Normandybandb’s Weblog

April 20, 2009

Tales from our Normandy Bed and Breakfast-Visit to Crosville Chateau

Filed under: Uncategorized — normandybandb @ 6:57 am

Our garden is almost in full bloom, the expanse of yellow daffodils have given way to an abundance of bluebells. The various trees form apple, pear, fig, cherry and hazelnut are in blossom or displaying green leaves. We have never seen our garden looking so good and are still introducing more plants and were lucky to be given a baby bay tree by our friends Martine and Pierre-Yves, which we hope to split into three pots.


This weekend we visited the plant festival at Chareau Crosville. There were thousands of plants and flowers on display with many rare varieties that we had not seen before. The chateau is owned by a very courageous and strong willed woman called Michele.


As a child she visited the abandoned chateau which was left to ruin for 250 years. She is on a mission to restore the Chateau and has already made quite a lot of progress. We were able to walk around the chateau and see the amazing work that has already been done and the plans for future restoration. The Chateau is definitely worth a visit to see the original frescos on the doors, walls and ceilings as well as a birds eye view of Normandy from the castle keep.


Damian & Steve

La Mare Palu

+33 2 33 42 03 54


April 6, 2009

Tales from our Normandy bed and breakfast: The legend of Pirou Castle

Filed under: Uncategorized — normandybandb @ 9:56 am

This week we went to Pirou castle which is under renovation. Built on an island surrounded by a moat in the 12th century you have to pass through five fortified gates. Legend has it that when the owners were faced with a fierce Norman attack they transformed themselves into geese to escape. The assailants stormed the castle after a day of silence only to find it deserted except for a frail old man in bed. The tragedy was that the magic formula had been burnt with the castle and they were unable to turn themselves back. The geese return every year in the hope of the formula being restored.


On the outside of the castle is the original bakery, cider press and stables. In the chapel there is the excellent Pirou Tapestry depicting the Normans conquering the south of Italy. The tapestry is in the same design as the Bayeux Tapestry.


The castle itself has high ramparts where you have an impressive view over the Normandy countryside.


Visit their website at the following link.

For more information visit our website at

March 23, 2009

Tales from our Normandy bed and breakfast: Cycling in the nature reserve

Filed under: Uncategorized — normandybandb @ 11:15 am

Another gorgeous sunny week at our Chambres dhotes near Carentan Normandy. We have been out and about on our bikes. The scenery is stunning and the cycle paths well thought out. From the disused railway tracks that provided a flat and elevated view of the Normandy countryside to the winding tracks around the villages and nature reserves. Cycling is a great way to see the real Normandy and points of interest that you may not notice in a car.


We went to our monthly French/Anglo evening. We have been adopted by a lovely group of French people who this week were teaching us some slang. Ouget who is old enough to be our Grand mother was teaching us some rather racy phrases and even accompanied them by making drawings on her napkins. We had a great time and look forward to next month’s soiree.

All of this sunny weather means that the garden is ablaze of yellow from the hundreds of daffodils to primroses and forsythia. Next month it will change to the blue of the bluebells that are already coming up. The new hedges have been laid and the garden is becoming more established.

March 16, 2009

Tales from our Normandy bed and breakfast. More gardening

Mont St Michel is such a magnificent place that we decided to publish a few more photos. It really is worth a visit.



Again the sun has been shinning. We have been digging out the borders and planting some new plants from our favourite garden centre. The grass has been mown for the first time this year and it feels like summer already. Flowers are popping up everywhere and the new hedge has taken well.



Because the evenings are getting lighter we have spent more time in the garden this week than in the house and have enjoyed every minute.

Till next week

Damian & Steve

La Mare Palu

Normandy B&B

March 9, 2009

Tales from our Normandy bed and breakfast. Spring is here>

Filed under: Uncategorized — normandybandb @ 12:14 pm

This week at our bed and breakfast in Normandy we have been enjoying the early spring weather. We have been having our dinner sat outside on the patio set watching the birds courting each other with intricate dances. There is nothing like blue skies, the warmth of the sun on your face and the sound of nature preparing for the summer.


We took some friends to Mont St Michel and the views were amazing. We walked all around the ramparts exploring the medieval architecture and getting an understanding into how they use to live. Mont St Michel must be one of our favourite places to visits amazing us every `time.


The daffodils are in full bloom and bringing a lovely splash of yellow colour to the gardens. We have been busy in the garden with new plants and hedges and will update with more information in the next blog.

Damian & Steve

La Mare Palu Normandy B&B

February 9, 2009

Tales from our Normandy bed and breakfast. Snow in Normandy

Filed under: Uncategorized — normandybandb @ 9:48 am


This week we saw a few days of snow which converted the farmhouse into a winter wonderland. Whilst we were wrapped up warm in the B&B we made sure that the local wildlife were properly cared for. Our favourite Robin who often follows us around the garden when we are digging up worms was quick to appear at our window. Wrapping up warm and with our wellies we made sure that the birdbath was not frozen. The Robin has never taken any scraps that we have put out and demands that we dig up the soil for fresh Normandy worms.


Once we were sure our Robin was taken care of we turned our attentions to the frog pond. We research on the internet about the frogs hibernation and needs. We discovered that to survive the winter in the soil at the bottom of the pond our frogs burrow into the mud. Although the water gets cold it is preferable to a large pond with larger fish that might eat them. To survive the winter they reduce their heart beat and although they can absorb oxygen in the water through their skin we made a hole in the pond ice just to be sure.


Damian & Steve

La Mare Palu

Normandy bed and breakfast

January 19, 2009

Tales from our Normandy Bed and Breakfast. Full Moon and the weather


Despite advanced weather forecasts the weather stations can only predict a short time in advance and then not always accurately. Here in Normandy we have been informed by our farmer nieghbour that they still predict the weather using old methods.


Apparently the Moon which we know has a direct effect upon the tides can affect the weather also. An old standing Normandy belief is that the number of full moons in a given year either 12 or 13 can predict if it will be a good summer.


We discovered this old rhyme about the moon and will be monitoring it  over the year to see if it is true.

Clear Moon, frost soon.

The Full Moon eats the clouds away.

Dark mist over the Moon is a promise of rain.

A Red Moon is a sure sign of high winds.

And should the Moon wear a halo of red, a tempest is nigh.

Many rings around the Moon signal a series of severe blasts.

When the New Moon holds the Old Moon in her lap, expect fair weather.

Sharp horns on the Sickle Moon indicate strong winds.

The heaviest rains fall following the New and the Full Moons.

When the moon’s horns point up, the weather will be dry.

Pale Moon doth rain, Red Moon doth blow,

White Moon doth neither, Rain nor snow.

A bientot

Damian & Steve

January 12, 2009

Tales from our Normandy Bed and Breakfast: Learning the French language

Filed under: Uncategorized — normandybandb @ 2:15 pm

This week at the B&B we have been busy catching up on our French homework. After the Christmas holidays when we relaxed and enjoyed the festivities we have got back down to conjugating our verbs and rolling our R’s. Living in a foreign country can be both exciting and also daunting. The language barriers are often overcome with a smile and a bit of patience on both parties’ parts.


We have had many funny anecdotes from using the wrong word or phrase and have made some good friends in situations that could have been difficult even with a good command of the language.

Learning the French language will be an ongoing adventure for us and we hope will keep our little grey cells alive. Having had French lessons in the UK before we moved to France we can honestly say that it is far easier when you are learning French in France as it is an everyday occurrence.


We are lucky with our French classes. The local Major has donated three class rooms when the school is closed on Wednesday afternoons. The French teachers donate their time for free (They must be mad) and our fees go to a local charity. It is a fun and friendly environment and we are happy to say that after a year we have progressed up a class.


If anyone is interested in learning French we have just found a good site on the internet by the BBC for all levels. It includes video clips with translations and quizzes. Why not take a look at the following link:

A bientot

Damian & Steve


January 5, 2009

Tales from a Normandy Bed and Breakfast. Welcome 2009!!

A new year has been rung in and after a happy 2008 we are looking forward to a new season at our bed and breakfast in Normandy France. We have just received a CD with holiday photos from one of our guests who came from America. We thought that it would be a nice way to look back on last year and show what there is to do and see in Normandy France.

Bayeux Tapestry


Over a thousand years old. The story of the battle of Hastings in 1066 is depicted on this fascinating tapestry that has survived fire, war and theft. The displays and movie get you ready before you discover the fascinating facts shown in pictorial form. The town of Bayeux itself is worth a visit in its own right with its architecture and shops. About 30 minutes from our b and b . Many people don’t realise how much there is to see and do in Normandy and create a last minute package that is fun packed.

D Day Landing Beaches


Moving, educational and not to be missed. The heroic events of D Day 6th June 1944 are recorded in the heart of the land from the beaches of Utah & Omaha and villages and towns. The major event that was to be the turn of World War Two is well documented and depicted in the museums as well as the haunting cemeteries.

Mont St Michel

A UNESCO world heritage site and the second most visited place in France. Mont St Michel was created after Bishop Aubert of Avranches had a vision from Archangel Michel that ordered him to build a sanctuary on the isolated granite rock that is surrounded by the sea when the tide is in. Completed in 708 the monastery was founded in the 10th century. Not only historically interesting but the view and architecture are breathtaking.

Enjoying French culture, food and wine!!


Thanks to Floyd for sending us these pictures and for being great guests.

For more information about Normandy and our bed and breakfast visit our website at or contact us at email

December 8, 2008

Tales from our Normandy bed and breakfast. Tribute to a D Day Veteran.

In June 2008 we were proud to have at our bed and breakfast in Normandy a veteran of the D Day Landings, Eddie Moore.

Eddie Moore. D Day Veteran

Eddie Moore. D Day Veteran

He had the energy of a whole regiment, the laughter of a thousand comedians and the humbleness of a monk. We were so touched by Eddie that we created a special page on our bed and breakfast website about his visit

He was stopped where ever he went and became a celebrity in the true sense of the word not like today’s reality wanabees. Eddie had retuned to visit his friends graves which was an emotional time for him and us. After he left we managed to get away form the bed and breakfast and spent an afternoon at the British war graves. There were rows upon rows of white graves, in a quite place next to a Normandy field. It was a special moment and opportunity to reflect on those who had died so that we could freely walk through Normandy and Europe.

Unknown Soldiers Grave

So far we have counted 25 sites dedicated to the history of the D Day landings in our area, from museums to actual trenches and batteries to memorials and re-enactments.

In addition there are grave sites of various nationalities dotted throughout Normandy. We have compiled information about these that you can download from our site at

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