Taking inspiration from the picturesque beauty of it its location on the banks of the River Serthe, artists flock to Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei all year round. When you have scoured the galleries, walked through the medieval lanes, stared at the frescoes in the ancient church and prayed for a miracle in the saint's chapel, take a break for lunch at L'Auberge des Peintres. More bistro than fine dining room, it's a friendly place to while away a couple of hours over a bottle of wine. As you happily chat to competent waiters in the relaxed atmosphere, it's not a bad idea to try the local Calvados either.
This is a popular place, so book before you go.
Le bourg, 61250 Saint-Ceneri-le-Gerei, France
Google map: bit.ly/MidK1w
We discovered the Auberge des Peintres in the picturesque hamlet of Saint-Ceneri -Le-Gerei on an overnight stop in Normandy. Situated on the main square in a building dating back some 300 years, the bistro’s wood panelled walls were hung with canvasses of local painters, continuing a long association with writers and artists including Baudelaire. All the old favourites were on the menu. Starters included rilettes de maquereaux, ouefs cocotte, pates and salads. Juicy pave de boeuf, pink magret de canard, creamy gratin de mer, andouilletes, boudin noir, and cote de boeuf were but some of the mains. The joys of chocolate fondant, charlottes and tarte tatin followed. Prices were reasonable for the excellent cooking. Best visited in the evening when day trippers have left and a pre-dinner stroll takes in the frescoed, Romanesque church, a beautiful stone bridge under which kayaks glide, wild flower gardens and Les Jardins de la Mansoniere, a garden in which candlelit classical music concerts are hosted in summer.
Le Bourg, 61250 St Ceneri le Gerei, France
Google map: bit.ly/wMIn2g
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