Now’s the time to really enjoy the relaxed pace of life in Normandy. School holidays are over, the ferries and roads are less crowded, and there is still plenty to see and do.
Normandy is renowned for its cider, and at this time of year piles of apples sit waiting in the orchards to be collected for crushing. It is a beautiful sight, and makes us all the keener to eat as many fresh apples as possible.
The local markets continue to serve up fresh produce from the local fields, and at this time of year you can sometimes find the travelling stills used by producers of Calvados to distil the traditional apple brandy from fermented apple juice. Just beware of the local brews, they can have a seriously punchy alcohol content!
If you’re lucky the weather will still be dishing up crisp, clear mornings to tempt you outside for walks. Near our Normandy farmhouse there are trails down to the River Douve, or along the old train tracks which extend to the coast.
Normandy beaches seem blissfully empty even at peak holiday season, but come the Autumn they are so rarely busy that you feel you own the whole landscape. Perfect for walking the dogs and even galloping horses, and your children will just adore the freedom to run and paddle and play without you fearing they will get lost in the crowds.
And the best part of cold-weather holidays? If the sun doesn’t shine, or you are out long enough to get chilly, what better than to come home to a cosy fire? La Dencrerie’s kitchen stove is sheer indulgence: I just love stocking up with wood and keeping the fire burning as we cook, play board games around the table and then eat.
We are not short of heat in the farmhouse, having another woodburning stove in the salon, where we can sit toastily watching TV and relaxing for the evening. Plus, collecting and chopping all that wood has its own way of warming the muscles, whilst providing helpful employment for our children (don’t worry, they are all adults and capable of taking care of themselves).
We are off soon to catch our Autumn fresh air at our Normandy farmhouse. Do come sometime soon!