Saturday we visited Dieppe. It’s a quiet town on the English Channel at the mouth of the Arques River, just under an hour drive north of where we live.
If you’re a history buff like Dreamy, you know all about the importance of Dieppe in the Hundred Years War and such. If you’re more like me, you enjoy the sights and want to know what you’re looking at, but you don’t necessarily need to know about every single battle fought. So, no talk here about wars and such, just some sights and food.
Lots of boats, of course… commercial, pleasure, large and small.
The renowned white limestone cliffs of Normandy.
The Chapelle Notre Dame de Bonsecours looms high on the hillside, overlooking the port. It holds plaques in memory of mariners who died at sea.
La grande plage is an expansive pebbled beach with space enough to spread out and enjoy the view and sunshine. It goes on for just over 1.5 kilometers. The pebbles are beige and gray and pink and it’s an impressive sight. (And the pebbles are smaller than those on the beach at Le Havre, so walking on the beach is much easier here.)
But, my favorite part of Dieppe is the marché. The bustling, overflowing Saturday morning outdoor market is said to be the finest food market in northern France. The market stalls sprawl out over the cobblestone streets beginning at the Church Saint Jacques and winds around the streets for what seems like an endless length.
There are poultry, meats, charcuterie like this giant ham…
and of course, an abundance of locally grown produce. I picked up several barquettes of these strawberries. The sign indicates “gathered last evening” so that shoppers know the berries are freshly picked. The were delicious!
Some stalls, like the one with those berries, go on for 20 feet, while others are tiny like this table of Romanesco.
There are also plenty of locally produced cheeses, which we passed on since we still planned to have lunch and do some more exploring after the market shopping. Cheeses don’t travel well over a period of hours in the summertime. (And we knew we would be at our local Sunday market the next day, so that’s where the cheese shopping happens.)
I did pick up some fantastic acacia honey from the tiny commune of Saint-Nicolas-d’Aliermont. I chatted with the producer, had a chuckle about how many ways there are in French to request un pot or une boite, and found a few other interesting items to tuck into my panier as well.
Like this honey vinegar (and some animal-shaped beeswax candles for my girls).
The honey vinegar is potent and I’m having a fantastic time experimenting with so many naturally gluten-free locally produced products here in France.
I did not pick up new lingerie at the market, but if I had wanted to, I certainly could have!
Dreamy bought flowers and I learned from the flower vendor how to call the greenery that Dreamy needed for his arranging once we got the roses home. Feuillage. Folliage, simple enough. :)
He made this small arrangement for our bedroom, and a larger one with lots of feuillage for the salon.
Aside from the market itself being so impressive, there is the stunning view regardless of where you turn in Dieppe.
After the shopping, we had a bit of lunch. Some of the restaurants were just so beautiful. This one looked inviting!
We save our moules frites eating for when we are on the coast, so that’s what we all had. The French version of fish & chips. Mussels and fries.
Have you ever had mussels served properly in moules steam pots? You are served a giant pot filled with piping hot mussels, you take off the top and use that for your empty shells. We add extra salt and lots of ground black pepper to our frites. And of course, un pichet du vin.
We polished off lunch, then followed it up with a shared dessert called the Queen Mum. If you know me, you know why it is appropriate. This is not a great photo, but as you can see, the chantilly cream was slipping off the glace. There are three boules (scoops) of ice cream, one each: mint chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate. All made in house, all delicious and rich and creamy.
We had a long walk after lunch (all that ice cream made that a necessity for digestion!), then drove back home to put away our market finds, for Dreamy to arrange roses. Dinner was simple: une baguette, salted butter from Bretagne and some of those freshly picked strawberries that were just the evening before still on the vine in a farmer’s berry patch somewhere in the north.
I hope you enjoyed this peek at Dieppe!
For now, it is à bientôt to Dieppe and to you,