Friday, 22 June 2012

Staying over at Bourgtheroulde-Infreville

I discovered the small town of Bourgtheroulde-Infreville (bit of a mouthful - see later!) in Normandy in the summer of last year, when I was driving home alone from the UK. To break the long journey, I had thought that I would be able to find an overnight hotel stop en route  at a mid-way point in northern France, near Rouen,  but the only room available was at an astronomical price and so I kept driving! What I had not realised was that it was a long weekend, and all the French were taking advantage of the break.  I scouted around the hotels and B and B places off-route, but none had vacant rooms.  I was just getting back on to my route south, when I fell upon the said Bourgtheroulde-Infreville, and its hotel.  I thought of this as being a last opportunity, so, nothing ventured nothing gained, I went in to ask if there was a room available.  Great news, the family room was free and I had a bed for the night at reasonable cost.  In fact, when I saw the room, it really was a "family" room and I had a choice of beds!!  The owners were very friendly and hospitable, spoke good English and made me feel very much at home. 

All this was reason enough, when Nigel and I drove back from the UK last month to book a bed there overnight.  It is a modest country establishment with 3 stars, the beds are comfy and the restaurant is superb, but not terribly expensive.  For more information on the hotel see La Corne d'Abondance.
From the Mairie across the square, a view of La Corne d'Abondance with its red shutters; there is private parking at the back.
The restaurant.
We picked the evening menu that included an entrée, main course and dessert or cheese for €25.  I chose the terrine de canard de la houssaye while Nigel had the terrine de haddock au gingembre for the entrée.


We both followed this up with dos d' églefin (we asked what fish it was and we were told cabillaud) poché à la hollandaise, as below. Very good presentation and very tasty!!


As there was a good selection of local cheeses in the fromage course, we chose that instead of dessert, and overall we were both impressed with the meal.

The town is named after Theroulde, who is believed to have been a tutor to William the Conqueror. He cast the foundations to a castle at the spot in 1025. Bourg in French means, amongst other related things, “market town”. Theroulde was assassinated in 1040. In the turbulent times of  France through the Middle Ages, the castle and town were developed and expanded. The present castle dates from about 1600, when the existing castle and town buildings were damaged and burnt during the Religious Wars (1562-98) between Catholics and Protestants. The town was a Protestant stronghold at the time and there are several Huguenot (Protestant) cemeteries in the area.
The village of Infreville  is mentioned in the early 17th century as being associated with senior members of the armed forces, who lived and were buried there. It was amalgamated with Bourgtheroulde in 1973.

With its location a day’s march from the large neighbouring town of Rouen, Bourgtheroulde enjoyed mixed fortunes in the 17th century.  It lay on the edge of the dangerous forest of La Londe, which harboured gangs of bandits, but the town itself was a place of active markets, an important trading centre and a stopping place for travellers and soldiers.


The 19th  century  saw the development of  many public facilities, including the Town Hall Square, the construction in 1858 of a primary school and the town hall in 1866.

Taking a walk around the town after breakfast the following day, we first came across the striking and well-kept Église Saint-Laurent de Bourgtheroulde.


The elaborate City Hall was opened in 1866
Lodge built in 1902 and now offices - no prizes for the architecture here!!
Memorial to the Canadian soldiers killed in the liberation of Bourgtheroulde on 26 August 1944. On the reverse side are transcribed the names of French soldiers of the town who fell in WW 1.

 Above and below, some of the shops in the main street.

Lastly, I loved the colours in this display outside the vegetable and fruit shop. It was good to see a traditional  shop like this still surviving the onslaught of supermarkets.





You might also like My Life Before the Charente  updated 18 June 2012.

64 comments:

  1. How fortuitous to stumble upon this little town and the marvellous B & B you found. I love "finds" like this. I do like the Lodge too, lol.

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  2. Very Normandie and beside the hotel looks like a covered halle.
    I enjoyed the post with a glass of blanc.

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  3. My dear friend Diane
    First of all, congratulations to the new block.
    It is wonderful and your photos emerge Awesome!
    I thank you for your interest in the wonderful city tour!
    I send my love and many kisses
    Always good!

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  4. Joyful it was actually a hotel rather than a B and B with its own restaurant. The owners saw to everything though as in a B and B, though I guess they had a very good chef as they served at the tables. It was very much a family affair. As for the lodge it is a matter of taste, it looks like it could be haunted to me :) Diane

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  5. Leon and Sue all the rooms were upstairs and downstairs was the reception, restaurant and breakfast room. I think that was why it looks a bit halle like! When I took the photo I did not realise that the bottle was in the centre, but I thought it was pretty good when I down loaded it LOL. Keep well D and N

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  6. Magda thanks for the visit my friend and your kind comments. Glad that you like the new look :) Have a great weekend, hugs Diane

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  7. Hi Diane, looks like you found a winner there! Great when you find a place with lovely owners, who make you feel very welcome, even though you had not booked. I am happy that you and Nigel could stay there again. I love the look of the little town too. Looks like it had lovely little shops :-)

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  8. After being on the road all day and tired, if I found some place that the people were friendly, two beds, spoke good English and dinner was only 25 euros I would have thought I had died and gone to heaven.

    Love your walk around the village after breakfast. This is my way to travel. And what a history the village has too.
    Sam

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  9. What a brilliant place. I'm going to bookmark this as it sounds like a good possibility for us when we are travelling either to or from the Lot. It also looks like a possibility for a visit I wish to make to Rouen. My father was there in 1944 and took a lot of photographs of the bombed cathedral -- I would very much like to go and see it now...

    I agree, excellent new look!

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  10. Anne when I found this place last year I was pretty desperate, and Nigel was texting me every 15 mins to see if I had found somewhere. The phone was driving me mad but I know he was only worried. This place was pretty much a dream come true at the moment I found it! If we get there again I will try to spend more time seeing the town, but this last trip it was very cold and not ideal for going out walking!
    Keep well and take care chat soon Diane xx

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  11. Sam, ha ha I did feel very much like that when I was alone and no bed to be find. We both enjoyed the stop over this last visit as well. Lots of history and much more to see I am sure. maybe next time. Have a great weekend Diane

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  12. The Broad if you want to see Rouen this would be a lovely spot to stay over and not expensive. Don't expect 5 star, but it was comfy and friendly which is more important to us. We enjoyed it. Diane

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  13. Sorry, I thought the lodge was fun... something about rambling Victorians always make me smile. Sounds like a great place and the food looks so good for such a price. Don't you love it when you make odd discoveries like that?

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  14. What a lovely spot to discover. When food and accommodations bring you back for a second stay you know it must make for a pleasant sojourn. Your photos are terrific. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  15. This looks like a great place to have happened on by chance Diane, both the town and the hotel with an excellent restaurant.

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  16. lostpastremembered, I am not saying that the lodge is not fun, but you must agree it would be the perfect place to film a haunted house film :) I was more than happy when I made the discovery, I am sure that we will go there again. Diane

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  17. Linda and it was pure chance, after about 7 stops to find accommodation this was just perfect. It was also the only place I had stopped at that spoke English! Take care Diane

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  18. Thanks Mary for the kind comment. The people here were so kind to me, a tired and weary lone traveller that I was delighted that Nigel got to stay there as well this year. Keep well Diane

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  19. All these places look like post cards from my POV. Quaint towns and villages with their shops and restaurants. Looks like a lot of fun to walk up and down the streets.

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  20. What a little gem you found. Nice to return to a sweet town like this.

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  21. Stephen coming from after 50 years in Africa, they also all look like picture post cards to me. There is just nothing that old over there. I was never interested in history but since being here a whole 'new' old world has opened up to me. Diane

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  22. Gaelyn I am more than happy I found this place, and it is in an ideal halfway position if we want to stop over. Diane

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  23. Wow ... those old buildings are stunning - thanks for showing them Diane ...

    The hotel was a great find but I think I'd starve there ... the menu is Greek to me ...

    :)

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  24. The shot of the street full of shops looks more English than French to me! What an adorable little village. It's nice for you to have Nigel around for travelling now. Have a lovely weekend.

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  25. Graham you would never have gone hungry the owners spoke perfect English :) Don't work too hard. Diane

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  26. Marjie it was a long trip on my own it is so much easier with the two of us. Normandy is closer to England so maybe the architecture is a a little different to further South. Have a good weekend Diane

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  27. What a charming "find"! I love it when I stumble upon something like this! Love all of your photos, makes me feel like Im right there!

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  28. Hi Diane .. what a lucky find - and one you can use again and again on your spasmodic trips back here .. love the photos .. isn't the mix of architecture amazing ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  29. Hilary we usually drive straight through going to the UK, but on our return we usually catch a late morning ferry and with the time change, near Rouen is a perfect place to stop over. I am sure we will use it again. Diane

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  30. What a lovely little town. I saw that the hotel has jazz, were they playing the night that you stayed there.

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  31. backroadjournal no, not either time I have stayed thee has there been any one playing Jazz. I have to say I wonder if the do still have jazz nights, I should have asked. Diane

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  32. Just by the presentation of the food, you'll get full looking at it already.

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  33. I love the buildings in the town:) The food looks absolutely gorgeous! Hope you are having a lovely weekend Diane!
    ~Anne

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  34. We've driven by close to here many times but never visited the town. This looks like an excellent place to stopover - I'm definitely making a note of this. Although I would have been confused if they'd told me that églefin was cabillaud. Still let's not get into a haddock or cod debate - perhaps that would be a red herring :)

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  35. This was a great find. The food looks wonderful.

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  36. What a picturesque little town. I like the architecture. Actually the mairie looks like a house here in Atlanta in the rich Buckhead area. But your town really looks like Normandie to me – I guess because of the wood in the houses – it’s quite typical.

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  37. I love coming across these interesting villages, there's so much to see. Looks like you made a great choice with your B & B and the food looks great too x

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  38. chubskulit we were very impressed with the restaurant, the foos was very good. Diane

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  39. Anne it was an interesting little town. I would like more time there to really look around. Keep well Diane

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  40. Phil we are usually in too much of a hurry to stop over, now we are not just visiting but living in the Charente there is more time to see the country. As for the red herring you are right, I suspect from the flavour that it was in fact cod. Keep well Diane

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  41. Words Of Deliciousness. We think it was a great find, I hope that anyone who should follow us there will think the same!! Diane

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  42. Vagabonde we really have seen very little of Normandie. We have always been in such a hurry to get from A to B. I hope in the future we may have more time to view some different areas. Thanks for the visit and hope all is well with you. Diane

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  43. Kerry we were quite happy with the place and the food was very good. We were a little late for breakfast, next time we will remember to get down a bit earlier! It is a good stop over though if you are not in a hurry. Hope all OK with you, Diane xx

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  44. The Café Sucré Farine, if I can make you feel like you are really there then I am more than happy :)) Keep well Diane

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  45. I really like "travelling" with you Diane.
    And isn't it wonderful when you discover a nice, reasonably priced gem of a place. Sometimes, things just fall into place.
    Have a lovely week ahead.

    Red

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  46. Boye By Red so far as I was concerned this really was a lucky find :) You have a great weekend also. Diane

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  47. Diane always I find your pictures georgeous and is a pleasure to the eyes, thanks;))

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  48. Another fun post. I love all of your photos. I think the Lodge is really cool looking.

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  49. wat a fantastic place..looks divine
    Tasty Appetite

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  50. Hi Diane!
    A lovely tour of this beautiful town with mouth watering menus from the restaurant!
    Great reportage again!
    Cheers!

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  51. Wonderful buildings! Wonderful post.

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  52. Gloria thanks for the kind comment, so happy that you enjoyed these photos. Diane

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  53. Pam I still think that lodge would be great for the basis of a ghostly haunted film LOL. Thanks for the comment, have a great day. Diane

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  54. Jay we thought it was a great place and the food excellent. Keep well Diane

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  55. Noushka thanks for the visit, we think it is a great stop over place if you are not in a hurry. We enjoyed our break and the great dinner. Keep well. Bonne journée, Diane

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  56. JM thanks for the visit and the kind comment. Great place to stop over, we though so anyway. Diane

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  57. i presumed the drive from uk back to your house will be a very long drive..how many hours of drive actually? you are very daring when you mentioned that you were driving alone.

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  58. Lena it about 8 hours from our house in France to Calais, then we have to wait for the ferry. We need to be there at least 30mins before arrival. The ferry takes about 1 1/2 hours, then to Nigel's Dad's place (if no traffic problems) is another 3 1/2 hours. Doing it in one trip with two people is not really a huge problem, but with one it is tough without a stop over. I have been doing the trip on my own since 2005 when we bought the house, it is only now that Nigel has retired there is two of us :) I am used to big mileages in Africa but the problem now is I am not as young as I used to be!! Diane

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  59. What an excellent find! The town looks charming, and I enjoyed the history lesson. My maternal ancestors came from Normandy so I have a soft spot for that region of France, and Norman history.

    I love your posts about small villages in France, and also like the colours in that traditional shop.
    X

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  60. Dolly did you mention that you were off to Normandy this year for a break? Thanks for the kind comment, and yes those colours really brightened a grey, chilly day. Take care Diane x

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  61. Oh what a beautiful place to visit. I love those building downtown. The food looks amazing Diane. Looks like lots of fun!

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  62. Lyndsey it was a great stop over place, comfy bed. good food and not expensive. A town I would like too see more of if we have time on another possible visit. Diane

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  63. Thanks again for taking us along your trip. This is a very wonderful place to visit.
    Krisyt

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  64. Kristy it was an interesting place and hopefully we will get to spend more time there next visit. Diane

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