Sunday, 11 May 2014

A short sojourn in France

Hotel Chateau Clery
The beautiful Hotel Chateau Cléry where we were lucky enough to stay for a night
The UK bank holiday last weekend also happened to coincide with the end of my daughter's Easter break from university which meant a long drive south for my hubby and I to take her (and her unreasonably large number of bags) back. Although we've done the trip a few times now, this time we decided to take advantage of the fact that we'd already driven over 300 miles to get her there and drive a few more - to France! 

We took the short hop across the Channel - or should I say under it as we chose to cross with Eurotunnel - to stay with a friend in one of our favourite places in lower Normandy, an area known as Le Perche. This is a gorgeous unspoilt corner of France that tourists usually only pass through on their way from the channel ports down to the more popular Loire or Dordogne regions. It's rarely busy, even in the height of summer and we think it's the best place to enjoy some 'real' French hospitality. 

The area is not known for its wine but local cider is served at all the bars and restaurants so we made sure we sampled a glass or two while we were there - it would have been rude not to! 

Local french cider
It's served in beer glasses but it's actually local cider!

Rouen Cathedral
The interior of the spectacular cathedral at Rouen
We also paid a visit to the lovely medieval city of Rouen whose spectacular cathedral dominates the city centre but unfortunately our trip came to an end far too soon. We did though, have one last treat to look forward to before returning to England - a night at the beautiful Chateau Cléry, an 18th century chateau turned hotel which is situated just outside of Boulogne in a village called Hesdin-l'Abbé. It is set in extensive grounds, has all the charm and romance of a French chateau and is the perfect place for a relaxing stopover or break.

Our room was large, comfortable and modern and was situated in the chateau itself - some are located in buildings next to the chateau. It was tastefully furnished in a typical French style but as it was on the second floor with no lift it wouldn't be suitable for anyone who has difficulty using the stairs.

In the evening we had an aperitif in the lovely salon followed by fabulous meal in the gorgeous restaurant, it was fairly quiet with only three or four other tables occupied and the service was excellent. The menu offered a good range of a la carte options but both my hubby and I chose from the three course menu at 30 which offered a choice of starter, main course and dessert or cheese. The food was beautifully presented with some fantastic flavour combinations - delicious! This is one hotel I will definitely be returning to and I'll let the photographs below do the rest of the talking for me.

Everything's back to normal this week but we've got some great memories of our short sojourn in France 

À bientôt!

Hotel Chateau Clery
The salon at Hotel Chateau Cléry - lovely for an aperitif

Hotel Chateau Clery
Our lovely table for two overlooking the courtyard

Smoked Salmon
Smoked Salmon

filo, goats cheese and caramelised onions
A filo parcel stuffed with goats cheese and caramelized onions

duck breast with ginger sauce
Duck breast with a ginger sauce

sea bass fillet with a bisque sauce
Sea bass fillet with a bisque sauce


  1. Wow! I've always wanted to go to France. You're lucky you're only 300 miles away. :) We're over 4000 miles... Across an ocean. Lovely post!

    1. Yes we are really lucky! It's such a beautiful country and we like to visit whenever we can.


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