This is rural bliss just 15 minutes from bustling Rouen. Its soaring Gothic cathedral (painted many times by Monet), fascinating medieval quarter, ancient churches, museums and vibrant cultural life make it one of Normandy’s most engaging destinations.
You stay with Jérôme and Patricia in their elegant 17th-century manor house. This was Jérôme’s family home and it’s filled with heirlooms, ancestral portraits and antiques. Even the curtains have been reproduced from a fragment of grand-mère’s fabric by Parisian designers. One suite is on the ground floor, its windows opening to a walled garden; the second is in the attic. Breakfast is continental: croissants, homemade jams, yogurt and fruit compote – you eat in the pretty green-panelled room which has an open fire crackling on chilly days.
A long path leads down to the Seine: perfect for an evening stroll. In nearby St Martin there’s a fabulous Abbey with gardens which has two cafés that serve drinks and light meals. The Seine national park is all around for forest and river walks.