It’s an easy stroll from La Pommetier to a great range of cafes and restaurants in Arromanches so you can leave the car here and head out on foot. So much the better for a little tasting of local cidre!
New in 2019 is a great salon de the “Les Bains d’Ete” with an outside deck in the afternoon sun and water views. The young owners use lots of locally sourced produce including Normandy beers and the best thing is that you don’t need to stick to the regular 12-2pm and 7-9pm meal times – its “service continu”. So if you’re up for a late lunch or an early dinner, they have lovely salads and bagels, or fancy a glass of wine (I’m loving the Anjou white wine they have right now) or a craft beer (the Trottoir is Mike’s fave) you can sip in the sun along with a plate of Normandy cheeses or preserved meats. Tip: this family run business is from the famous Sables d’Asnelles family and the giant cookies are excellent – be sure to get one from the glass counter inside to snack on later.
At the fancier end of town is La Marine – it’s our go to for a special night or to show off the Mulberry Harbour to friends and family. It’s right on the boardwalk (or ‘la digue’ as the locals say) and has uninterrupted views of the beach and harbour. At sunset it’s magic so time your reservation accordingly. They have a great range of dishes with fabulously fresh seafood – the seafood platter is like a fishing trawler has backed up to your table – along with some gourmet and classic dishes. You an eat lightly with a lovely fluffy omelette or my favourite, the sole meunier (probably not so light with that fabulous normandy butter). Or you can go nuts with the full degustation menu. Another favourite is the skate or rayfish. Wines are reasonably priced and if you’re looking for a nice mid-range red, go for the E.Guigal. The staff are lovely and there’s no rush to vacate your table so when your ready for the bill just ask for “l’addition, s’il vous plait”.
For the closest restaurant to La Pommetier, head around the corner to the other side of the church to Les P’tites Assiettes. The decor is modern and calm, the service is efficiently run by the friendliest young waiter in France, and the food is terrific. Book ahead or try your luck and get there just before 7pm and have a drink in the lounge.
My favourite for a casual but fresh dinner is Recto Verson right in the middle of the pedestrian-only restaurant street in Arromanches. The chef and owner Thomas is friendly, welcoming and passionate about using the best local produce (I love the locally sourced goats cheese that goes into salads and onto galettes). Galettes are the savoury crepes made with buckwheat flour so they’re a bit darker (and gluten free!) and Thomas has a great range of toppings. Crepes are made with regular white flour and are used for sweet options (salted butter caramel anyone?) This is your place for relaxed meals, a cidre or two, and all for a reasonable price. My only dilemma is whether I can ever pass on the nutella crepes in order to toddle down to the seafront for a nutella ice cream at La Compagnie des Glaces.
La Compagnie des Glaces has some of the best ice creams I’ve ever tasted (and put Grom in Italy and Jock’s in Melbourne into that basket). Its right on the seafront at Place 6 Juin and the range of flavours is amazing. You buy it by the ‘boule’ (ball or scoop) and ‘avec chantilly?’ (with whipped cream?) I love the liquorice and nutella and Mike is a big fan of the salted caramel.
These are just a few of my favourites here in Arromanches – there are over 20 restaurants/cafes/bars in the village. Bear in mind that there are a lot of tourist coaches that come through Arromanches year round and some of our restaurants have adapted to serve a lot of food very quickly. There are no Michelin stars in Arromanches, but there’s plenty of good food.
Should you find yourself in Bayeux at the end of a long day’s sightseeing and just want a quick bite and a glass of wine, you can’t do better than taking a seat at the beautiful old wooden bar at Le Bouchon (15 rue Marechal Foch). Damien is passionate about wines and happy to answer questions patiently and in English and he has a fabulously curated wine store if you want to take something special home with you.
We got chatting with Damien about Bourgogne to ask him why its so much more expensive than many other wines in France and we spent the next 15 minutes getting a quick lesson in his toilette where he has a map of the Bourgogne region (answer: its a really small strip of terroir only 600m wide and with very small production numbers each year). There’s a seasonal lunch special on weekdays (around 15 euro) and on Friday and Saturday evenings there’s a great range of wines by the glass (3-5 euro) to have with a board of cheeses, charcuterie (sliced on the spot in front of you) and oysters. If they have the chocolate mousse on that day, don’t miss it. In winter when its quieter here at La Pommetier, a trip into Le Bouchon on a Friday night is a must.
If you’re one to book ahead and don’t mind a quick drive to dinner, we highly recommend La Rapier in Bayeux which deservedly has been in the top 1-2 on Tripadvisor for a few years now. Likewise, a short drive away for a really special night out, La Cheneviere is a beautifully renovated chateau near Port en Bessin on the road to Bayeux. Its the full chateau dining experience – get there in time for drinks in small but perfectly appointed lounge and then dine in the stunning salon overlooking the park. It’s a splurge but hey, you only live once! New this year is the lovely Le Petit Jardin set in the glass house by Cheneviere’s pool. At 19 euro for two courses for lunch its perfect and dinner is also very reasonable for such a pretty setting and great local produce.
A final note is on timing. Arromanches being a seaside town can get crazy busy in summer and then in winter many of the restaurants and hotels close for a well earned break for the staff. Also, like most of France, lunchtime is generally 12-2pm and dinner time from 7pm. You may find it hard to get served outside these hours (and after 9pm sometimes) so plan ahead or look for somewhere that is “service continu” (literally, service continues). Last bit of advice, bring your stretchy pants!