Postcards from France

Postcards from France. Holiday memories. Northern France.

The excitement of crossing into another country is something I never tire of. Shuffling passports, different coins, signs to place names I’m not sure I’m pronouncing correctly. I spent my pre-parent life exploring the globe and post parent life exploring the UK via holidays and breaks. This summer there was an itch for something different and we decided on a camping trip to Normandy in Northern France.

When I was pregnant we did a big road trip across France down to Carcassonne and I’d forgotten all the small things I love about France; patisseries, long lunches, houses with shutters. In Normandy, I found ‘shutter people’, small metal heads and shoulders that hold shutters open.

Postcards from France

Postcards from France

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French Retail hours are unfathomable to me, but that’s OK, there is always another day. Produce; I don’t eat meat but I can appreciate how much the French invest in good meat, in Normandy there seemed to be an independent boucherie in every village and always a boulangerie. Oh my! I had forgotten how good fresh French bread and pastries are. I ate several prize winning tarte au citroen and can confirm a worthy award winner.

tarte au citron

When we began researching camping in France, it seemed to offer a bit more, sites with pools and restaurants. We picked Le Brevedent from the Cool Camping guide. The site is set around a faded château and a lake in which the dark shadows of carp can be seen. It takes a mix of motor homes, tents and caravans. With glamping and chalets options too. The restaurant sells great takeaway pizza, for those evenings when you can’t be bothered to BBQ. Family friendly with a relaxed vibe. There is a pool, playground, table tennis and other bits and pieces that kept an bare-foot 8-year-old happy, which took the pressure of us.

Normandy this August was baking hot, but it can be very ‘English’ in it’s weather and hence the interior of the province is green, rural, dotted with apple orchards. It is the calvados region think and try apple brandy, apple jelly and local cider (we did).

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Le Brevedent camping

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Half an hour away are the elegant seaside resorts of Deauville, Trouville-sur-Mer and the harbour town of Honfleur. The heat forced a slow pace, we could have done more, but the beauty of the campsite setting, the joy of the French-ness of the local town, the short hop to the coast felt as if we did little and a lot.

family camping in France

postcards from France

Postcards from France.

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French produce markets are a wonder, quality produce, good prices and fantastic smells. My aim in France was brocante markets and I did find a couple of those, they were more antiques than vintage or second-hand. A new discovery and favourite thing; vide grenier French car boot, we happily picked through French knick-knacks and coming away with, amongst other things, a vase, old metal badges and packets of toys sold for a 1 euro. We drove to a village billed as having a vide grenier, to discover the entire village closed to traffic and all the space turned over to braderie, second hand items, of every shape. My only frustration, that purchasing was limited by size of (the now deceased) small car (maybe I cursed it?).
French Markets

Vive La France! I am already planning next summer.

postcards from France

11 Comments

  1. Molly

    Oh take me back! I love France and your photos are reminding me how much our holiday, too, was a hit to France this year. We’d LOVE that campsite – and Honfleur is a long favourite of mine. You’d love the place we went to in the Loire this year too. Very similar vibe. Here’s to next summer!

  2. Nell (the Pigeon Pair and Me)

    Do you know, I’ve visited Normandy a few times but never noticed those shutter heads! Your post made me smile – my OH is vegetarian too and although he adores the cheese, cakes, bread, salads, cider, wine etc etc he sometimes struggles to find something he can eat on a menu. It’s a beautiful place though – I can’t get enough of it. Your campsite sounds interesting – there seem to be quite a few places set in the grounds of chateaux.

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