1 Hotel Vent d’Ouest
In the heart of Le Havre, among Auguste Perret’s now Unesco-listed postwar architecture, the Hotel Vent d’Ouest lives up to its maritime connections and many of the 35 rooms have seaside and seafaring themes. There are also three apartments with kitchens, living areas and bedrooms. The spa has a steam room and Spa Nuxe treatments. There is no restaurant, but lunch or dinner can be brought to your room or served in the lounge for an additional €35 (including breakfast).
Details: Doubles cost from €100, breakfast when booked separately from other meals €15
(00 33 2 35 42 50 69, ventdouest.fr) Many thanks for visiting. Before we carry on I need to to say thanks to http://www.recipeweb.co.uk/about/ for their continued assistance and the support of their local community. Having a help and support team like this means a lot to us as we continue to grow our personal blog.
2 Domaine Saint Clair
Just 40 minutes north of Le Havre, Étretat is famous for its white cliffs, which became a favourite subject of artists Claude Monet and Gustave Courbet, while the area became the “see and be seen” destination of the Belle Époque. This hotel celebrates these connections by naming each room after a personality, including Isadora Duncan and Marcel Proust. The hotel also has a heated outdoor pool and a spa. The restaurant uses local produce as well as vegetables from its garden. Details: Doubles cost from €90, breakfast €14
(00 33 2 35 27 08 23, chateauxhotels.com)
3 Hotel Particulier Poppa
Only 25 minutes from Caen, this stylish hotel in the centre of Bayeux is set in a former mansion house. It has just four spacious and elegant rooms with high ceilings and marble fireplaces, two of which have fabulous views of the cathedral. The largest of them was once the ballroom, and has a beautiful parquet floor and enormous bathroom decorated in black, white and gold. Inside the mansion’s central courtyard, guests can relax and admire the fruit trees and the kitchen garden.
Details: B&B doubles cost from €90 (00 33 2 31 22 41 90, hotel-poppa.com)
4 Château la Chenevière
Dating from the 18th century, the five-star Château la Chenevière has 29 spacious and individually styled rooms, many with fireplaces. Set in 12 acres of parkland, it has a pretty walled garden, a heated outdoor pool (set next to a beautiful glass house) and a tennis court. Its vegetable garden supplies the restaurant, in keeping with the hotel’s environmental policy. Just 30 minutes from Caen, it is close to Bayeux and the D-Day beaches for easy days out.
Details: Doubles cost from €220, breakfast buffet €25 (00 33 2 31 51 25 25, slh.com)
5 Château de Montreuil
Just a 50-minute dash south of Calais, the heavenly village of Montreuil-sur-Mer, whose cobbled streets inspired Victor Hugo to write Les Misérables, makes a great overnight stop or indeed a weekend in its own right. The Château de Montreuil is a charming 10-room hotel based in a manor house that was once the country retreat of the Wooster/Rothschild family. If you can book room 1, you’ll be rewarded with a four-poster bed and an enormous bathroom with a copper ceiling. The excellent restaurant serves locally sourced seafood and other local delicacies.
Details: Doubles cost from €210, breakfast from €19
(00 33 3 21 81 53 04, chateaudemontreuil.com)
6 Hotel de la Matelote
The four-star Matelote is another great place to stay on the Opal Coast, and its one-Michelin-star restaurant attracts foodies. Its chef, Tony Lestienne, is the great-great-grandson of Clémence Lestienne, Boulogne’s bearded lady who was as well known for her gingerbread as her whiskers (yes, really). The hotel itself has 35 comfortable rooms, as well as an excellent relaxation suite, with a swimming pool, hot tub, hammam and sauna, and is right opposite Boulogne’s main attraction — its superb Nausicaä aquarium.
Details: Doubles cost from €105, breakfast from €15.50 (00 33 3 21 30 33 33, la-matelote.com)
7 Hotel Atlantic
For a breath of fresh sea air, you can’t do better than the Hotel Atlantic, which is — contrary to what its name suggests — literally a stone’s throw from the English Channel. Set on the seafront at Wimereux, just 25 minutes down the coast from Calais, its 18 boutique rooms each have a sea view and some have a terrace. It has two restaurants; a bistro-style eaterie offering quick, simple meals, and a more gastronomic affair with a menu that is 90 per cent seafood. The hotel also has a wellness centre, which offers massages and other treatments.
Details: Doubles cost from €140, breakfast €15.50
(00 33 3 21 32 41 01, atlantic-delpierre.com)
8 Chambre d’hôtes Caps et Marais d’Opale
In the heart of the pleasant town of St-Omer — which is 40 minutes inland from both Calais and Dunkirk – this pretty five-roomed B & B makes a cosy getaway. Set in a 19th-century manor house, the rooms are decorated in florals and neutral tones. A couple of them have views over the aptly named River Aa, and there is a pretty garden to relax in.
Details: B&B doubles cost from €60
(00 33 3 21 93 89 82, chambresdhotes-opale.com)
9 Une Partie de Campagne
This vegetarian B&B is 50 minutes from Dieppe and offers a rustic welcome among cider orchards and grazing pastures. Its two rooms are beautifully decorated in neutral tones and are the ideal place to switch off from the world (there’s no TV). Evening meals are simple table d’hôte affairs with home-made vegetarian meals, while breakfast comprises home-made bread and pastries, home-made yoghurt and organic apple juice.
Details: B&B doubles cost €65, evening meal €20pp
(00 33 2 35 79 83 71, chambredhotes-normandie.fr)
10 Le Carré Quartz
Perched on a hill overlooking Normandy’s Alabaster Coast at Pourville-sur-Mer, just 15 minutes from Dieppe, the new Carré Quartz has three stylish and minimalist bedrooms in grey, black and white. Two of the rooms have views across the white cliffs and out to sea. Set in landscaped gardens among cypress pines, the black, modern building also offers a shared living space, with a kitchen-diner — where breakfast is served — and a large deck with breathtaking views.
Details: B&B doubles cost from €99 per night, with a two-night minimum
(00 33 6 77 30 87 54, pourville-sur-mer.com/FR-CarreQuartz.htm)
11 Le Landemer
You can’t get much closer to the sea than at the newly refurbished Le Landemer, which is perched at the end of a beautiful beach on the Cotentin peninsula, only six miles (10km) from Cherbourg. The refit was done to mark the hotel’s 150th anniversary, and its heritage as a bolthole for such luminaries as Claude Monet, Édith Piaf and Boris Vian. Its ten bedrooms all have a sea view, with the four superior rooms housed in the longère to the side, each with a sea terrace and a private garden at the back. The restaurant is in the conservatory, and also enjoys spectacular views.
Details: Doubles cost from €90, breakfast €15.50
(00 33 2 33 04 05 10, le-landemer.com)
12 Manoir de Beaucron
Set at the heart of the Cotentin and Bessin regional park, 40 minutes south of Cherbourg, this 16th-century manor house is an ideal hideaway for birders, with all four of its rooms being named after birds. Reached via an elegant, spiral stone staircase, the rooms are decorated in tasteful tones of beige and raspberry. Anne-Laure Guerche, the helpful host, treats her guests to a delicious breakfast of fresh bread and croissants, fruit juice, home-made jam and rice pudding. The Manoir is within easy reach of the D-Day beaches, Mont-Saint-Michel and Bayeux.
Detail: B&B doubles cost from €75 (00 33 2 33 42 40 25,manoirdebeaucron.com)
13 Bruce Castle
Though this neoclassical mansion nine miles south of Cherbourg is linked to the kings of Scotland, on account of it being built on their ancestral land, Bruce Castle is a French treat. The house is packed with antiques gathered together by its friendly hosts, the Fontanets. The three spacious bedrooms boast chandeliers, gilt-framed portraits and oriental rugs, along with enormous bathrooms. Breakfast is served in the dining room, where the table is laid with white porcelain and silver cutlery.
Details: B&B doubles cost from €110
(00 33 2 33 41 99 62, bruce-castle.com)
14 Manoir de la Fieffe
It’s hard to believe that the tranquil Manoir de la Fieffe B&B is less than 15 minutes from the ferry terminal, but what better place to host you for a weekend over the Channel? The four spacious bedrooms are decorated in neutral tones, with objets d’arts and fascinating finds from around the world. Outside, Emmanuel de La Fonchais, one of the two hosts, is making the most of his experience as a rare-plant nursery owner to create his own botanical garden.
Details: B&B doubles cost from €100
(00 33 2 33 20 81 45, manoirdelafieffe.com)
15 Hotel le Nouveau Monde
This 83-room, four-star hotel on the seafront will make you feel like you’ve stepped aboard a cruise liner. With a nautical theme, complete with wallpaper, lanterns, and beautiful colonial-style furniture, it makes you feel you’re on a seafaring adventure. Many rooms have balconies overlooking the beach — the perfect place to play ship’s captain.
Details: Doubles cost from €114, breakfast €19
(00 33 2 99 40 75 14, hotel-le-nouveau-monde.com)
The ultramodern four-star Oceania hotel boasts a fantastic beachside location and is just a few minutes’ walk from the town centre, but with so many mod cons you may not be able to tear yourself away. The achingly cool rooms are decorated in clean lines, crisp whites and cool greys, and boast plasma screen TVs and Nespresso machines, and some even have a whirlpool bath. Elsewhere in the hotel, you can indulge in a massage, relax in the hot tub, or sip cocktails.
Details: Doubles cost from €95, breakfast €11
(00 33 2 99 56 84 84, oceaniahotels.co.uk)
17 Hotel France Chateaubriand
Set just inside the walls of St Malo, this charming 19th-century French hotel has a striped awning and tricolore flags fluttering above its own bistro, plus 80 spacious rooms. Some are more recently decorated than others, but 20 offer sea views over the town’s impressive fortifications. This hotel makes a perfect base for exploring the town.
Details: Doubles cost from €87, breakfast €12
(00 33 2 99 56 66 52, hotel-chateaubriand-st-malo.com)
18 Hotel aux Tamaris
The pretty seaside town of Roscoff is classed as a Petite Cité de Caractere and makes for a lovely weekend destination or a great starting point for a holiday in Brittany. At the heart of the town, the Hotel aux Tamaris — which is more a chambre d’hotes than a hotel — has four serene rooms all with a seaside theme. With neutral tones, livened up with celtic tartans and delicately painted wall murals, each room has its own character. Guests can make the most of a relaxing thalassotherapy session at a nearby spa and feel the benefits of a seaside stay.
Details: Doubles cost from €59, breakfast from €6
(00 33 2 98 61 22 99, hotel-aux-tamaris.com)
19 Hotel le Brittany & Spa
Set on the small Sainte-Barbe peninsula overlooking the Ile de Batz, this 17th-century former granite merchant’s house was rebuilt stone by stone in 1974. As if its position wasn’t relaxing enough — in perfect sight of fishing boats going out to sea — the 23-room hotel boasts a state-of-the-art spa, where the therapies use seaweed collected from a Unesco-listed world biosphere reserve for their high concentrations of minerals and vitamins. For nutrition of the gastronomic kind, take a table at the one-Michelin-starred restaurant, The Yachtsman, and savour chef Loïc Le Bail’s delicious seafood menus.
Details: Doubles cost from €140, breakfast €21
(00 33 2 98 69 70 78, hotel-brittany.com)
20 Hotel Chez Janie
This fun and friendly hotel perches on Roscoff’s harbour front and has just 16 rooms. As the former meeting place for the Onion Johnnies (the bicycle-pushing, beret-wearing onion sellers of the 19th century) before they set sail for England, the hotel is proud of its Breton heritage. The whole place is decorated in a lively blend of red, orange, grey and white, with Breton sayings painted on the walls. Guests can also enjoy access to the Hotel Le Brittany’s spa.
Details: B&B doubles cost from €79 (00 33 2 98 61 24 25,chezjanie.fr)
Channel crossings — the lowdown
Calais (from Dover/Folkestone)
Eurotunnel (eurotunnel.com) takes 35 minutes and costs from £23 per car each way with up to nine passengers
MyFerryLink (0844 2482 100, myferrylink.com) has 90-minute crossings from £45 each way for a car and up to nine passengers, or £35 for a day return
P&O (08716 64 64 64, POferries.com) has 90-minute crossings from £39 each way for a car and up to nine passengers
DFDS Seaways (0871 574 7235, dfdsseaways.co.uk) has 90-minute crossings from £39 each way for a car and up to nine passengers
DFDS Seaways runs 2-hr crossings from Dover for a car and up to nine passengers from £39 each way
DFDS Seaways has 4-hr crossings from Newhaven from £78 each way for a car and up to two passengers
Brittany Ferries (0871 244 0744, brittanyferries.com) has crossings from Portsmouth which take 3 hr 45 minutes and 5 hr 30 minutes, with fares for a car and two passengers from £168 return
Brittany Ferries has 6-hr crossings from Portsmouth from £210 return for a car and two passengers
Brittany Ferries has 3-hr crossings from Portsmouth from £238 return for a car and two passengers. The Poole route takes 4 hr 30 minutes and costs from £224 return for a car and two passengers
Condor Ferries (0845 609 1024, condorferries.co.uk) has crossings from Portsmouth which take 6 hr 15 minutes, with a car and two passengers paying £99 each way
Brittany Ferries runs crossings from Portsmouth which take 8 hr 45 minutes from £293 return for a car and two passengers
Brittany Ferries runs a 6-hr route from Plymouth; from £248 return for a car and two passengers