trip down memory lane and remembering my dad, enjoying France in his honour. A good decision, although it seemed otherwise when we just arrived….

The most spectacular about your arrival in Honfleur is crossing the Pont de Normandy.. A beautiful work of art, with Honfleur at it’s base. The quaint little town of Honfleur was overflowing with tourists when we arrived this late August. A totally different view than our arrival in early June three years ago!

The Pont de Normandie is the bridge you drive over before reaching Honfleur. An amazing experience and beautiful construction!
The Pont de Normandie is the bridge you drive over before reaching Honfleur. An amazing experience and beautiful construction!

Car parking is easy to find if you just drive through town towards the Naturospace. The parking here is free and unlimited, very convenient. And the B&B we picked was only a stroll away, even with big suitcases (I always fail to travel light) not too much of a hassle.

We arrived at La Petite Folie, a small B&B in the heart of Honfleur. The owner is American, married to a French husband. She wasn’t there when we arrived but the friendly manager gave us a whole list with recommendations on restaurants and activities which proved being very helpful! Even though Honfleur is very small, there are some proper tourist traps and some beautiful hidden places.

La Petite Folie is a small B&B in Honfleur. The location is as central as can be.
La Petite Folie is a small B&B in Honfleur. The location is as central as can be.

Our room -the purple room- was small but clean and tidy. There is no coffee & tea station because the owner (she is a bit eccentric) doesn’t want anything that can stain in the rooms. A bit of a pity, since it was my birthday on the first morning of our stay and boy I love breakfast in bed! Even though both myself and my husband indicated upon making the reservation at the B&B that we were celebrating my birthday, the owner nor the manager acknowledged this which was a bit of a pity and downside to our stay.  I love places that always try to exceed expectations and  that certainly did not happen here! Next time we go back to Reglise & Pain d’Epices again, we decided (see my previous blog on Honfleur). 

Honfleur is a beautiful city to just stroll, sit down for a drink, stroll some more… The square with the big wooden church (Saint Catherines Church) is surrounded by small restaurants of which La Lieutenance is definitely a must. The restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays so divide your time wisely! The terrace looks out on the church and you can either chose for a dinner a la carte or from the menu. The food is prepared with a lot of love, which you can taste with every bite.

Beautiful colourful dishes at La Lieutenance
Beautiful colourful dishes at La Lieutenance

Next to La Lieutenance is Cote Resto, another gem. This restaurant is open all days, and serves superb seafood. The owner is very friendly and his wife – the chef – works magic on the plates.

The view from the terrace at Cote Resto. We were quite early (the French start thinking about dinner around 9PM)...
The view from the terrace at Cote Resto. We were quite early (the French start thinking about dinner around 9PM)…

A nice day trip to make from Honfleur is to go to Etretat. The massive chalk cliffs, the history from WWII and the different hiking routes are attracting many active (and less active) tourists. Put on your walking shoes if you plan on walking a bit, you can walk on the cliffs endlessly.

Beach in Etretat
Beach in Etretat
The famous cliffs in Etretat. You can walk endlessly here!
The famous cliffs in Etretat. You can walk endlessly here!

The whole area surrounding the picturesque Honfleur has so many attractions it is difficult to chose. Which is the reason we will always be coming back for more!

Honfleur

To stay:
Reglise & Pain d’ Epices
To eat: 
La Lieutenance, Cote Resto, La Fleur de Sel, L’Endroit
To do:
Etretat (45 mins drive), Maisons Satie, visit the Saint Catherine church,  soak up the French lifestyle
To shop:
Le Baobab Creation Bijoux (great handmate jewellery), Galeries Bartoux (great paintings and statues), L’Entrepot (if you are looking for plaids and fabrics, look no further)
Try to avoid:
Any restaurant around Le Bassin – especially during high season. Flocking with tourists and no guaranteed quality!

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