Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

Normandy 4: La Route du Cidre

I spent my birthday on the Cider Trail.

This is a 40-kilometre route through the area around Cambremer, the Cider Capital of Cider Country. It's really meant for cycling and was a rather quick tour on motorbikes, but we enjoyed the dusty little roads as they jogged along through apple orchards and quaintly-named villages like Bonnebosq and St. Ouen-Le-Pin. Acting on a tip from cider-loving friends, we chose the criminally pretty Beuvron-en-Auge for a lunch of galettes.

A leaflet from the tourist information centre lists cider makers along the route. Wherever you see the 'Cru de Cambremer' sign (the appellation d'origine contrôlée which guarantees quality), you are encouraged to stop off, sample the cider, Calvados and pommeau (an aperitif made by blending Calvados and apple juice), and, at certain farms, inspect the manufacturing equipment.

We rode past several of these establishments, spotting the signs too late, so when we spied one directing us up a farm track we seized upon it. At the top we found a perfectly ordinary-looking house and waited in the garage looking at a display of cider bottles until the owner shuffled in to check us out.

I'm going to assume for the sake of my ego that he was deaf, because he couldn't understand a word I said. We could taste, he told us, but we couldn't visit; in our excitement we had forgotten to check whether his place was one of those offering a tour.

Attempts to communicate became more and more awkward until we bought a bottle of cider out of shame, and fled.

"Merci," I said as we left.


We made certain that the next stop on the trail was visitable, and followed the sign with some trepidation. We came to a half-timbered farmhouse with a gleaming pond, a riot of flowers scrambling over an old cider press, and a cream Labrador who wheezed cheerfully at us around the bone he refused to put down.

The owner was a brisk lady who didn't speak English but whose French was very clear and who - hurrah! - understood mine too. I asked several pointless questions for the sheer joy of interaction. Along with a Swedish couple, we examined the old machinery, inspected the Calvados distillery, sampled everything in the shop and walked away with drinkable souvenirs.

I somehow forgot to take any photos, but the first picture on this page is the one.
Tags: cider, france, hols

  • Just Like The Moonraker

    I've been continuing to build model kits, mostly of vehicles from the Bond films, as a way of passing the lockdown hours. Soon after Christmas I…

  • Bangs in Beer

    I spent the weekend in my support bubble, i.e. down at Howard's. We took the bikes for a much-needed scenic ride along the coast into Devon, stopping…

  • Wonderous Stories

    Monday was my friend Nick's funeral, postponed for a month due to bad weather on the original date. I'll admit I relished the opportunity for a…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.