There are friendly French people, but you might have to leave Paris to meet them! I recently had the pleasure of meeting the friendliest Frenchman in the world. I don’t know his name but I will never forget him.
He was the master of La Cave de Beuvron, a “temple du ‘bon manger” in Normandy. He happily welcomed my husband and I and instantly recognized fellow gourmands, not only of food but also of life in general.
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He explained all his products as if they were his children, taking pride in their creation, their ingredients their final outcome. There were no favorites, we adored them all and lovingly pointed out details of all of them. He offered a taste of everything from his confits, his rillettes, to the foie gras third in production in France he proudly informed us.
He was not pushing us to buy, although we certainly did, simply to taste and enjoy. He offered samples of his cider, his calvados, and his pommeau, and when we declined to say it was too early, he invited us back in the afternoon when the timing might be better for us.
We spoke about the U.S. and California in particular. We discussed the food culture in the San Francisco Bay Area and Napa Valley. He was very sophisticated without being snobby and appreciated good food no matter where it came from.
As we made our purchases and headed out the door we stopped to talk about his car, he told us all about it and how much he enjoyed driving it. All the while I was taking photos of his little coin which was adoringly staged. I wanted to take a photo of him, but I was afraid of pushing my luck, that I might be encroaching on his privacy so I didn’t.
I stood there in shock as my husband continued conversing with this very friendly man. I was in shock, still disbelieving that this was occurring, staring at him, probably with my mouth agape trying to comprehend a situation in which a complete stranger was enthusiastically communicating with us, a French stranger no less!
Walking back to the car, I was afraid to look for fear that it had all been a mirage.
La Cave de Beuvron is located in Beuvron-en-Auge one of the main stops on La Route du Cidre in Normandy, a driving circuit that is breathtakingly beautiful.
- Leave Paris mid-day on Friday and drive the 2.5 hours to Beuvron-en-Auge
- Stay in Le Pavé d'Hôte in town and walk to dinner at the recommended Le Pavé d'Auge
- Wake up eat breakfast and walk to La Cave de Beuvron, stopping at the boulangerie on the way for some bread, and then pick up picnic supplies for your tour of la route du cidre.
- Spend the day leisurely driving, stopping, eating, relaxing, and enjoying the wonderful Normandy countryside, partaking of calvados and pommeau tastings as you go.
- Have dinner at the Colomb'Auge creperie or at the Café La Forge Restaurant Le Terroir.
- Drive back to Paris gently on Sunday.