Wanderable On The Road: Vernon, Honfleur, Caudebeuc & Pays D’Auge

Perhaps More Romantic Than Paris…Wanderable Explores Tiny Towns in France.

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Bonjour, Wanderers.

So, if you follow us on Twitter and Instagram (and you better!), you know we’ve been in France for the last few days (and we’re thanking our lucky stars).

Travelers link France subconsciously with Paris, but we’re here to report that there is so, so, so much more to this marvelous country than one iconic metropolis, and we’ve wandered through quaint towns in Normandy that could make you rethink your French itinerary. From fragrant farmers’ markets to mouth-watering homemade apple cider, these honeymoon oases are sites for sore eyes.  So far we’ve visited Vernon, Honfleur, Caudebec and Pays D’Auge, and we’re all about the quiet, sultry energy of these small towns. Tomorrow’s itinerary includes riding bikes and visiting a local brewery in Reuon. Sorry we’re not sorry!

Keep reading below to tag along as we #WanderOn.

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Our first stop was Vernon, home of awe- inspiring church L’Eglise Catholique. It’s huge, and its size warrants its status as the focal point of the city. Trip down a few side streets, and lunch is covered: grab a baguette by the local baker, some cheese from the Fromagerie and some smoked ham from the Charcuterie next door and you’ll be one happy camper (we didn’t leave that bench for hours).

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The next day, we visited the tiny fishing town Honfleur, where the salt air woke us up and the cuteness of the town kept us up. It started raining, which only made the day feel cozier. We meandered down cobblestone streets to local shops that offered hot cider, caramel candies, artisan jams with toast, and foie gras. As the sun set, we grabbed some warm drinks and crepes with butter, sucre et fleur de del (sugar and salt). Since Honfleur is known for its seafood, we tasted a few local faves (mmmm…oysters,) and that was a truly surreal experience.

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Honfleur is a hidden jewel, totally off-the-beaten-path. Apparently, the super-chic, in-the-know Parasians come here (its only a 2 hour drive from Paris) for the weekend, to shop, eat and drink Calvados (liquor made from apples). The Fire Island of France, if you will.

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Moving on…let’s talk about the Farmer’s Market in Caudebeuc: Jean, pictured above, is THE MAN when it comes to fresh seafood. We wanted to eat a raw scallop– and he obliged: he cleaned it and prepared it for us to eat. It was the sweetest scallop we’ve ever tasted. There was also fresh salmon lox, oysters, mackerel, tuna and crayfish– all caught by Jean and his partners earlier that day.  There were also live chickens, home-made paella, sausages with fresh sauerkraut and an epic cheese selection. This market is the social event of the week in Caudebeuc…the locals all gather here, buy their food for the week, and then meet their friends for coffee and drinks. We tried to fit right in.
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Sunday rolled around and we visited  Pays D’Auge. Because it was Sunday, we were basically the only people in town (if you can’t tell from the photo). It was so quiet we just perused the local shops, and finally stopped for lunch where we shared escargots, duck confit and a salad avec chèvre chaud (salad with hot goat cheese). The owners brought out fresh bread and two beers for us, on the house. It was the freshest end to the freshest weekend.

The fabulous news is that we’re here till Thursday…so stay tuned, Wanderers. There are more delicious meals to be consumed and more cobblestone streets to be strolled.

#WanderOn

#MartiniqueRomantique: The Island Paradise

Win a trip for two to Martinique: The Island Paradise. ENTER NOW!

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It’s officially that time of year: the temperatures drop, Starbucks has cranberry-colored cups, and we’re even seeing snow in some parts of the country (except Los Angeles, you don’t count). So with the inception of “sweater weather,” it’s time to start day-dreaming about those seemingly far-off beach vacations.  Well, we dare you to dream big: it doesn’t get any better than the Caribbean– and this one happens to be très chic. It basically looks like a screen savor, amiright?

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This wanderlust-y destination is Martinique, an island in the Eastern Caribbean sea. It is an overseas region of France, and an integral part of the French Republic (so think of Paris on a beach).  We’ve partnered with Atout France to giveaway an incredible Martinique vacation, for two! The prize includes 2 roundtrip tickets courtesy of American Airlines, 4 nights in paradise at the Cap Est Lagoon Resort and Spa (which is a 5-Star resort) dinner for 2 at the  Cap Est’s gastronomic restaurant, Le Belem, and a cooking class with master chef Jean-Charles Bredas at Martinique Gastronomie. We will also have 4 bridal bloggers in Martinique from today (Nov 19) to Nov 22nd, posting their experiences live, which will be streamed on this site and through #MartiniqueRomantique on social media.

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But don’t worry (didn’t think you were actually worried- this is basically too good to be true) there is way more to do in Martinique than just be lapped in luxury and eat your face off. There is also rum tastings with Habitation Clement, sailing excursions along the Ballades du Delphis, hiking, fishing…and did we mention epic sunbathing? This romantique island is also the perfect honeymoon destination for those who want nothing but pampering and sunshine. Good thing you can register for all these experiences (and more) here.

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So, wanderers, make sure you enter now.  The contest ends December 22nd. Think of it as an early Christmas present… your own personal island paradise with the one you love. For free. You’re welcome.

#WanderOn

 

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Wanderable’s Favorite Local Flavors

One of our favorite parts of traveling is eating the local cuisine, and from what we can tell most Wanderable users agree. Food can inspire travel (we have a friend who went on a 10 week trip to Asia after reading an article in the New York Times about Malaysian cuisine), can help us better understand a culture, and can remind us of places we’ve visited. Here are some of our favorite dishes from some of our favorite places to travel.

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Gallo Pinto, Costa Rica.  This Costa Rican mix of rice and beans is a breakfast mainstay in the land of pura vida. We love it most with salsa Linzano, a side of sweet plantains and a bit of natilla (sour cream).

Frites, Belgium. According to some Belgium is the real home of pommes frites or french fries.  We don’t mind where they’re from, as long as we have an excuse to eat them. Belgians eat their frites from paper cones with a side of mayonnaise.

Steak with Chimmichurri, Argentina. The steak from Argentina might be some of the best in the world. And when paired with the herbaceous, garlicy, chimmichurri and a full bodied Malbec, you have a memorable feast.

Phad Thai, Thailand. No matter how many times we ate it, we couldn’t get enough of this Thai classic. We ate it from streets stands off of Koh San Road, at beach stalls in Koh Samui, and up north in Chiang Mai, where we learned to make it at cooking school. We like it phet phet, spicy with lots of dried chile.

Ceviche, Peru. One of the highlights of Peru’s culinary scene is its ceviche. We love the scene at Lima’s cevecherias on Sundays, where everyone is recovering from their Saturday nights over ceviche and beer. Sea food may seem like a bad idea after a hangover but thousands of Peruvians can’t be wrong.

Croque Monsieur, France. We won’t lie, we love a grilled cheese, and the French do them devilishly well.  Combined with a gorgeous green salad and a cheeky glass of wine, this is one of our favorite things to order while eating lunch at a Parisian street-side cafe.
What meals are you looking forward to on your honeymoon?