june.be blogs about Montreuil-sur-Mer and Diners Insolites

The Belgian blog June visited Montreuil earlier this summer.

You will want to put some places in your pocket and take them home with you to cherish them. Montreuil-sur-Mer is such a city where time seems to stand still.
And the way in which you can discover this northern French town is quite special. How about a bike ride, a delicious lunch at a special place followed by a city visit? We think these are the ideal ingredients for a day off, just across the border.
The starting point for such a day off is Le Touquet, a fashionable seaside resort on the Opal Coast with casinos and hotels in stately buildings. From there, the cycling tour departs to the interior.

To Montreuil-sur-Mer, about 16 kilometers away, for a dinner in a unique location: in the gardens of the citadel. Here they call it “diner insolite”, an idea that arose during a dinner party between friends during the lockdown period in France. Each of them is active in the tourism sector and together they were looking for a way to entertain the many Belgians and British who come to Pas-de-Calais every year. The result is a nice mix of good food, cycling and discovering the region.

Sommige plekjes wil je in je broekzak steken en meenemen naar huis om ze te blijven koesteren. Montreuil-sur-Mer is zo’n stad waar de tijd lijkt stil te staan. En de manier waarop je dit Noord-Franse plaatsje kan ontdekken is dan ook best bijzonder. Wat denk je van een fietstocht, een heerlijke lunch op een speciale plek gevolgd door een stadsbezoek? Ons lijken dat de ideale ingrediënten voor een vrije dag, net over de grens.
Het vertrekpunt voor zo’n vrije dag is Le Touquet, een ietwat mondaine badplaats aan de Opaalkust met casino’s en hotels in statige gebouwen. Vandaaruit vertrekt de geplande fietstocht naar het binnenland. Naar Montreuil-sur-Mer, zo’n 16 kilometer verderop voor een etentje op een unieke locatie: in de tuinen van de citadel. Hier noemen ze het “diner insolite”, een idee dat ontstond tijdens een etentje tussen vrienden tijdens de lockdownperiode in Frankrijk. Elk van hen is actief in de toeristische sector en samen zochten ze een manier om de vele Belgen en Britten die jaarlijks naar Pas-de-Calais afzakken te entertainen. Het resultaat is een mooie mix van lekker eten, fietsen en de streek ontdekken.

Montreuil-sur-Mer: Frans-Belgische gastronomie aan de Opaalkust


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WERNER & MYRIAM blog: ‘ DINER INSOLITE’, EEN ERVARING DIE NAZINDERT

(Diner Insolite: a lasting experience)

Belgian travel bloggers Werner and Miriam visited Montreuil-sur-Mer’ to explore Diners Insolites

Cycling and gastronomic enjoyment are in the DNA of our Belgians and they have understood that well in Pas de Calais. It gave Tim and Fabienne from Club Energie Vélo the idea to fuse these notorious Belgian delicacies into a Diner Insolite. We cycle with them from the fashionable Le Touquet to the old fortified town of Montreuil-sur-Mer, where chef Guillaume Duvivier occasionally exchanges the chic interior of his Clos des Capucins for the historic backdrop of the Montreuil citadel.

Fietsen en gastronomisch genieten, het zit ons Belgen in het DNA en dat hebben ze in Pas de Calais goed begrepen. Het bracht Tim en Fabienne van Club Energie Vélo op het idee om deze notoire Belgische zaligheden te versmelten tot een Diner Insolite. Wij fietsen met hen van het mondaine Le Touquet naar het oude vestigingsstadje Montreuil-sur-Mer waar chef Guillaume Duvivier het chique interieur van z’n Clos des Capucins occasioneel verruilt voor het historische decor van de Montreuilse citadel.


Werner & Myriam’s blog

Three perfect ferry holidays to France, according to our expert


Anthony Peregrine, Travel writer for The Daily Telegraph assembled three round-trips by car in France to enjoy once travel from the UK is freely permitted.
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« Contemplating post-lockdown holidays other than in Britain is accounted treachery in some quarters. This is extreme. Naturally, if I lived in Britain, I’d see the case for Dorset, the Dales or the Cairngorms in 2020. But I’d also see the case for abroad, where no-one’s heard of Matt Hancock, Simon Cowell or Wetherspoons. We may neither wish, nor be able, to go far – but abroad starts just over the Channel. And ferries and tunnel permitting, we’ll be safe in our own cars. If that sounds like you, here are three off-the- peg week-long trips you might consider. They involve no excessive driving and, in two cases, contain serious patriotic elements.

From Calais
Day 3
« On to Montreuil and Tim Matthew’s Maison 76, as noble a B&B as this region affords (maison76.com (https://maison76.com); B&B doubles £155). Dine at Alexandre Gauthier’s Anecdote (anecdote- restaurant.com (http://anecdote-restaurant.com); mains from £22)…
Day 4
« Visit Montreuil. Ramparts and a citadel recall that the place was once important, the equestrian statue of Haig that it was also British GHQ, 1916-18. The little town retains an elevated aspect.  »

Read abridged article

Pique-Nique Chic

Pique-Nique Chic
This weekend marks the launch of a new collaboration between La Destination Gastronomique, Club Energie Velo and the Maison du Tourism & du Patrimoine in Montreuil sur Mer.

"Pique-Nique Chic" highlights restaurateurs and food traders able to provide you with fresh and high-quality products to create your own chic picnic that you can enjoy in and around the medieval town of Montreuil-sur-Mer. You'll find these areas highlighted on a card provided with your purchases. (In compliance with health safety regulations)
Social distancing measures

Concert Apero

The town has always enjoyed live musical evenings. As always, this summer there will be music in the Rue du Clape en Bas Montreuil.
Additionally, music can also be heard at Le Douglas, Froggy's, Le Caveau, Le Cocq Hotel and L'Anecdote.
This week we held a "Concert Apéro" for Francois et Clementine of Le Caveau performed by Regis Marchant (a long-term friend of la Cite Montreuilloise) from his garden in England.

Ver concert: YouTube

Good health to all!

#LaDestinationGastronomique #LoveMontreuilSurMer #CotedOpalePourEtreMieux #HateDeVousRetrouver

Northern Star

The April edition of Living France Magazine has highlighted Montreul-sur-Mer's thriving Saturday market. The town is well known for its restaurants, shops, food, wine, hotels and notably for the hospitality of its people.

In the heart of the region just 40 minutes from Calais, this walled medieval village (2ème village préfère des français 2016) looks forward to once again welcoming visitors in the coming months.

Many thanks to journalist Lucy Shrimpton at Living France Magazine.

For more information please contact

Les Misérables in Montreuil-sur-Mer

http://www.lesmiserables-montreuil.com

In 1837, Victor Hugo visited Montreuil-sur-Mer. A few years later, he set the fortified city as the location of the first part of his most famous novel Les Misérables.
Each year, 500 volunteers perform scenes from the novel in a sound and light show. Fiction and reality mix in the atmospheric and mysterious setting of Montreuil-sur-Mer's historic Citadel.
The eight performances will take place on July 31st and on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th August 2020.

Website

Montreuil-sur-Mer: Destination of choice


Montreuil has been selected for the third consecutive year by the Times of London in its 2020 travel guide as one of the 50 French destinations of choice for British holidaymakers.
 Writing in the January 11th issue, journalist Carolyn Boyd says that the town and surrounding region are great for those travelling as a family.


She highlights Montreuil's culinary skills and the welcoming environment for families as an ideal base for discovering the magnificent Opal Coast.

A Symphony Of The Senses

The second annual festival for all the senses took place in Montreuil-sur-Mer, France. From early until late, the town became a theatre of food, wine and music.
See photo gallery
Photos: © Christian Plard, Tim Matthews, Paddy Daly, Philippe Lippens, E Rivelon
All rights reserved. Download, reproduction and copying prohibited in all cases. "Fair Use" copying not allowed.

The Opal Coast: A Land of Cheeses

Recently-established Caseus, Montreuil's cheese-maker, gives pride of place to a wide range of cheeses from the Opal Coast. We discover their history…
When we push the door of Caseus, on the Grand-Place of Montreuil sur Mer, it’s obvious that we are in France, the country of 250 cheeses. This outstanding shop also stocks Dutch, English and Swiss cheeses. (Owner Ludivine Lefrançois, searches far and wide) There are cheeses from the local Opal Coast, ranging from Fruges to the coast beyond Boulogne. You can find Sire de Créquy, Tomme de Raoul, Sablé de Wissant, Pavé de Montreuil, Ecume de Wimereux, Fleur de Fruges, Fruité du Boulonnais, Coeur Hesdinois, Chti à la Bière and Dôme du Boulonnais. "In an average shopper’s basket, there are at least one or two cheeses from this region," says Ludivine. The English love them, the Belgians too, basically all foreigners. "One or two we make specially for ceremonies or family celebrations." However, Ludivine Lefrançois has one regret: customers are not curious about their history.


Ludivine Lefrançois and her team at Caseus

Ludivine Lefrançois knows what she is talking about. She made these local cheeses when she worked with her parents, Alfred and Marie-Claire Henguelle, in Créquy, a village near Fruges. Today they are produced by her brother Damien and sister, Alice.
But what are the origins of these cheeses? Historically, the Opal Coast and its hinterland were not native cheese producers like Auvergne or Normandy. Camembert, one of France’s most famous, was first made in the 18th century. Tomme de Savoie is cited in texts from the 16th century!
Opal Coast cheeses first appeared in the 1980s and 1990s, for mostly financial reasons. "This was the era of milk quotas," explains Alice at Sire de Créquy's farm. "It was necessary to create added value to the milk rather than selling it or throwing it away, as long as the farm was of medium size, between 50 and 60 hectares ". The Bernard brothers' artisanal dairy Sainte-Godeleine (Sablé de Wissant, Ecume de Wimereux, Fleur d'Audresselles), in Wierre Effroy, also became active in the 1980s. Antoine and Joachim Bernard now employ around thirty people and have just inaugurated a new, larger building.
In Créquy, Alfred and Marie-Claire Henguelle trained with producers in Munster, Alsace. The first cheese they created in Créquy is the Sire de Créquy, reminiscent of Alsatian cheese. "A cheese takes a long time to create," explains Alice. You have to carry out manufacturing tests, refine it, check that you have the right result, sometimes trial modifications, check how it reacts in summer and winter. It takes a year to achieve the right result. ” Her brother followed into the business after completing agricultural school and training.

l’Ecume de Wimereux

Alice, in addition to helping with cheese making, trials the yogurts that the farm produces. Yoghurts are developed with taste variations depending on season: lemon thyme, fresh mint, ginger, rose, cinnamon. Not all trials are successful. "I tried a nettle yogurt. Nettle soup is ubiquitous and so good. In yogurt, it was a disaster. I also tested violets but it is difficult to find the flowers in the volume needed".
Today, the development of the company is all about marketing. Caseus is an effective reseller. There are other cheese factories in the region that come to buy from the farm. For them, ripening is carried out on the farm in natural cellars. Caseus work with wholesalers in Belgium and Luxembourg, with recent interest from Germany. On the Ile de France, the farm works with La Ruche, who target Franprix stores seeking to enhance their range of farm products. In Paris, the Sire de Créquy farm has pooled deliveries with Chateauneuf Meat, a farm located in Audincthun, which has developed impressive meat sales in the capital.
As Alice points out, "City dwellers have become more aware of what they eat than in the countryside." In Montreuil sur Mer, Caseus welcomes everyone!
Jean-Paul Leroy

A weekend in Montreuil-sur-Mer with The Times

..Times journalist Carolyn Boyd spent a weekend in the Montreuil-sur-Mer area this month, visiting Maison 76, La Grenouillère, Le Crotoy, Saint-Valery, Le Clos des Capucins et Le Caveau.
« A Weekend in Montreuil-sur-Mer » was published in the Times, London, on 20th. October.
The Times (pdf)


"When it comes to a foodie weekend in France, there are certain things on most wish lists: markets, wine, cheese, Michelin stars if you can, some seafood if possible and something to take home (preferably more wine).
"So it is most convenient that the small town of Montreuil-sur-Mer has reinvented itself as “La Destination Gastronomique” and ticks every box."

frankrijk.nl visits Montreuil-sur-Mer

Montreuil-sur-mer heerlijke stadje voor foodies
Dutch travel blog frankrijk.nl recently visited Montreuil.
Carole and Josée travelled to the Pas-de-Calais region from Amsterdam. Charmed by the town of Montreuil-sur-Mer and the surrounding area, they wrote of their favourite places to stay.
(In Dutch and German)

Girls’ Foodie Weekend

Susanna Scott, (left) who blogs as A Modern Mother , visited Montreuil-sur-Mer for the weekend with a couple of friends.

"Sometimes you just have to get away with the girlfriends. No kids, no dinners to prepare – just a little self-indulgence and delight. Our weekend trip to Montreuil-sur-Mer was long in the making. One of my friends had visited the Michelin-starred La Grenouillere and raved about it. Its chef, Alexandre Gauthier, is a bit of a rock star in the foodie world. He caught the eye of President Obama after serving him local Licques chicken at the Paris COP21 conference. Then in 2016 Gauthier was named France’s top chef by Gault et Millau Guide – in some circles this trendy guide is even more prestigious than Michelin.

My friend went on to say it wasn’t the pretentious and overrated “experience” you can get in some of the UK’s top restaurants (not naming names but seriously do you need to serve a meal with an iPod piping in the sound of crashing waves). Plus La Grenouillère is nearly half the price of somewhere like the Fat Duck (oops, I named names). Then I saw this video and just had to try it!

So yes we planned our weekend around a meal at La Grenouillère! In fact, Montreuil-sur-Mer has a reputation as “La Destination Gastronomique!”

There are lots of foodie shops in the main Square, an awesome Saturday market and very reasonable restaurants and bistros with top notch food. And if you tire of eating (is there such a thing?) you can explore Cote d’Opale. PLUS all of this is just under an hour from the crossings and the locals even seem to like English speakers (at least they tolerate them!). I started to wonder why I hadn’t visited Montreuil-sur-Mer before."

Une Symphonie Des Sens

Une Symphonie Des Sens Sunday, 6 May 2018
A Symphony Of The Senses was a festival of food, wine, music and vintage cars, presented by La Destination Gastronomique, in Montreuil-sur-Mer, on Sunday 6th May 2018.

Photos: © Christian Plard
All rights reserved. Download, reproduction and copying prohibited in all cases. "Fair Use" copying not allowed.

The Guides

An Insider's Guide to Montreuil-sur-Mer

As Montreuil locals « Les Montreuillois » we are frequently asked for recommendations: where to eat, drink and shop, what to do, see and hear.

So we decided to create a platform for exactly that, an online destination gastronomique, to help you discover the best of the foodie destination we are lucky enough to call home.