There’s not much I love more when I am travelling than discovering a food market. Except maybe when I am taken around the market with a local who knows “the” stand to buy your produce/ cheese/ charcuterie at and where to pick up just the right baguette to enjoy with your market spoils after you’re done shopping.
I was fortunate to experience exactly this scenario when I joined Jennifer Greco of Chez Loulou (she was also my tour guide on the tour of the Marais I took a few weeks ago, she’s also the one who has tasted over 220 of France’s cheeses and written tasting notes for them…) on her Delicious Normandy tour earlier this month. Jennifer and her husband are long-time French residents – they lived in the Languedoc for over 8 years and have been living in Normandy for nearly 3. Jennifer has made the Saturday morning market in Bayeux hers – which is obvious as she strolls through the market, saying hello to vendors and stopping to chat with many of them as she goes about her weekend shopping. She’s also a Paris-lover and recently started leading tours in Paris with Paris by Mouth.
The Normandy tours were a natural “next step” for Jennifer – and it makes sense. Leading interested folk around a market she knows and loves (and can talk about for hours – in a good way!) is a great way to introduce people to the culinary delights of Normandy. Jennifer knows a lot about the history of the town as well so there’s a little bit of history and a lot of information about food (not to mention the very generous tasting portions!).
We started the morning with a Norman specialty breakfast pastry – a Brasillé Normand…
With a little bit of that in our tummies (for energy!), we spent a good 90 minutes wandering, chatting, shopping, tasting and generally soaking up the atmosphere of the market..
We picked up, ahem, a few cheeses…
To accompany our cheeses and charcuterie/ pâté, we headed to Cave Cidricole LeCornu.
Jennifer has written about LeCornu for Paris by Mouth and tells us that this gorgeous storefront and tasting area is the “urban farm” of Christèle and François Lecornu who are 3rd generation cider and Calvados producers with over 3,000 certified organic apple trees on 9 hectares just outside Bayeux. This old stone house in the center of town is where the ageing and, perhaps most importantly, the tasting take place. You can sample sparkling cider, oak barrel-aged AOC Calvados and homemade apple apéritif in the beautiful old-world tasting room.
As well as being an expert shopper, Jennifer is an expert taster and it was delightful to sit and talk cheese with her. When you are with someone who knows what they are talking about, it really heightens a tasting experience (for anything, not just cheese and wine…)
The Delicious Normandy tour is a fabulous little taster of all the region has to offer. Obviously in one day you can’t see, do, eat or drink everything – so this would be wonderful as part of a trip to Normandy but it was also so very do-able as a day trip from Paris (my train left Gare st Lazare at 7.26am, returning from Bayeux at 4.36pm, arriving in Paris around 7.45pm for around 55€ return).
You can find all the details for Jennifer’s Delicious Normandy tours over on her website, Chez Loulou.
Book Jennifer’s tours on Eventbrite.
Read all Jennifer’s Normandy articles over on Paris by Mouth.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Delicious Normandy on this tour. I was not asked to write about it, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions 100% my own.
Many of you will know I’m in France for most of the summer. While I slowly blogging about things I do here, the best way to keep up with me is by following my photos which you can do on my Summer 2014 set on Flickr or Instagram where I am @eatlivtravwrite (if you don’t have the app on your phone you can still check out the photos online.