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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Reglise & Pain d’ Epices
La Lieutenance, Cote Resto, La Fleur de Sel, L’Endroit
Etretat (45 mins drive), Maisons Satie, visit the Saint Catherine church, soak up the French lifestyle
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!