Beuzeville Normandy can be found in the middle of woods, meadows and valleys where cheese, jams, honey, cider and calvados are celebrated. This gentle and welcoming town has a history steeped in food, being in the heart of a fertile land. But, it’s not just their tradition with these local foods that define them.
Right in the centre of this small town this gorgeous traditional home stands looking loved and looked after.
Not all are this big, but you don’t have to be big to have character and charm.
There is real beauty to these old railings and rambling roses
In the centre of this small town is a car park full of quintessential dinky french cars. This gets cleared for stall holders on market days. Back in time Beuzeville used to be an important market in the area and this space held a butcher’s hall.
There also used to be wheat halls which have now become the town’s party hall (we spotted this the next morning when the weather went from blistering summer to chilly autumn overnight).
I’m so glad we finally found it because within it’s garden we spotted Beuzeville’s War Memorial. Standing immaculate and proud.
With the towns lost soldiers and towns folk of WW1 on one side…
and those of WW2 on the other.
The proud Gallic rooster perched on top is an unofficial national symbol of France. I’d love to know what the large leaf here depicts. If you have an idea please leave a message below.
The front of the beautiful church of Saint-Helier is adorned with flowers. The stone work transports you to far flung times I only get to ‘experience’ in my novels.
It’s all balustrades, buttresses and gargoyles
The serene and ancient steps of Saint-Helier, the perfect cool spot to check your photos and rest from the sun.
Gargoyles remind me of Disney. So, I like them. I almost expect them to start chatting.
We casually walk in. Ok I’m working on walking casually when a camera is pointing at me. It’s harder than you think!
Charlotte shows me how it’s done.
As we enter the cool hushed space we were captivated by the iridescent stain glass windows against the calmness of the room.
The morning sun floods in from every window creating a spectacle.
Facing the altar the light turns blue. These 3 windows celebrate the Holy Trinity. A 17th century oak carving of Christ is positioned in front of them.
Beneath is a statue called ‘Our Lady of All Graces’ it is intended to radiate a sense of purity and gentleness, so that you sense a feeling of kindness from her. Mary is presenting baby Jesus to the world with tenderness and hope.
Looking back towards the entrance any late comers to the services would cast a stark shadow against the radiating light.
The corner statue of Christ gagged felt a bit shocking, it’s such an unexpected and rare image. The artist’s aim is to emphasis that: “Those who do not wish to hear the voice of God gag Him!”
This blog of mine is really a family affair, with all of us enthusiastic about capturing images and moments. Here hubby is getting artistic…
Joan of Ark (a saint here) is set against the blood-red flames of the stake, which looks ablaze in the rays of the sun. She was somewhat of a local during a part of her short life and her martyrdom is remembered here.
A baptism font sits beneath this incandescent window. It is a replica of the font at Domremy (northeast France) where Joan of Ark was baptised.
After spending some time capturing imagery, Charlotte enjoys a moment of peace to check her photos/instagram/facebook.
Tummys are rumbling so it’s time to head out to buy some things for breakfast.
There are several butchers in town.
The men of the family love to buy meat here. The butcher doesn’t speak English, hubby and James only pigeon French, but they have fun getting the right cuts for our dinner.
This flower shop looks lovely all year round and brightens the pathway.
There is a number of bakeries here, as you’d expect, this one does some colourful patisseries.
But our favourite boulangerie in Beuzeville is this one.
I think we’ve chosen well, as we are queuing with the locals.
Everything here looks delicious and it’s hard to choose.
Spying the ovens. These loaves are literally oven fresh!
Walking back past Saint-Helier we get to see the bell tower, which has three bells. Did you know that bells have names? Neither did I, well apart from Big Ben. The oldest one here is named georgette-henriette and was blessed in 1779.
Hubby pointed out that I was carrying the baguettes like a weapon.
Walking on to find other Normandy delights to eat, cradling the baguettes. Trying to convince myself I don’t really need to buy a bottle of Calvados…
To be honest, if the guys were on my side of the street I would have convinced them to come in with me. You know, just to look…
My favourite deli is this one. They sell wonderful fruit and jams, pates and a few things I don’t even recognise.
Inside, I’ve finally decided on which jam I’d buy this year ‘Clementines de Corse’, a marmalade really. And a cantaloupe melon for a refreshing finish to breakfast.
Weirdly enjoying it when waiting an extra 5 minutes to be served because locals and the deli owner are catching up. Not in Surrey now and happy to feel slightly immersed into a local Normandy culture.
As we head out of the village back to The French House in the next hamlet, we stop to look at the valley. During WW2 in 1944, the allied troops fought to free Beuzeville from occupation. Many died during dreadful clashes in these valleys.
This gentle statue states’Notre Dame des Victoires pray for us 1872′ and flowers are still freshly laid at it’s base.
I like it that this community seems in no hurry to move on with the times. They appear to respect the past and each other. There’s something to be said for that.
Surrounding the town you’ll see little fields of orchards, where you might see geese, hens donkeys and cows ramble together.
I think the owner of these trees may be making calvados only from the highest placed apples, if the cows have it their way!