Medieval Splendour on the Streets of Rouen
For those who like Medieval architecture, the city of Rouen is a must. Together the many timber-framed and religious buildings create a wonderful atmosphere on the streets of a very modern city. But one of the most striking surprises is Le Gros Horloge set in a 13th century building and next to a 14/15th century belfry. The splendid clock itself dates back to the 14th century, and is among the oldest working clocks in Europe. Continue reading
I have just waived off two ladies who have been ‘best friends for ages’. They came to Basse Copette for a relaxing three days, one of which was my day trip to Giverny and Rouen. With a hearty breakfast under our belts we set off for Giverny, where we took in the exhibition at the Musée des Impressionnisme, Monet’s House and Garden, and a light lunch in one of Giverny’s many wonderful restaurants before setting off for Rouen.
I started off guiding them around the impressionist delights of Rouen at the Fine Arts Museum, with its varied impressionist collection. Then it was off to the various streetscapes that the impressionist artists loved. For example, the cathedral Monet painted and le Gros Horloge – that members of the Rouen School loved to paint. We finished off the day with a superb evening meal in one of the restaurants on Rouen’s Place de Vieux Marché.
Thomas, Your hospitality, knowledge and humour was inspirational and our trip to Giverny and Rouen something I will treasure all my life!
Oh how I have enjoyed this experience, wonderful setting and room – as I write I am enjoying the birds singing, and drinking in all Basse Copette!! Amazing food, hospitality, however my biggest memory will be the wealth of knowledge and passion Thomas shared.
Basse Copette guests enjoying a day-trip to Giverny
Basse Copette is situated in the Bresle Valley, it is the gravels of the Bresle River that are removed for glass industry. About half an hour downstream of Basse Copette, the Bresle River flows into La Manche, or the English Channel, between the towns of Mers-les-Bains and Le Treport.
Le Phare du Treport
Le Treport was once a popular seaside destination for the French royal family during the reign of Louis-Philippe (1830s and 1840s) when the Palace at nearby Eu was the king’s summer residence. The Parisian bourgeoisie were soon to follow, and as the town became a popular destination a number of seaside villas were built (most of which were destroyed during World War II). Louis-Philippe was an ardent Anglophile and was on very good terms with Queen Victoria. Although the term “Entente Cordiale” usually refers to official agreements made between the English and the French in 1904, the term was first used in 1844 following Queen Victoria’s first state visit to Louis-Philippe’s palace in Eu in 1843. There is much in the area that marks the Queen’s visit, including the ‘Queen Victoria Bar’. The National Navy Museum in Paris has a painting by Louis Gabriel Eugène Isabey showing Queen Victoria’s royal yacht, HMY Victoria and Albert – a twin paddle steamer, docked in the port of Le Treport. Continue reading
Maisons des illustres Logo
Many countries have a way for visitors to identify from the street a house of historical importance. Anyone who lives in or who has visited the United Kingdom will have surely seen a blue circular plaque on houses around the country. These mark the spot where someone of historical importance once lived or worked. Just last week, France unveiled a new list of houses of special importance, the so-called Maisons des Illustres
. Literally translated as ‘the houses of the illustrious, these houses, apartments, studios and castles are now specifically celebrated because of their inhabitants. Currently there are 111 on the list, and for visitors to Basse Copette, located on the border of Picardy and Upper Normandy, there are a few of these newly designated houses that should not be missed. Continue reading
Rouen Cathedral by Night
For those of you with a passion for art, particularly impressionist art, this summer you have the ultimate festival to make your Normandy holiday that extra bit special this year. From April to November Normandie Impressionniste 2010
offers an amazing programme of events to celebrate Normandy’s Impressionist heritage. Most people know that Monet’s Giverny house and garden is in Normandy, but few realise that Normandy was a central focus for many Impressionist artists. Many lived in the region, and others frequently visited the cities, such as Rouen and Le Havre, and the coastline – the striking white cliffs being a favourite subject. But, it is not just a festival of museum exhibitions, there really is something on the programme for everyone, even the children. Continue reading
Abbaye de Jumièges
Sometimes, particularly during busy periods, I get the feeling I do not get out much. The upside is that I get good reports from my guests of the local attractions I have not seen; and after 5 years there are still many. This was the case with the Abbaye de Jumièges
: recent guests visited the ruined Abbey on a day out to Rouen from Basse Copette and returned saying what a great time they had had there. It is very definitely well worth a visit. The Abbey is widely said to be ‘the most beautiful ruin in France’
, and occupation of the site dates back to the 7th Century, and in its heyday was the biggest Benedictine monastery in the West. The Abbey is on a large island formed by a loop in the Seine River, in the town of Jumièges. The Seine river has many of these loops (boucles
) before it enters the sea, and this area has been designated the Boucles de la Seine Normande Regional Park
. Continue reading
Summer Festival Queen
Rural areas of France provide wonderful summer holidays, and Normandy is no different. Basse Copette is a small, rural hamlet in the Bresle Valley of Upper Normandy. There are only 6 residences, and very much off the beaten track. What it lacks in on-the-door-step attractions it more than amply makes up for in rural charm. We are close to some great attractions (Monet’s Garden in Giverny
), and others make for a great day out (Paris
, Disneyland), but there really is something unbeatable about being in France profonde.
For example, each year from the the end of spring to the beginning of autumn most Communes and bigger villages host their own particular summer festival. And then there are the rather unique and often quirky ways of celebrating national events. These add a wonderful and often unexpected quality to a holiday. Continue reading
Old railway Guard's house
…well almost. Basse Copette is not far from the proposed 218 km cycle ‘path’ that will run between St Paul’s Cathedral in London and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and due to be complete in 2012 in time for the Olympics. That part that passes through Seine Maritime (the Department in which Basse Copette is to be found) runs from a town called Forges-les-Eaux to the coastal port of Dieppe. The cycle path is known locally as la route verte
, or the green road, and has been open since 2007. The cycle path was once the route of a railway line that went from Paris to Dieppe, and passes through the wonderful town of Neufchâtel-en-Bray, from where the delicious, heart-shaped Neufchâtel cheese
originates, and passes by some wonderful châteaux that make great picnic stops. A great day out for guests at Basse Copette. Continue reading
One of the most moving monuments for the First World War is, I believe, that monument at Thiepval dedicated to the ‘missing of the Somme. The Franco-British Memorial at Thiepval is an impressive memorial some 45 metres high and visble for miles around. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and commemorates the 73 367 men, known as the Missing of the Somme, who have no known grave today. The names of these soldiers are inscribed on the 16 pillars that form the base of the structure. And so this monument provides a focus for the many families who have no grave to visit. Buried adjacent to the monument are a number of British and French soldiers in unmarked graves, just a tiny fraction of the missing of the Somme who fell between July 1915 and March 1918 who have no known grave. Continue reading
There are a number of theme parks within easy reach of Basse Copette
that make for a great family day out. The two most well-known are EuroDisney, on the outskirts of Paris, and Parc Asterix. Parc Asterix, the closer of the two at about and hour and a half away, is based on the comic character of Asterix and friends. A few of Basse Copette’s B&B and Gite guests have been to both attractions, and all say Parc Asterix is better than EuroDisney in a number of respects – not least the entrance costs, the costs of food and drink, and the crowds and length of queues for the various rides and attractions. But I have never heard any of the younger children complaining about their day out at EuroDisney! A popular option is to visit Parc Asterix after leaving Basse Copette, and then after a day on the rides heading up the A1 to Calais and crossing over to the UK.