A few weeks ago we pick up a car in Stuttgart and headed to France. We stopped in Baden Baden for lunch. What a wonderful surprise this quaint town was. Easy access from the freeway and drove into the middle of town. Parking underground next to the casino was a snap with easy in and out. We walked the beautiful streets and stopped for lunch at a street side café called Wallstreet Hamilton. I would love to go back and spend a few days in the thermal baths and lovely town.
Back on the road we and drove on to the town of Illheausern across the French boarder in the Alsace region.. The town has one of the top 3 star restaurants in France, “L’Auberge de I’ll” www.auberge-de-ill.com phone 33389718900. The hotel is connected to the restaurant by a beautiful garden and is owned and operated by the same family, Hotel des Berges–www.hoteldesberges.com. Go out of your way to experience this wonderful hotel and restaurant. Spend the night and then a lunch or dinner that you will never forget.
The family has also just opened a new in hotel and restaurant in Strasbourg called les Haras www.les-haras-hotel.com. we did not have a chance to visit but I am sure that it will be an amazing experience since the families attention to detail is top. Next time!
The next morning we headed out to drive across France since we were headed to Normandy. The drive was longer than we expected, about 8 hours with a stop for a speeding ticket, cost 90 Euro, and gas with lunch in the same place. We arrived at Chateau de Saint Paterne, just at the edge of Alencon. The chateau is owned and run by a young family, Charles-Henry and Segolene, 2 children and 2 dogs. They have a wonderful new cooking school in the chateau, serve beautiful dinner and breakfast and each room in the chateau is detailed to perfection. www.chateau-saintpaterne.com . While you are there be sure to enjoy their new restaurant in town called Rive Droite, wwwrivedroiterestaurant.com.
Next morning after a beautiful breakfast we headed to Normandy, first stop was Bayeux to arrange a tour and visit to the American cemetery. When we arrived at the cemetery everything was locked up tight because of the American lock down and budget cuts. We made reservations for a morning tour the next day and headed to our hotel in the town of Honfleur. It was about a 45 minute drive and we should have planned ahead and stayed in Bayeux, but we were to late for a reservation in a good hotel.
In Honfleur we stayed at “Les Maisons De Lea” firstname.lastname@example.org. this quaint hotel had small rooms, no elevator and no help getting our bags up 2 flights of stairs. They did have a good location and good parking for our car. The location was in the very center of town and easy to walk to the wharf for dinner. there are so many fun places to sit outside and enjoy the local oysters it was hard to decide. We decided on L’Hippocampe on Quai Saint Catherine, sharing oysters and good duck confit. The next morning we did do our tour of what was open in Normandy, the beaches and several of the better know monuments, including the German cemetery. We enjoyed a simple lunch at L’Arthe and walked the town.
Next morning we headed south to St. Malo with a stop to visit the famous Mont-Saint-Michel. We all decided that it was better to look at it from afar. It is not unlike other tourist attractions, but unless you hire a guide it is just a huge climb through the old structure and so many people that you really don’t have a clue what you are seeing.
In St Malo we stayed on the beach at a lovely hotel/spa called ‘Le Grand Hotel des thermes, www.thalassotherapie.com. We ate dinner in the hotel dining room and enjoyed an easy relaxing dinner. The hotel sits on a beautiful board walk and great for just people watching and a good morning walk. We did have massages and wish we could have spent more time. The next morning we had a 4 hour drive back to Paris to return our car and get ready for a flight home the next morning.
we stayed at the airport Hilton and took a car into the city for a very nice dinner at a new restaurant that we would return to. ‘La Rotisserie d’en Face”, 2 Rue Christine, make reservations at 0143264098. There was a very interesting new hotel across the street “Relais Christine, www.relais-christine.com. Look at this hotel if you want a new opportunity.