You know when you stay somewhere so special that you almost don’t want to share the secret? Well that’s sort of how I feel about our stay at the Côté Bohème fisherman’s hut in Normandy with Canopy & Stars. We literally felt ourselves relax from the second we arrived. The cabin’s nestled in the lush garden of Mylène and Christian’s beautiful 18th century French farmhouse, and as soon as we stepped inside an amazing smell of essential oils washed over us. We took a deep breath, and the world slowed down.
The wood-clad cabin is painted in soft greys and muted greens which are very calming, while hot accents inspired by Mylène’s upbringing in the south of France – saffron yellow, deep purple and burnt orange – add a bohemian feel. The hut is divided into three sections – at one end is built-in bunk bed which can be used as a sofa, with a side table and chairs for enjoying a cup of tea (or glass of wine), a middle section that includes the front door and bathroom (with incredible rainfall shower complete with massage jets), and then the other end is the main bedroom which is basically one big bed, with clever built-in cupboards each side, and a door out to the south-facing terrace.
The country setting is incredibly peaceful, and this stillness and quiet was just what we wanted for our first child-free break for a couple of years. From the cabin, it’s only a short walk down to the beach at Ver-sur-Mer – a great expanse of Normandy beach backed by sand-dunes, pretty much deserted at this time of year. We did explore the local area (I’ll cover the highlights in a post later this week), but we spent a lot of our time soaking up the peace at Côté Bohème, getting so lost in our books that the hours just disappeared.
Although the cabin is simple, every detail has been carefully considered to add a touch of luxury – from the amazing quilted velvet bedspread (which I spent hours snuggled under), to the gardenia perfume in the bathroom (now on my Christmas list), to the gorgeous linen window-dressings. I fell so in love with the romantic way those curtains diffused the morning light that I’m absolutely replacing our cotton curtains at home with linen as soon as possible.
Breakfast at Côté Bohème was the stuff of French dreams. Laid out in the farmhouse’s contemporary sun room on the other side of the courtyard, we feasted on fresh bread (French bread, brioche, croissants), freshly baked cakes and homemade jams, nuts, fruit, cheese and delicious apple juice from a local orchard. And, most importantly in my reckoning, an endless supply of amazing coffee. Mylène and Christian are fantastic hosts – they’re warm and friendly and gave us great advice about things to do and see in the area.
It was almost as if we could watch Autumn arrive during our stay – the leaves turned, there was a chill in the air and the evenings drew in. We only needed to turn on the heating in the cabin on our last night and it made it lovely and toasty, so this is definitely a great accommodation option whatever the season.
I can’t imagine that we won’t be returning to Côté Bohème. Half of me wants to take the twins with us next time – they’d love the adventure of staying in the cabin, would become firm friends with Mylène and Christian’s good-natured golden retriever and could spend endless happy hours on the beach – and the other half can’t quite bear the idea of them disrupting the peace and quiet of this special place (although I know they’d be welcomed warmly by our hosts). Either way, I’m looking forward to our next visit.
Disclosure: This post was written in collaboration with Canopy & Stars, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.