La Ferme Saint Simeon
Sublime by the Seashore
What it is
A 17th-century oceanside respite that once played host to artists Monet, Boudin, Courbet, Corot...too many, and too illustrious, to count.
What it isn't
Granola. The centuries-old aura of creativity still abounds, but as a Relais & Chateaux property, this is luxury at its loftiest.
What we think
Both Luddites and Tech-addicts will find much to love in this Normandy idyll, from the 17th century pavilion (open timber beams still intact) to the flat screens with satellite TV (and a DVD library) in each room. But if you while away your vacation in your suite, you’ll be missing the reason so many artists flocked here in the 17th-century and beyond: the salty aired gardens beyond your door. Guests can opt to take watercolor lessons with a local professional artist, have a picnic in the garden or on the sand (prepared by Chef Sebastien Faramond, no less), get a massage al fresco in their eye-popping spa (replete with an indoor pool that’s so pretty it’s worthy of an Impressionist painting itself) or even borrow a 100% electric Twizy car for the afternoon. There is no such thing as the norm in Normandy.
You're here because
You’ve been to Giverny, of course, but try as you did, they wouldn’t let you sleep there. This combines legitimate Monet history with modern marvels he wouldn’t believe.
Candlelit suppers get cranked up a notch in the hotel’s Gastronomic Restaurant, what with the age-old exposed beams overhead and the hydrangea bursting like fragrant firecrackers over every table. When your server drops your plate of langoustine, lightly grilled and smoked in thyme, upon your table, you’re convinced Monet was painting the wrong things...
Restaurants & Bars
In a decor that exudes absolute charm, between the old floor tiles, fireplace and view over the estuary or Pigeonnier, you can delight in all the treasures of the region. Local and seasonal produce reinvented with respect by the chef. Sole with Bordier seaweed butter, lamb with hazelnut crust or a revised version of the Tarte Tatin, with its 18 years of age Calvados sorbet
Just over two hours from Paris in the teensy town of Hornfleur, footsteps from Le Jardin des Personnalites and the rollicking sea.