Him and I happily and very luckily enjoyed the calm, sun and sea before storm Ciara decided to spoilt things for everyone!
So It was per chance that we ended up at Saint-Vaast-La-Hougue, Normandy, a very pretty harbour town with lots of Gin! I will explain more later, don't worry.
On a quiet, late winter Saturday afternoon, finding ourselves twiddling our thumbs, we decided to play tourists again and took a drive along the costal roads to see where we fancied a stop for Entrecôte and Frites, as per!
In other news, I've completely banned myself from desserts for a while! Wine will probably get the cut next! Too much of a good thing and all that!
Anyway, we ended up in 'St Vaast' a famous fishing and sailing port. Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue is also an oyster farming centre and a seaside resort benefiting from a mild and pleasant climate. Off the port, the Tatihou island, fortified by Vauban, is a place great for walking and discovering its botanical garden, its ornithological observatory and its maritime museum.
Just a 30-minute drive from the port of Cherbourg, Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue is a picturesque coastal village located in the Val de Saire at the north-east end of the Cotentin Peninsula. The village is famed for its oysters and, at low tide, the oyster beds provide a link between the mainland and Tatihou Island. Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue is also home to the Tour Vauban de la Hougue, which stands at the entrance of the small harbour and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with its sister-tower on the island opposite. With 700 berths, its marina is one of Normandy's largest.
My hubby is sailing mad so he got his fix of boats and I discovered some great boutiques but more importantly, Gin! Well, more than Gin really if I'm honest, but restocking my Gin bar yet again was foremost in my mind. The last time I lived in France, I found the Gin stock here rather depressingly 1970's! In other words barely there and when I left Canada I had a pretty neat Gin collection, which I ended giving away yet again, as the packers refused to pack it! All is now well because in ST. Vaast we discovered a stock of Gin from every part of the world bar none!
When we entered the comestibles shop 'Maison Gosselin' we felt like kids in a sweet shop on a sweet ban! The shop sells an array of luxury goods including alcohol, coffee, handmade and food products. It's an Aladdins cave of fancy stuff and he immediately hid his wallet!
In the end we did a little bit of tasting and he discovered a plethora of single malts and I got my gin! I decided on a local made gin, made here in Normandy. It's called NORMINDIA, heavy in botanicals and is distilled in a Calvados copper still!
Here's the story of Normindia Gin!
After spending six months travelling around India, discovering a new country, a new civilization and new flavors, Pierre, the third generation of Domaine du Coquerel family got back to business school keeping in mind this wonderful experience.
He then worked both in France and in the United States where he got the opportunity to taste hundreds of different spirits including Gin of course, which he fall in love with.
Two years ago, he joined the family distillery producing Calvados, Pommeau and Cidre since 1937 and started thinking to develop their own signature Gin.
They found in an old family book dated from 1765 called "La Chymie du Goût et de l’Odorat" approved by Louis XV - King of France a recipe of a Juniper distillate.
It was the moment when we started to source the botanicals and begun the first laboratory maceration & microdistillation with a team of flavorist, oenologist and master distiller.
4 to 12 days of maceration in a stainless steel vat
Distilled in our smallest Calvados copper still
Then bottled. 100% crafted in-house.
NORMINDIA TASTE We wanted to create a gin that is fresh, fruity and smooth like our Calvados Fine and that gets a little spicy and floral at the end like our Calvados VSOP.
WHY INDIA? Incredible botanicals. The perfect balance between spiciness, sweetness and smoothness.