It’s hard to think you’re not on a film set as you stroll through the cobbled streets of Honfleur in Normandy. It’s just 15 minutes drive from the Le Havre ferries or 3 hours from the Eurotunnel. Either way you have to pass the modern industrial low lights of the ferry port area before crossing La Seine into another more timeless world.
There’s several large open air car parks near the harbour, which is precisely where you want to be. Then zip up your coat and remove your camera lens cap, when walking around Honfleur you can hardly point the camera in the wrong direction.
Comfy shoes are key when visiting Honfleur, even wedges can be tricky.
There are several museums in Honfleur. This is just off the harbour and a good excuse to get out the cold.
These ancient streets are have such a romantic feel to me and you see lots of couples arm in arm.
I do love an old dangley sign! Art is a big thing here in Honfleur. Hardly surprising when it must have been inspiring artists for 100s of years. Slightly surprising to me is that modern art is very much a thing here too.
A view of the harbour from a side street. The harbour is full of cafes, restaurants as well as art galleries.
View of the north side, the Quai Sainte Catherine, with it’s tall thin wooden buildings (once houses) dating back to the 1600’s. Now they are almost entirely cafes and restaurants.
It’s hypnotic staring at the water…
Stone buildings of the south side which is called the Quai Saint-Etienne, after the church there.
The back of my favourite tea room in Honfleur. It’s a China meets Normandy affair hinting perhaps to a time when Merchant boats would bring in tea from China into the harbour. They also do the best hot chocolate ever – its thick and deeply rich.
At the front tea cups, pots and other tea related products are prettily displayed in their store.
Getting cold and hungry we head into the right side which takes you straight into the tearoom.
They sell French patisserie, but this is the counter I gravitate towards. I never could resist a fruit crumble.
The owner warms it up and I chose vanilla cream on the side. For me, this is worth the trip alone, but as I say, I really do love a fruit crumble and this one is perfection.
Nicely warmed through we explore more of the streets.
This is an artist at the door of his gallery. He’s having a break and joins his little Westie who sits and people watches at the door.
I love dogs even more than crumble and can’t resist saying hello.
It’s obviously a thing for artists and other shop owners to have their dogs with them at work here in Honfleur. They seem perfectly happy to sit and watch the world go by.
The clock tower sits opposite the entrance to the Sainte-Catherine church. It’s the largest church made out of wood in France. There are a lot of slate covered roofs here.
I’m told it used to wobble, which would explain the extra support!
The streets are narrow and the buildings tall and beautifully worn. It gives a a cozy charm. The shops are stuffed full of local produce, art and crafts and there are plenty of restaurants to check out as you wander by. If you love Calvados you will be in 7th heaven.
Even the side alleys are narrow!
These beautiful turrets form the top part of the gate of the city and is part of the fortifications attached to the 18th century lieutenancy building (la Lieutenance) which is at the entrance to the old harbour. and the former home of the Governor of Honfleur.
The northern side is the best place to sit and people watch. There are lots of of activity as groups and couples take photos of the boats and selfies.
It’s a good place to rest for a while. Some allow you to sit and just drink but others you have to order food. This time of year (winter) many have their plastic protection from the weather but we found one without.
Gazing through the masts and ropes of the boats…
A another view of the north side.
Their saturday morning market is wonderful and I found it rather brilliant watching the French boldly sniff and taste their way through the produce. This man took selling his bread very personally and when later we brought bread from him told us if we wrapped it in plastic (god forbid) the bread would tell him. There’s passion for you.
This French lady’s glove is off – she means to get in there…
My husband and son loving every minute with the butcher. It was beef bourguignon that night.
What a beauty it is at night…
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