MyFerryLink has come up with the following ideas for Foody Travellers thinking of a trip across the channel.
Gourmet Pas de Calais
The hypermarkets and wine warehouses of the Pas de Calais region are famous, but lesser known are the many small producers in the area, treasured by the locals and becoming a weekend attraction for savvy British gourmets. British visitors can indulge in a foody weekend, discovering markets, producers and brewers, many of whom offer traditional French products at fantastic prices and all within an hour’s drive of Calais. Producers include organic vegetable growers, cheese and bread makers, microbreweries, fruit sparkling wine producers and even snail farms.
The Pas de Calais region also has more than its fair share of quality restaurants, with the top restaurants forming their own exclusive club – Toques d’Opale http://www.toquesdopale.com
Learn to make French bread and brioche
At the heart of the seven valleys region of the Pas de Calais, a short drive from Calais, is the Moulin de Lugy. Built in 1758, it has recently been renovated and connected to the mains, and now produces organic breads. In a half-day course under the eye of a master baker, guests can discover the art of baking French breads and brioche, and will depart with a loaf of bread and brioches under their arm! Prices start at €150 per couple for the lesson and a room. Visit www.moulin-lugy.fr
Goat’s cheese and home-made bread
Run by Valerie Magniez local goat’s cheese and home-made bread cookery classes are available at La Halte d’Autrefois, Hesmond for visitors to learn how to make items such as pizzas and tarts. Set in beautiful countryside, there is a rustic gîte available for two to hire. Open year round; workshops need to be booked in advance and it’s a good idea to call prior to a visit too. Visit www.halte-autrefois.com
Fruit sparkling wines
Producer of delicious fruit sparkling wines Hubert Delobelle at Le Perle, Vallée de la Crequoise also sells jams, honey and other produce. The sparkling wines include flavours like raspberry, redcurrant and cherry at €11.50 per bottle. Hubert also offers short tours and free tastings, as well as a free map showing five walks in the surrounding countryside, starting and finishing at Le Perle. Open all year round, and from 10am-7pm daily in July and August, visit www.perledegroseille.com
Traditional organic fruit and vegetables
Located in Offin, between Hesdin and Montreuil, Francois Delepierre of Aux Legumes d’Antan produces and sells traditional organic varieties of fruit and vegetables depending on the season. Along with jams, chutneys are organic gardening aides, such as fly traps and bird boxes. Open all year round, Francois also offers workshops and tours on topics such as pruning and building bird boxes. Guests can also choose to stay at the farm, with a family cottage available for B&B. Visit http://auxlegumesdantan.free.fr
MyFerryLink operates 16 daily crossings on the Dover-Calais route. Fares for a car and up to nine passengers start from just £19 each way online and are for any duration travel. Visit www.myferrylink.com