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Normandy / Nord Pas de Calais

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Central reservation office (United States)

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : TOURNADRE

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BMW

Official partner of the Routes du Bonheur

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Gilles Tournadre
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Owner and Grand Chef of Restaurant Gill
My road to happiness… from Paris to Honfleur

I invite you to discover Normandy by following in the footsteps of the great Impressionists. I was born in Place Saint-Marc, in the heart of the old town of Rouen. It was here, in what was then a rather dicey neighbourhood, that my grandfather had opened his patisserie, “Le Doux Pêcher”. As a teenager I started working at La Couronne, Rouen’s oldest inn, before heading off on a journey around France, which took me to Albert in Paris, followed by Lucas Carton and Taillevent. It was in 1984, eleven years after leaving, that I returned to Rouen. This is my town. It is ideally located between the sea and the capital. The great painters weren’t mistaken when they came here, one after another, to admire the town and this region with its beautiful light…

Relais & Châteaux proposes its Routes du Bonheur for your inspiration: they are suggestions of itineraries that you can adapt to your preferences and desired experiences. Our advisors are at your disposal to individualise your routes and help you make reservations at our properties.
Example for a three-night stay from €699*
* Minimum indicative rate per person, subject to availability, on the basis of a double room with double occupancy, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner (menu, without beverages) in the properties suggested for the itinerary.
Activities on site and nearby must be reserved by you.

My Route du Bonheur
Step 1: 1 day, 1 night

Cazaudehore « La Forestière »

As relaxed as it is elegant
Cazaudehore « La Forestière »
Owned by the same family for three generations, this hotel in the heart of the forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye opened its doors in 1928. The little café has become a charming hotel, as discreet as it is elegant. In the summer, guests dine in the shade of acacia trees and there are even very good jazz concerts held in the gardens, lit by old-fashioned Paris street lamps. A pleasant place in the country so close to the capital… www.cazaudehore.fr

On the route...

Moulin d’Andé, The Mill at Andé

I have often come to walk along this stretch of the Seine. Designated as a historic monument and completely restored, the mill at Andé has been playing host to musicians and strollers for over fifty years. Numerous violin and piano recitals are given each year in this relaxing, bucolic setting. Don’t miss taking a walk in the vast grounds.

Giverny and the Impressionists

This is the location of Claude Monet’s house and gardens, the place which so inspired the great painter. Thanks to the remarkable work of the gardeners to preserve the botanical heritage, visitors can discover the atmosphere which surrounded the artist at the end of the 19th century. Giverny is the birthplace of the Impressionists, and at least one visit is essential to really understand this painting movement. A trip to the Musée des Impressionnismes is the perfect follow-up to a visit to the house and gardens. www.fondation-monet.fr www.museedesimpressionnismesgiverny.com

Lyons-la-Forêt

I have often stopped off in this village during my long cycle rides. Designated among the “most beautiful villages in France”, Lyons-la-Forêt hides its splendid half-timbered houses and beautiful pink-brick buildings within an enormous beech grove. At the weekend, the superb 17th century covered market hosts a very fine market of small-scale local producers. My wife enjoys browsing in the antique shops, especially L’Empreinte, at 28 Place Isaac de Benserade. The ideal place to refine your interior decoration…

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : TOURNADRE

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Step 2 : 1 day, 1 night

Manoir des Saules

As Ovid wrote, ‘‘It is simple elegance that attracts us’’
Manoir des Saules
This is the story of an inn, turned into a grocery shop, then a country butcher’s, before being transformed into a splendid country house hotel. Owned by Michel Métot and Jean-Paul Monnaie, this Norman manor house with only eight bedrooms sets itself apart by its warm welcome and its refined decor. There is an exceptional collection of vintage mini-bars and a brand of champagne per room. www.manoirdessaules.com

Close to the property...

Rouen Cathedral

This is, of course, one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in France. It is also my local church, and just as spectacular inside as it is outside. It took three centuries to build (12th – 15th centuries) but it seems as though every time I’ve seen it, it has been under construction (it was damaged by Allied bombing raids and pollution). Monet, who depicted it in 28 paintings, made it internationally famous. His paintings have been projected onto the facades of the cathedral.

Saint-Marc market

This is the market I like to go to early in the morning. You can find absolutely everything here: roving vegetable sellers, producers who bring vegetables from their gardens, an excellent baker, fishmongers, and more. I buy black radishes or watercress for my own pleasure. Walking from stall to stall keeps me in touch with the products and the seasons. It gives me new desires… The market is also a focal point for the entire town, the bustling heart of Rouen on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday mornings.

Impressionist Normandy festival

This amazing festival was created in 2010, comprising about a hundred events across the region related to the Impressionist movement. In Rouen, there was a splendid exhibition entitled “Une ville pour l’impressionnisme: Monet, Gauguin et Pissarro à Rouen” [A city for impressionism: Monet, Gauguin and Pissarro in Rouen]. A second staging of the festival, the main theme of which will be water, is planned for spring 2013. More than ever, Normandy is known as the region of the great painters.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : TOURNADRE

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
Step 3 : 1 day, 1 night

La Ferme Saint-Siméon

The magical light that inspired the impressionists
La Ferme Saint-Siméon
It was here, in what was then nothing more than a simple inn, that the Honfleur school emerged, starting the Impressionist movement. The painters came here to discover the unique light and skies. Owned by Jean-Marie and Christine Boelen, the inn is today a splendid hotel, where guests in every season can enjoy the unique atmosphere which inspired Boudin, Monet and Courbet. www.fermesaintsimeon.fr

Close to the property...

Relais & Chateaux Restaurant Gill

We wanted to create a simple, elegant dining room, in which the food could take centre stage. I have always tried to create simple food, to “protect” the product in order to get the best out of it. To highlight what our region has to offer. Close to the Seine, with the scent of white orchids in the air, we are simply trying to capture a moment, and to offer the authentic taste of sole or pigeon…

Relais & chateaux Restaurant Gill

The Satie houses in Honfleur

Whenever I go to Honfleur, I feel like I’m on holiday. I love the atmosphere, the little harbour, the cobblestone streets and the old houses. This is the birthplace of the famous musician Erik Satie. You can visit the Satie houses, which offer a superb musical and visual tour evoking both the artist’s genius and his “madness”.

On the route...

Bec Hellouin organic farm

I recently discovered this magnificent organic farm, which now supplies me with fruit and vegetables. It was founded by two enthusiasts who contacted me. I went there, sampled the produce and immediately fell in love with the place. There are almost 800 varieties of herbs, vegetables, aromatic plants and fruits. It’s really an extraordinary place. www.fermedubec.com

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : TOURNADRE

Calling from another country ? Click here

Texts : © Guides Gallimard