Saturday, August 25, 2012


A major defensive port in the 15th-century, Honfleur has blossomed into one of Normandy's most appealing harbours.  At its heart is the 17th-century Vieux Bassin (Old Dock), with its picturesque tall houses (6-7 storeys).

Honfleur became a center of artistic activity in the 19th-century.  Eugène Boudin, the seascape painter, was born here in 1824, as was the composer Erik Satie in 1866.  Courbet, Sisley, Pisarro, Renoir, and Cézanne all visited Honfleur, often meeting at the Ferme St-Siméon, now a luxury hotel.  Painters still work from Honfleur's quayside, and exhibit in the Greniers à Sel, two salt warehouses built in 1670. 

Erik Satie's home

This salt warehouse had a photography exhibit when we visited.


This sign reads:

"With ships and equipment from the Port of Honfleur, Samuel de Champlain explored l'Acadie and Canada from 1603 to 1607. 

He left this same port in 1608 to establish Quebec City."

Place Ste-Catherine has an unusual 15th-century church built by ships' carpenters.  Église Sainte-Catherine is the largest church made out of wood in France.  The bell steeple was built separately from the church and a bit further out, to avoid destruction in case of fire.

Note that the ceiling was built like the upside down hull of a ship, which was the technique that shipbuilders knew.


This is a bronze statue in the middle of Honfleur, depicting women picking muscles.  It's amazing!  It sits in a watery base in a round-about with lots of traffic, so difficult to approach safely.


Around town:

Clock on City Hall


Entrance to Musée de la Marine

Musée de la Marine



Restaurant "L'Absinthe" where we had lunch. 
Our view over the Old Port while we ate.

In every major seaport, you'll find that notorious Captain Hook.  Famous pirate, no doubt.

The only wild boar we saw during the whole of our trip.  Too bad it wasn't prepared in a rich stew and presented on our plates!  Karl missed that this year.

Obviously, Calvados comes in various qualities and flavours.

A beautiful park just off the central part of Honfleur.  Very quiet and peaceful.

Flavours of Normandy

Normandy is known as the land of the four Cs: Calvados, Camembert, cider, and crème.

A great restaurant in Honfleur is "Lutétia".  Just around the corner from our hotel, it was close enough that we could time our walk to and from the restaurant between the bouts of rain...

We both started with a Kir, although mine was a Kir Royale and Karl's was a Kir Normand: a mix of crème de cassis and cider.

Normandy is famous for its cheese, and this Camembert was wrapped in phyllo and baked.  Melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

Chicken pieces served in a cheese sauce, the cheese being Camembert - of course.

Oops!  Almost forgot to take a picture before Karl swallowed everything: veal in a mushroom gravy, the mushrooms coming from the surrounding damp meadows and woodlands.

The grande finale were crêpes in a Calvados sauce!  We shared this one when we should have each had our own...

We love food so much that we've actually started taking photos of other people's dinners!  This seafood platter for two was just so gorgeous that we couldn't let the guests start eating before snapping a photo.  All that seafood came from here...


to here!

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating post, thank you! We are also in love with Honfleur, collecting old postcards from region has now led to this blog... Normandy is addictive! xx