Pack your picnic basket with a baguette, Camembert, a Normandy cider and a tarte au pommes, and head for the old town of Rouen. Relax on the bench at the foot of Rouen’s Notre Dame Cathedral where Monet stood with his easel and brushed his series of Cathedral images and bon appétit! If you are brave and maybe talented too take your charcoals with you and try your hand. If not take coffee on the pavement outside one of several little cafes, like Brasserie Paul, nearby to the sounds of the accordion. Inspiring.
On a sunny day wander into the garden of Le Grand Sapin in Villequier right on the banks of the Seine where you can dine on the lawn overlooking the river. On hot days sit in the shade of the magnificent magnolia tree. And as if enjoying great French food “au terrasse” is not enough, you will marvel at the most ginormous cargo ships that pass by gracefully on their way to and from the sea. Having first experienced this lovely family run hotel at the age of five with my parents, and more recently at the age of 55 with my husband, thankfully very little seems to have changed. After lunch take a short stroll along the river to the Musee Victor Hugo.
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