The perfectly picturesque town of Honfleur completely dispels the myth that port towns are gritty and undesirable places to holiday. With its enchanting promenade of colourful and haphazard houses, and a harbour gently buzzing with maritime activity, Honfleur is a postcard picture of provincial perfection. Refined restaurants and interesting galleries pepper the harbour, offering insight into the town’s rich historical and artistic heritage. Each of the town’s districts has a distinct character that implores visitors to fully explore this fabulous French fancy.
The Vieux-Bassin refers to the town’s ancient harbour, a delightful dock upon which slender and sophisticated houses enjoy a privileged position. Fashionable boutiques, sublime seafood restaurants and quaint cafes line the promenade and prove perfect places from which to enjoy passersby.
From ports to pilgrims, the Notre Dame de Grace Chapel reigns over the town from its picturesque hilltop perch. The 17th century chapel has been alluring pilgrims for hundreds of years with its fascinating plaques, magnificent murals and remarkable religious scenes. The consecrated interior is a perfect place for quiet contemplation while the vertiginous position affords incredible town vistas.
The inspiring quality of Honfleur is evident in its artistic expression; one of the town’s most revered collections of fine art resides in the Eugene Boudin Museum, an expertly curated gallery of prominent painters from the 19th and 20th centuries. Expect to enjoy painting pioneers such as Monet, Boudin and Courbet in this artistic treasure trove.
It is perfectly fitting that Restaurant La Fleur de Sel occupies a prime location beside Honfleur’s principal art gallery, because the food is as impeccably presented as an artistic masterpiece. In this innovative eatery, fine French fare is given an exciting twist and presented with artistic prowess. Every dish a colourful kaleidoscope of flavour and flair, and refined tasting menus take taste buds on an unforgettable culinary odyssey. (17 Rue Haute, 14600 Honfleur, France)