Apart from the odd rainy day we’ve had a great summer so far. Our guests have been spending time in the grounds, soaking up both the sun and the Normandy way of life!
Of course the grass grows a bit quicker at this time of year, so Clive gets to play on the mower even more too.
Our guests have loved the local Calvados and the fact that we have so many great Normandy cheeses produced in the region. They’ve been on tours to see how Camembert is produced and of course then sampled some with some wine when back at Le Gaudin.
We had a lovely tripadvisor review recently where our guests thought that staying at Le Gaudin felt more like they’d been personally invited to a grand manoir and not a B&B. That was a wonderful comment and maybe explains a little how big our lounge and dining room really are!
There’s plenty more of the summer to come and we’re getting lots of bookings from families either staying with us on their way down or back from their holidays further south. Of course we’d always recommend staying around longer as there’s so much history and culture to be had locally. Just look at our ‘History’ or ‘Links’ pages to get a flavour of Normandy.
‘Til next time, Clive.
We’re surrounded by great cheeses!
Le Gaudin is very lucky being situated in the Calvados region of Normandy, not only because of the beautiful landscape, culture and history, but also the gastronomy.
Cheese plays a big part in the daily life around here and of course we try to stick to eating some every day! But of course this isn’t just any cheese, these are some of the worlds most famous, and they’re local. These include Camembert, Pavé d’Auge, Livarot, Pont l’Evêque, Neufchatel, Boursin, Brillat-Savarain and Brin de Paille.
There’s even tours you can take to see how these wonderful delights are produced and you can sample along the way too.
Safe to say then, and without trying to sound cheesy, a visit to Normandy isn’t complete without eating some whilst you’re here and then taking home more to share too.
Brittany Ferries have brought millions of travellers to Normandy over the years, so they’re very well placed to discover what their passengers have enjoyed whilst in the region. Here’s a great list that they’ve compiled and maybe you’ll be here soon to agree!
1. Tapisserie de Bayeux
A visit to the Bayeux Tapestry is a great way to get kids interested in some history. The nearly 70m long tapestry depicts the Norman Conquest of England and the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and there’s also a short film that explains all about the events that inspired the tapestry. Film showings and audio guides are available in English.
This incredible museum is a must-see and caters for all the family (although it’s best for kids aged 7+ due to some of its content). You’ll learn all about Europe’s descent into war in 1939, the events of WW2 and D-Day and also its aftermath, including the Cold War. There’s even a recreated German bunker outside in the vast memorial gardens. And, it’s free entry for children under 10.
A tidal island in a beautiful bay, topped by a majestic abbey – it’s the stuff of fairy tales, isn’t it? Climb the winding cobbled street, lined with souvenir shops, créperies and restaurants, to the Benedictine abbey at the top of over 900 steps. Kids will love the adventure of this stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Clamber aboard La Redoubtable, the largest submarine open to the public in the world, discover the seas in 17 aquariums including the deepest aquarium in Europe and walk through some of the sumptuous rooms of the Titanic – all at La Cité de la Mer in Cherbourg! A unique attraction all about life under and on the sea.
Located just outside of Caen, this historically-themed amusement park is brilliant fun for younger kids. With rollercoasters, water slides, bumper boats, a medieval castle and more, it’s a perfect family day out. And, you can feel better about letting the kids play all day because they’ll be learning a little about Vikings, the Battle of Hastings and even the Belle Epoque too.
Not just your usual zoo, the Zoo de Champrepus also focuses on plant life from around the world with its botanical garden. See the lions and tigers, gibbons and lemurs, giraffes, penguins and many other animals but in the botanical gardens you’ll also find bright macaws and elegant flamingos amongst the exotic plants from around the globe.
Even if your children have never heard of Monet, Monet’s garden in Giverny is a beautiful garden for the kids to play in. Where Monet painted some of his most famous paintings, including the Water Lilies series, wander through the blossoming flower garden and the pretty water garden and see the beauty and colour of a garden laid out by an artist.
Built by William the Conqueror and improved by his ancestors, this castle was the family seat and is an impressive military structure. An imposing sight on the hilltop, there are three keeps which have all been restored, a great hall and high enclosing walls that offer a great view and plenty of space to run around. Inside you can explore with augmented reality and videos.
With a Wild West themed petting zoo, where children can get up close with donkeys, goats and more and try their hand at being a farmer, there’s a lot for kids who like to get their hands dirty. In the main zoo there are lots of animals to see including rare white lions, giraffes, wallabies, parrots and spider monkeys.
One of the first sites taken by Allied paratroopers in the early hours of D-Day, Pegasus Bridge was a vital point in securing the success of the Allied advancement. The original bridge was removed and replaced and is now on display in the grounds of the museum alongside a replica Horsa glider, which would have dropped the paratroopers.
Top 10 facts about garlic
Garlic is a famously adored, used and respected in France. But did you know there’s far more to garlic that a tasty ingredient. Read below to discover some amazing garlic facts!
1. Garlic is believed to ward off heart disease, cancer, colds, and flu. The consumption of garlic lowers blood cholesterol levels, and reduces the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
2. The psychological term for fear of garlic is alliumphobia.
3. Garlic is said to fight off evil spirits and keep vampires away.
4. If your garlic has sprouted, it is still usable although it has lost some of its flavor and health benefits.
5. The smell of garlic can be removed by running your hands under cold water while rubbing a stainless steel object.
6. Garlic is a member of the onion family which also includes leeks and shallots.
7. Its pungent flavor is due to a chemical reaction that occurs when the garlic cells are broken. The flavor is most intense just after mincing.
8. If your garden is being attacked by aphids, an excellent home remedy to get rid of them is to spritz the leaves and blooms with a mixture of crushed garlic and water.
9. When picking out garlic at the shop, choose firm, tight, heavy dry bulbs.
10. Garlic has been used to infuse vodka and as an ingredient to make cocktails.
Mont-Saint-Michel has a special meaning to Le Gaudin
Le Gaudin is on one of the pilgrim trails. Beginning in the Middle Ages, pilgrims from the world over have come to honour St.Michael at the Abbey. The first Benedictine monks arrived in 966 and remodeled the existing lodgings to create a monastery.
Le Gaudin was the grounds for a former monastic shelter and feeding feeding station for pilgrims heading to Mt St Michael. The pilgrim’s way dates to around 40 years after the foundation of Mont-Saint-Michel. It is said that water was collected by those on the trail from the stream that still flows through the grounds of Le Gaudin to this day.
If you wanted to walk to Mont-Saint-Michel from Le Gaudin it would take around 21 hours on today’s landscape, so we assume most would prefer the 70 mins by car! Once there, and after taking in the awesome view, you can then wander up the winding walkway discovering shops and restaurants, hidden alleyways and more. Wherever you look there’s history in abundance and if you reach the top you’re rewarded with amazing views. All this is free of charge and you only play if you decide to enter the abbey, which we do recommend as you’ll not want to miss the architecture and history.
As the number 1 visited site in Normandy, we consider ourselves privileged to be a very small part of the history of Mont-Saint-Michel. Why not find out more about this amazing place by visiting the tourism site below.