Côté Bohème – Normandy, Calvados
- Cabin for 4
2 adults 2 children: 1 double bed (160cm x 200cm) 1 pair of bunk beds (82cm x 190cm).
In the peaceful Normandy village of Ver-sur-Mer, a couple of minutes' walk from the beach, a wheeled cabin in seaside colours of vintage rose, sea-greens and -greys blends beautifully and naturally with the olive trees and pin parasol of Mylène's Provence-inspired garden. Inside, bright colours, fresh flowers and exotic teas lend a welcoming air, and the B&B next door means you aren’t at all isolated: your delicious breakfast (included) is served in the conservatory just across the courtyard.
The architect who designed Côté Bohème divided the space into simple sections so you can close glass doors to the children's room, say 'bonne nuit, les petits!' and enjoy sunset on your own private terrace. The lower of the two bunks turns into a sofa if there are just two of you, and voilà! an elegant place to have tea. The double at the far end looks over the lawn, and between the two, a swish bathroom is fully plumbed in.
Beach-related activities abound: walking, wildlife-spotting, land sailing; and there are windmills to tour further inland as well as the Bayeux tapestry 20min by car. An adorable place – with a Bohemian edge – for a few days’ break or longer – and all a short hop from the ferry!
- Children welcome
Children between 4 and 15 are most welcome at Le Mas Normand at a supplement of £25 a night incl. breakfast. Dogs are welcome too: £5 per night.
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Everything you need to know about Côté Bohème
The important stuff
- Check-in is between 3:30pm and 7pm
- Check-out is at 11:30am
- The bunk beds are only suitable for children between 4 and 15. They are 82cm x 1.9cm.
- There's a small, gentle stream behind the roulotte, but not of a dangerous speed or depth.
Sleeping arrangements2 adults 2 children: 1 double bed (160cm x 200cm) 1 pair of bunk beds (82cm x 190cm).
Kids & PetsChildren between 4 and 15 are most welcome at Le Mas Normand at a supplement of £25 a night incl. breakfast. Dogs are welcome too: £5 per night.
SurchargesChildren between 4 and 15 are most welcome at Le Mas Normand at a supplement of £20 a night incl. breakfast.
- Kettle with teas and coffee
- Fridge in main house - just ask.
- Breakfast - included - is in the conservatory just a step across the courtyard and is plentiful and delicious! There are restaurants nearby, a moderate walk or short drive away.
- The shower, loo and sink are plumbed in
Heating, lighting & bedding
- Linen and towels are all provided
- Playing cards
- Free wifi
- Local area information
- (Children's books and games in English by arrangement)
8 Impasse de la Rivière, Calvados, Normandy, France
Take the Eurostar from London and change in Paris. You could even stop for the night, though you don't need to: trains from Paris St-Lazare go very frequently to Caen and take around 2 hours.
Take the bus from Courseulles-sur-mer to the stop in Ver-sur-Mer. Alternatively, take the easy and frequent coach from Caen.
Hire a car from Caen and reach Ver-sur-Mer in 30min. From Caen take the D7 for Douvres, after 8km turn left on the D404 for 5km; then take the D79 to Courseulles sur Mer. Take the D514 to Ver sur Mer; at village entrance turn 1st left onto Ave. Provence by a restaurant called le P'tit Bouchon, then take the 1st right, the next left, and park at the end on the right. Go through the gate by the stream...
Eating & drinking
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating and drinking - not least by your hosts. Breakfast is served in the conservatory around a large, convivial table and is ample and delicious. There's organic Normandy apple juice, coffee served traditionally in a bowl, yoghurt, honey, and bread from the local baker, either with salted Normandy butter (sel de Guérande) or the unsalted beurre doux d'Isigny. The homemade jams are hard to choose from: apricot and rosemary, plum, cherry, and many more. Comté, Gouda or Tomme cheese, eggs from the hens, and Christian's homemade clafoutis may make an appearance too.
Christian is a highly trained chef and prepares gourmet table d'hôtes dinners (for a minimum of 4 guests, with 48h notice). These elaborate three-course creations will introduce you to the real flavours of Normandy, sometimes with a Provençal twist. Dishes may include fresh fish from the market at Courseulles-sur-Mer, local meat such as slow-cooked lamb, homemade chutneys, quiches, soups and fruity pastry desserts. Drinks are included and the cost is €45 per person. Children's menus are available on request at €12 / €25.
Pubs & restaurants within walking distance
Au P'Tit Bouchon Ver-sur-Mer (300m) A couple of minutes' walk away, Au P'Tit Bouchon is a simple restaurant perfect for a large plate of moules frites, some crêpes or a pizza on your way to or from the beachfront.
Le Sexton Ver-sur-Mer (1km) A little further along the main road (or walk along the sea instead) this alternative serves a reasonable set menu every day for €10.80, beginning with a self-serve buffet d'entrées and concluding with a huge slice of tarte aux pommes or lemon meringue pie.
Pubs & restaurants further afield recommended by Mylène & Christian
La Cale 28, rue de Southampton 14960 Asnelles (6km): friendly little restaurant, recommended for very good value.
La pêcherie Courseulles-sur-mer (10k) high-quality seafood restaurant serving shellfish platters, lobster tasting plates and more marine delights. Dine in the conservatory, or on their lovely terrace.
Quai Est, Courseulles-sur-Mer (4.5k) A good place to pop by, with a friendly owner who prepares delicious seasonal dishes at extremely good value.
Au comptoir gourmand Courseulles, (4.5k) Charming little restaurant with delicious salads, savoury and sweet pancakes.
Au Père Tranquille, Bernières sur mer (8km) A sophisticated seaside restaurant in an unusual setting. This cabin on the water's edge with a pretty terrace almost dipping its toes in the sea... very special.
See 'Things to do' for foodie adventures in the region.
Things to do
Outdoors and active
Horse riding at Courseulles-sur-mer - gallop along the surf
Walking on the 'Sentiers de la Liberté' trails
Play tennis at Ver-sur-Mer club
Wildlife-spotting and beach picnics!
Places to visit
Visit local applesmiths Les Vergers de Ducy who produce organic apple juice, cider, Calvados, pommeau and vinegar, and hold cellar tours in French and English
In nearby Asnelles (5km away) there's a biscuit factory to rival the famous galettes of Mont Saint-Michel.
The fish market at Courseulles-sur-mer is well worth a visit, open every day
The Bayeux Tapestry (20min by car) A famous and very ancient story-in-needlework created in England in the 1070's to record the history of William the Conqueror, Harold, Earl of Wessex, and the great Norman invasion of 1066
Route des Moulins Tourist trail taking in the highlights of the Calvados region
Many other activities are listed on this very useful website, Calvados Tourism.
The Normandy landing sites
From east to west, the beaches of Normandy still carry the names they were given during the WWII landings: Sword, Juno and Gold by the British, Omaha and Utah by the Americans. The coastline is an emotional place for many visitors, and one rich in history.
Less than ten minutes away by car:
America-Gold Beach Museum Ver sur Mer
Juno Beach The Canadian museum at Courseulles sur mer
Musée Arromanches D-Day landings museum at Arromanches
Cinéma circulaire 360° The only 360-degree cinema in France
Under half an hour by car:
Meet your hosts
Mylène moved to Normandy some fifteen years ago from her native Provence. Her sunny southern touches are everywhere, from the lavender soaps in the bathroom to the plants in her garden. Even the little stream running behind Côté Bohème is called 'La Provence,' by a fitting coincidence. A dairy farm occupies the land on the other side of the stream, and the hill opposite the roulotte is covered in what look like grassy terraces: cow paths trodden into the landscape by generations of hooves. Having falling in love with the subtle charms of Normandy, Mylène and her husband Christian set about restoring the 18th century farmhouse, though today you'd never guess it was once a ruin with no windows, doors, water or power. Le Mas Normand is in the lovely seaside village of Ver-sur-Mer. The sea is 300m away and in the village there is a baker, grocer and two small, simple restaurants.
A wonderful wheeled cabin has now been added to the three cosy B&B rooms and is proving very popular with guests looking for a holiday with a Bohemian touch, and with children, who love clambering into the bunk beds and experiencing the novelty of life on wheels. It's not the trundling kind, though: Côté Bohème now lives permanently in the garden, with its own private wooden terrace accessed by several wooden steps. Mylène asked an architect from Trouville, who specialises in moveable structures of every kind, to design her something that blended very naturally with the calm, seaside environment. Though a cousin of the traditional French Gypsy caravan known as the 'roulotte,' it's the only one of its kind and has even been photographed for a design magazine. There is plenty of daylight within, all the many windows have both blinds and curtains so your privacy (and your sleep!) remains intact.
The honey, apple juice, butter, bread, in fact nearly everything on the breakfast table is either homemade or very local indeed. Much of it is organic. At the end of the beautifully kept garden are chickens who supply the eggs for the B&B.
The paint used to decorate the roulotte is non-toxic water-based paint and is sealed with environmentally-friendly linseed oil.