5th April 2024

Bonjour encore from Port Chalmers.

We trust that you all enjoyed a restful break over Easter.  Robert finished an itinerary for clients visiting Normandy in May, so lots of restaurant revision and consequently, below, is another restaurant review from the archives.  We’ve had two trips to Normandy and enjoyed dinner each time at L’Endroit.  This Honfleur restaurant is still highly rated by all the guides. 

"April 2016 - L’ENDROIT - Normandy

Honfleur is a picturesque old port town in a beautiful setting at the mouth of the Seine and l’Endroit is a modern, stylish-but-casual restaurant a block or so back from the water   Its pared-back industrial decor, with brick floors and open kitchen are an introduction to their distinctive cooking style.  

We began with a vegetable tart with an endive salad - finely sliced root vegetables on a delicate flaky pastry base, with a crisp and slightly bitter salad to bring out the sweetness of the tart.  A simple but clever combination, beautifully cooked & presented. 

Nothing will keep Robert from a tripe dish if there’s one on the menu and there was, Tripes a la mode de Caen, flambéed in Calvados.  A traditional Norman tripe stew and this one had masses of flavour - he was very impressed.  I had tuna with Sauce Vierge exotique.  Another beautiful dish, modern and clean, with the olive oil, tomato and herb sauce giving the already delicious fish even more flavour.

After such outstanding dishes, we were very interested in the puddings - Robert had a fruit soufflé, which was a popular choice at the other tables too.  It was a massive airy dome on a base of assorted fruits and very good. My turn to go traditional - pain perdu - bread dipped in beaten egg then fried, but this was a bit more sophisticated than the version that we sometimes have at home.  Fat slices of brioche were garnished with citrus-spiked caramel and a mandarin soufflé on the side.   Old comfort food made modern, jazzy and delicious. 

A superb meal at a very good restaurant, and we’re looking forward to our next visit to L’ENDROIT,

3 rue Charles et Paul Bréard, Honfleur 

NORMANDY means gardens galore to us, but others may think of the D-Day landing beaches, the Bayeux tapestry, William the Conqueror and Mont St Michel.  It is a region of castles and churches, picturesque half-timbered villages, fishing ports, beaches and dramatic cliffs, Belle Epoque seaside resorts and casinos, and a rich cuisine, including cheese, butter, cider and calvados (and tripe …..).  

Although Bois des Moutiers' 'Arts & Crafts' house and garden is closed to the public, the nearby Jardin de Vasterival now offers daily 1hr guided tours and is a must for any gardener.  For hydrangea lovers Jardin Shamrock houses the French National Collection with many rare varieties from China and Japan. The list of gardens ranges from small family plots to formal chateau (Mesnil Geoffroy below) and exotic creations by landscape architects, something for everyone.

Our clients will be exploring by car on a customised driving holiday, but we also offer Backroad Discovery self-guided cycling holidays along the Cote Fleurie and to Mont St Michel.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Robert & Barbara