The region of Normandy — located in the north of France — is a place steeped in history in so many ways. Well known as the site of the D-Day landings during World War II, there are an incredible amount of places to visit, including the beaches and museums. According to Chef Sinead of our Discover Normandy cooking vacation in France, “the poignant American Cemetery, in my book, is an absolute must stop.”
While the World War II history in this part of the country is immense, the region offers even more in the way of history. That even includes the bed and breakfast that Chef Sinead runs in a small village on the breathtakingly beautiful Cotentin Peninsula.
Chef Sinead says it best: “Our property is a labour of love and steeped in history. It’s such a ‘wow’ factor for our guests – much more than we ever imagined. We battled to save an abandoned pre-revolution farm (took us three years to actually buy the place due to French inheritance laws and more) and have been renovating since 2000 – work in progress!”
Prior to Chef Sinead and her husband’s renovations, the last renovation was back in 1819! This is evidenced in the oak beam that displays the renovation date in the dining room. As it was once a farmhouse, some of the rooms were once part of the barn, while others were once the maid’s quarters.
The history doesn’t end there. In fact, it seems like history is every where you look when you visit. One of the cooking classes during our Discover Normandy cooking vacation takes you to L’Auberge de Bunehou, where an 18th-century bread oven is still in use. In addition to using the bread oven, a full meal is prepared there and then enjoyed with the restaurant owner Francois, who Chef Sinead lovingly refers to as a “crazy Frenchman.”
The other classes take part back at the B&B in Sinead’s wonderful farmhouse kitchen. In all classes, the meals focus on seasonal, locally-produced ingredients. While Chef Sinead does offer a 4 or 6 night option, she always encourages the 6 night for the simple reason that there’s just so much to explore in this part of France!
See some of Sinead’s recipes:
Learn more about the history of Normandy.
By Liz Hall
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