Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
Copyright all rights reserved
The debonair and unruffled Travelling Gourmet TM jets to a land once ravaged by…
MERCILESS wars, but is now a haven for gourmet cuisine and most happy gracious living…especially in picturesque Hornfleur at…
La Ferme Saint Simeon..This 5 Star hotel, restaurant and spa is right out of “Lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous” and is part of Relais and Chateaux. Relais and Chateaux are justifiably renowned for the five “C”s. They stand for Comfort, Charme, Character, Cuisine and Calme. Some narrow-minded asinine “nouveau riche” people in Singapore think of the five Cs as Cash, Car, Country Club (membership), Condominium (home), Credit Card (gold or platinum). There are people whose minds are only stuck forever at very low levels…C’est la vie n’est pas…
MARVELLOUS Hornfleur on the Normandie coast is a lovely, quaint and charming place. In this port city I recommend you stay at La Ferme Saint Simeon, a Relais & Chateuux property. The fine dining restaurant with an elegant ambience is really, really good with a view of the ocean and ships, big and small, serenely sailing past. Savour Norman cuisine with carefully selected country produce. Outside, you will see exquisitely manicured gardens, plus many apple trees with cute little crab apples for which this region is famous for.
Pleasures for the Palette and the eye…
Eh bien, alors, honestly, who cares about the view when there is yummie food like tomatoes in saison, mussels, fish cooked to moist and juicy perfection, n’est pas! OMG!
Hors d’oeuvre and more…
A Fine tart of Spring Vegetables and Herbes acidulated with “pommé”, preserved egg yolk & praline hazelnut surprised and deleighted my taste buds. Fruits de mer (fruits of the sea), lamb, beef and more regional specialities all cooked to perfection are on offer! The Turbot Fillet from the Normandy Coast is done in Meunière style, with roasted cauliflower that is laced with a mild curry sauce, plus pickled Seagrass & Shellfish. Light yet complex & satisfying!
Remember that ‘Sweets’ make your life…SWEETER!
Desserts by the young, modest and dynamic Executive Chef Sébastien Faramond is not to be missed. A must-taste is dazzling sweet Pavlova with a difference! PAVLOVA of Strawberry & tart Lemon with a dome of crisp Lime meringue. Dissect it to find a symphony of tastes & textures from delicately pan-fried strawberries foiled with a Sorbet of fragrant Basil and Strawberry! It is to parachute behind enemy lines to disrupt & degrade terrorist bases for!
As the Travelling Gourmet TM, a renowned international Travel, Food and Wine Writer/Editor, I KNOW good food when I taste it! I am in very good Company…Clint ‘Dirty Harry’Eastwood, Harrison “Star Wars” Ford,,,and Pierce ‘007’ Brosnan, they love to come here too. What more can I say?
The rooms are simply splendide! Monet the great impressionist painter loved to come here and stay in the 17 Century buildings to get inspiration for his great works of art. I wonder why? JOKE! Ha! Ha! Super comfy rooms delight and dazzle…and so does the well appointed superbe Spa, and the magical Greco-Roman style pool with the water temperature that is just PERFECT…not too hot and not too cold! Swimming here reminded me of the delightful decadence of the ancient Romans…Absolutely spiffing! OH, mon Dieu I love it or as they say in France, j’adore La Ferme Saint Simeon! 🙂
Monet and other great artists…
Great artists especially of the Impressionistic period loved hedonistic Hornfleur and La Ferme Saint Simeon. Pour quoi (why)? I believe it is because this area gave them much inspiration and the stunning beauty of the locale…gave them joy and enthusiasm to produce their greatest masterpieces. Eugene Boudin described this 17th Century inn called La Ferme Saint Simeon where the painters used to stay in Hornfleur as ‘the most ravishing spot in the world’. Monet, Courbet, Cals, Dubourg, Boudin, Bazille, Corot, Sisley and Jongkind all loved Hornfleur and its environs. Inspired by the beauty of the environs, they created some of their fabulous masterpieces here. Claude Monet especially loved La Ferme Saint Simeon. When you come here you will realise why they adored this place…Monet’s favourite room is now Number 22 and you can stay there if you are lucky.
Eugene Boudin, known as the ‘the king of the skies’, was celebrated for his landscapes. Boudin brought his pal Claude Monet to Hornfleur, which was Boudin’s home town. It was Boudin who showed Monet the great possibilities for the artist’s palette by painting outdoors!
Claude Monet is now probably best known for his mastery of painting the water and the sea…outstanding…
The Seine Near its Estuary, Honfleur, ca. 1868
Oil on canvas
48.1 x 73.7 cm (18 15/16 x 29 inches)
La Ferme Saint Siméon *****
20 Route Adolph’s Marais