The gite in Le Bec suited our needs very well: plenty of space inside and outside. The cars were safely parked off the road and it was not far into the village, where we sampled wonderful food at La Crepe dans le Bec and the Restaurant de la Tour. We attended Mass in the Abbey on Ascension Day, which was an unexpected highlight. We took in trips to Giverny and Monet's Garden, Honfleur, Lisieux and Bernay, plus some more relaxing days.
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We have enjoyed short breaks on 3 occassions at the Normandy Gite, all during winter months and have not been dissapointed at all.
Set on a quiet road leading into the village of Le Bec Hellouin this gite is equally ideal for people who want to relax and recharge the batteries or are looking to use as a base to discover the many gems the Normandy region has to offer.
If your forte is to conjure up a nice meal then it's market day in Pont Audemer on a Friday, get there before midday to pick up some local cuisine to cook up back at the gite that evening...take a stroll around the medieval town whilst you are there and marvel at the river that flows between local residents houses...sit in the local tabac with a coffee and watch people go about their business!
Honfleur is about 40 mins drive away and great for a day out. Enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants around the old harbour or visit the landing beaches and military batteries towards Caen.
Brionne is the nearest town which comes alive on market day (Sunday), you can buy your Sunday roast straight from the rotisserie!! The lake at Brionne offers facilities for swimming/watersports with walking paths around it's perimeter.
We enjoyed the short circular walk from the gite...turn right when you leave the front gates and walk along the road until you get to the voie-verte...turn left and walk the old railway line back to the Abbaye at Le Bec Hellouin...here you can wander around rhe Abbaye grounds or stop at one of the bar/restaurants in the village for a little refreshment before the short walk back to the gite. The voie-verte is 23km in total and runs all the way to Evreux, great for a bike ride!
For me the absence of a TV in the gite is great, time is spent communicating with friends/family and playing some of the many games that the owners have provided...that's not to say that you can't keep up with the outside world as free wifi is available to use.
The focal point in the lounge is undoubtedly the Norman fireplace with it's log burner...sit down on a winters evening and get the fire lit and let the flickering flames relax you (along with a glass of something fruit based).
The bedrooms/main bathroom located upstairs are spacious and clean, with great views of the surrounding countryside from the windows.
The property is located on a slope and this is part of it's appeal, it would prove difficult for people with limited mobility. However the garden at the front of the house is well maintained and the owners encourage their guests to use the feeds located in the garage to top up the bird feeders, you can then sit and watch from the lounge or outside terrace as the local wildlife visit for a meal.
Myself and my wife have enjoyed all 3 visits to the Normandy Gite, we have found this to be a great retreat to rest, relax and sample some of the fine cuisine that France has to offer.
On our most recent visit in February 2015 we brought some friends with us and they fell in love with the gite as well! We have booked again and will travel as an even bigger party in December!
My thanks to owners Helen and David for being so helpful with suggestions and local knowledge to help make our stay the most enjoyable experience.
Looking forward to our next visit and hope to return many more times thereafter!
Mark & Christine from Bournemouth
We truly enjoyed our stay in this scenic location. A well equipped and comfortable cottage offering more space than needed for the five of us. Set in a very pretty village with amenities for dining nearby it was a great location for touring. We were able to take in Giverny, Honfleur, Bayeaux, Normandy beaches, Rouen and many pretty towns and markets. A memorable week. The weather was excellent and waking to the sound of birds and the Abbey bells was enchanting. The Internet phone meant my daughter was able to keep in good contact with her two sons back home each evening. Thank you Helen.
Very good Gite for our party of four adults and a baby. Enough beds for four more people, but the living accommodation would perhaps then be a bit cramped. Well situated on a quiet road just outside the village. Three or four eateries within walking distance.
Steep steps to the house make it unsuitable for the very elderly or less able.
Some problems with the electricity tripping out, but the owner was available, concerned, and helpful. Didn't spoil our holiday, just a matter of knowing where the trip switches were. We got a fair refund for the inconvenience, and I understand repairs are imminent.
Would very happily go back, and would recommend.
We loved spending a few nights at the french gite over half term. Gite located in a beautiful french village - we spend three days in France - we did a day trip to the Normandy beaches (D-day beaches) and a day trip to Paris.
The house was great - there was just us and our two kids but could have easily had more people there. Good and fast communication with Helen - the overall experience was a pleasant one!