May 20, 2007 - Honfleur

After one last view out the windows at the Seine River and a peek up at Chateau Gaillard looming over the tiny town, we lingered over room service breakfast until my husband had the idea to feed the swans before we left. You can see from the photo that the swan is nearly as tall as my husband and after tossing him a couple of pieces of croissant, we high tailed it out of there!
Our next destination was Honfleur, a most charming town at the mouth of the Seine river where it opens up into the english Channel. As luck would have it, we arrived on a sunny Sunday so the town was bustling with people and full of ambience.

After checking in to L'Absinthe, we went in search of a spot to settle in for a nice 2 hour lunch, some wine, and views of the harbour. Our choice was L'Hippocampe right on the harbor, and we began with the Norman specialty of this area, Moules Mariniere, tender and tiny mussels swimming in a delicious broth that we soaked up with French bread. We followed the mussels with a plate of tartines (thin, open-faced French sandwiches) including shrimp, salmon spread, smoked salmon, and shrimp salad. We washed the meal down with a bottle of Chateau du Val de Mercy Chablis, 2004, and of course, finished the meal with a cheese course of Camembert, Pont Eveque, and Liverot, the three most famous cheeses of Normandy.

Back at the hotel we had arranged for dinner at the resaurant, and because it was Sunday night, we had the place to ourselves, but enjoyed a table with the best view (and it stayed light until 10pm or later so we still had a view). My dinner was excellent:

Mixed greens with great swirls of balsamic glaze on the plate

Red mullet en papillote with parsley sauce underneath - very light, but very flavorful

Baby fennel and fat spears of asparagus

Dessert of petit fours: chocolate madelines, candied orange peel, and mint cream in a tiny dark chocolate cup

After dinner we just walked around the port where it was so quiet after the departure of all the Sunday day tripper crowds.

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