Northern France is a region of stunning contrasts that will keep you wanting to return time and time again. The coastal resorts of Pas de Calais, Normandy and Brittany are graced with glorious beaches backed by lush green countryside, whilst Royal France, Champagne and Alsace are renowned for their elegant palaces, sumptuous food and excellent wine. Be inspired to get out and explore some of this beautiful areaʼs most treasured gems.
Fresh fish and seafood are the star turn on many menus in Northern France, with mussels from the bay of Saint-Brice or Vizier-sur-Mere and oysters from the Bay of Cenacle in Brittany universally popular. Look out too for the spectacular seafood platters including scallops traditionally cooked with cream.
This region is also renowned for its excellent selection of cheeses especially the mild Le Coeur d’Arras from Pas de Calais and the creamy Camembert from the Normandy region. For those with a sweet tooth try kuogelhopf, a delicious Alsatian cake, sugar-filled waffles and macaroons. And there’s no better way to enjoy the traditional Breton crêpes than washed down with some of the refreshing local cider.
A shopper’s heaven, the Pas de Calais region is an excellent choice for shopping. Enjoy the hypermarkets in Calais such as the Cité Europe which sell everything from designer clothes to beer, wine and food. Lively market towns are also a big part of life in Northern France and sell everything from traditional home-grown fruit and vegetables to local cheese and sausages.
Professional retailers also set up stalls selling clothes, tapestries, cookware and porcelain. In Brittany the medieval jumble of streets in St. Malo have many art stores if you’re looking for the perfect memento to take home. Troyes in the Champagne region is also a haven for retail outlets including the popular McArthur Glen outlet mall offering brands such as Burberry and Ralph Lauren.