Travel to Normandy, the paradise of Paris

An emerald green expanse, a couple of cows and in the middle a farm from the eighteenth century. My husband and I could not help it. Goodbye Paris, our lives are here today”, Says Sylvia Merel, owner of Domaine de la Lochetièreone hotel house in the heart of Perche in Normandy.

Travel to Normandy, a paradise for Parisians

It is one of several neorural who has left the metropolis (the capital is 150 kilometers away), conquered by houses with thatched roofs, by horses grazing, by lonely castles, by the peace of the countryside.

A landscape that attracts Parisians looking for calmer rhythms than the hectic ones that the capital imposes. There’s even one organization, itEmbassy of Perche (, which helps to fit in acourusthe hasty, as the people of Normandy call those who move here.

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On weekends in the Perche

Even the blog On weekends in the Perchecreated by Sylvia Merel herself, is a treasure trove of suggestions on how to take advantage of the many leisure opportunities.

According to the study French style of life, carried out by the analysis company Nielsen, 44 percent of transalpines actually dream of living in the countryside. As the newspaper writes Le Monde“The myth of the village is more alive than ever”.

In this country, almost completely protected park, you live in symbiosis with nature, in a landscape that seems straight out of a history book: hills, forests, plains of heather and broom, large meadows that embrace farms, remote monasteries and villages with the stone houses so perfect that they seem carved.

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A place for the soul

A place of the soul, where paddlers glide on kayaks in clear ponds, fishermen lurk along silvery streams to catch record-breaking prey, cyclists try their hand at mountain bikes along forest trails.

The Perche region is also a perfect place for an energy bath in the woods on the saddle of the magnificent Percherons from the gray, white or black cloak, the horses that the knights used already in the time of the Crusades are today the protagonists of the weekend of the Ascension of Christ. Perchevala festival dating back to the Middle Ages.

Steps from the mansions you will discover aviaries, pergolas, gardens, rustic inns serving traditional dishes, bastions from a childhood where all French people can identify.

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Calvados and go to petanque

Winds of acacia and roses, in spring, flood linden trees, ripe vines, tanned wheat in summer this little Amazon. The furrows of the threshing machines along the sheep paths, the cultivated fields and the slices scattered here and there create geometric puzzles. And in the secret gardens, the honeysuckle fights with the bougainvillea a peeling wall.

To the madness of the Côte d’Azur, Perche responded with intimacy, silence, intact nature. The Rhythms is an old-fashioned holiday at the cafes where politics are discussed while drinking a cider or a Calvados, the local aperitifs.

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The most important event is not the secular parties, but the games at petanquebowls, in the squares, and above all the markets, as it is on Saturdays between eighteenth-century palaces in Mortagne-au-Perche, where Collectif Why, a group of new farmers, offers baskets of organic vegetables, goat cheese, yogurt and farm butter.

In the Chez Émilie et Yan workshop

Next door, stalls of handmade fabrics. The Chez Émilie et Yan store has opened on piazza Notre-Dame, a restored room in wood and stone, where you can stock up on Neufchâtel, the oldest of Norman cheeses, Calvados jellies, apple juice.

A ritual stop for a glass is La Vie En Rougethe accommodating wine bar Philippe Ribaut, former rugby player; in the workshop Un antiquaire et une photographere dans le Perche, Parisian Carole Descordes, photographer and painter, exhibits her works inspired by Perche’s nature.

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Dinner at the Pigmalion restaurant

A few steps away, the Pigmalion restaurant is a guarantee thanks to chef Charley Peignoux, ten years with Parisian lead guy Guy Savoy, who offers foie gras pool (stirred foie gras), fried lamb shank with caramelized vegetables, whole roasted suckling pig. Ground floor, gourmandise handmade to bring the taste of Perche home.

They are due to the avant-garde who landed here hotel house charming, antique shops, gourmet restaurants where chefs revisit old recipes.

A few minutes from the center, the Parisian architect Vincent Louis Voinchet has transformed one longerthe typical farmhouse, in hotel house more spectacular than Normandy, Maison Ceronne, with swimming pools in black marble, high-tech cinema room, lamps yearkitchen based on market products.

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Sweet cakes with mushrooms and wrought iron

A parade of art galleries announces Bellême, lovely town on a promontory, the houses of the seventeenth century with colored facades, the wrought iron balconies, the arcades, the gripping rue Ville Clos with hotel special.

From Piazza Europa, sweeping views of the rooftops and the sixteenth-century Saint Sauveur Church, with the main ship surpassed by a structure in the form of an inverted ship. All around, the forest populated by fallow deer and migratory birds.

Times are slow, almost Mediterranean-like in the villages, from which paths start, leading between villages, churches with pointed bell towers.

Postcard village

The village of La Perrière is a postcard of the placefamous a century ago for the manufacture of fillet pearlan embroidery technique exported worldwide by Paul Poiret, the great French tailor who liberated women from the corset.

Hidden in the labyrinth of the narrow streets are the houses of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries of the old embroiderers, covered with wisteria. Higher up, towards the church, the view sweeps 360 degrees over the mosaic of cultivated fields, where 17 bell towers sprout forth.

On the square, La Maison d’Horbé is the refuge of acourus like the designer Chantal Thomass, a pioneer in the field of green emigration: tea room, flea market and restaurant, where dishes are served with local ingredients, such as animella with mushrooms, but also Saint-Jacques shells with truffles and scrambled eggs or the mullet terrine with asparagus.

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The passion of horses

It is inspired by a ranch Le Bistrot des Ecuries in Cour-Maugis-sur-Huisne, owned by two horse lovers, Ulli Rudolph and Florence Lambert. Here you can rent a stallion and gallop on the surrounding hills, but also enjoy one of the dishes all housefrom the garden to the chicken coop, in the restaurant located in the barn.

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Neo-Gothic windows and cottages in the woods

However, to experience the thrill of riding a Percheron, head to the Perch’Orizon equestrian center in Moutiers-au-Perche. And treat yourself to a ride in the saddle with a companion, surrounded by silence, towards the hills and the church of Notre-Dame du Mont-Harou, a historical monument.

There are many other suggestions from this region. Like the road winding through flower fields towards the village of La-Chapelle-Montligeon: in the middle of the green sea, it suddenly appears and looks like a mirage, the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Montligeon, neo-Gothic architecture with Art Nouveau stained glass windows, a traditional pilgrimage destination.

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That Route des Forêts et Belles Demeuresabout 70 kilometers long, which crosses the state-owned forest Senonches and among forests and ponds skirts glorious domain (gods) comand La Potinière, Le Bois-Josse, La Gadelière, from the year 1000, overlooking the Avre valley and the village of Rueil-La-Gadelière, an idyllic corner, a stop for cyclists and walkers.

It is also a discovery there Route des Brocantesthe legendary 923, charged by antique dealers in half of France. You can stop at Broc Izzy, along 223, which gathers about twenty merchants and div. unpackingsale at wholesale prices of Art Deco vases, kitchenware, terrine, coffee tables, Art nouveau lamps.

The owners of Maison Maleyrand, a fascinating eighteenth-century residence in Mortagne-au-Perche, took advantage of this with boiserie, fireplaces, furnished for more than thirty years of purchase. The result is three rooms, set up with pieces yearoverlooking a lush garden.

Flower gardens and grain magazines

The most surprising place is in Bubertré: next to a seventeenth-century mansion with a flower garden and a granary with thick stone walls, it has been expertly restored and transformed into the Chez Nous Campagne, an enchanting concept storeby a journalist and photographer from lifestyle and his partner.

Here you will find items to decorate the most romantic homes, but also accessories by designers like Delphe, who creates silver jewelry, and Julie Oginsky with her fabric guitars.

Then you can seek refuge in cabane located in the foliage of the trees at Chateau de La Grande Noë, in the middle of a centenary park: in Paradiseon a beech tree 16 meters high with a view of the castle and the towers, or in Sunseton a 200-year-old oak.

L ‘Echauguette, with mezzanine it is perfect for a family. Among the amenities, the dinner that comes from the kitchens at the castle.

A flat of apple blossoms as far as the eye can see announces Domaine du Ruisseau, a farm in Boissy-Maugis.

The fermented cider from control of original originin fact the champagne of the cider, has won several awards to the owner Jean-François Leroux, who grows 36 qualities of apple trees, including the award-winning doux Normandy and delayed de la Sarthe. But it also offers Calvados, apple juice, cider vinegar and jelly.

It’s well worth it to reach Ferté Bernard, the little Venice of the West, and board the boats gliding along the canals overlooking the medieval city and Porte Saint Julien, a fine example of military architecture.

For a day of complete relaxation and relaxation, you can surf in a canoe along the Huisne River, alone or with a guide, in a landscape brushed with greenery and ocher, reminiscent of Tuscany, among flights of white herons. There douce France.

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