Updated on 6 July 2020
Reading time: 4 minutes
Land of magic and mystery, Normandy is blessed with many castles full of history, often in stunning locations. The good news is that you don’t have to be royalty to feel like royalty on a family adventure! We head to Tourville-sur-Arques, in Seine-Maritime with our little prince and princess for a wonderful family experience. On the agenda: a discovery of the vegetable garden, a cooking workshop with the Lady of the Château and a cosy night in a family suite furnished in an elegant décor straight out of a fairy tale!
Now our kids are old enough to appreciate the sense of history and incredible experience of staying in a real chateau, Mehdi and I decided to make their dream come true. What could be more in keeping with a fairy tale than the Chateau de Miromesnil, a 17th century jewel of architecture set in acres of woodland gardens near Dieppe? Our adventure begins the moment we enter the gates of the Château where we’re instantly surrounded by lush greenery and enchanted by the picturesque sight of the majestic castle. Prepared for imperial encounters, we are welcomed by Nathalie, the friendly owner. After greeting us, she gives us a bit of background on its history. It turns out the castle is family-owned for the past three generations and was the birthplace of the famous French writer Guy de Maupassant.
Cosy Rooms steeped in history
Excitement reaches its peak when the kids discover their opulent, huge bedroom featuring walls lined with toile de Jouy, a famous printed French fabric from the late eighteenth century. “Hey Chloé, check it out! It’s fit for a king!” says Simon, as if he had stepped back to an enchanted time of knights, dragons and medieval chivalry! Our bedroom is also so spacious it serves as a living room. It boasts a beautiful old office facing the park that we imagine being the perfect inspiration spot for writers! From our rooms we enjoy jaw-dropping views on the park and on the vegetable garden that is set to become the kids discovery playground the following day.
Harvesting the vegetable garden
The next morning, we indulge in a delicious breakfast featuring home-made jams. The morning activity is devoted to exploring the magnificent vegetable garden with Nathalie. An educational and rewarding moment for the kids, fascinated by some many different plants and colours.
They are introduced to plenty of aromatic herbs like rosemary, sage, laurel, thyme and unknown varieties of veggies: castor leaves, fennel, shrubby peony, colourful cosmos, electric blue delphinium and kale, an ancient vegetable quite trendy at the moment. Children get their hands dirty—literally—and love the experience of touching, smelling, observing and harvesting. With a shovel, they pull out leeks and carrots to cook later.
Forage, cook and feast
Time for the little chefs-to-be to hit the kitchen for a true garden-to-table way of learning and cooking session. On the menu, carrot soup with coriander, leek fondue and a meringue apple compote. Nathalie starts with the basic instructions on cutting freshly picked vegetables and positioning their small fingers safely so that they don’t cut themselves. They develop together a whole new set of cooking skills to produce these mouth-watering dishes. After the workshop, they take an immense pleasure in sampling their culinary creations!
As we prepare to go out, Nathalie advises us to visit Dieppe market, recently crowned second best in the whole country, and the unmissable scallop stall of a woman called Paquita, who runs a family business. Off we go! Such a gourmet treat!
Château de Miromesnil
Located in Seine-Maritime, between the coastal town of Dieppe and the Pays de Caux area, the château de Miromesnil, is a jewel of architecture in Normandy and the birthplace of the famous French writer Guy de Maupassant.
Château de Miromesnil
Terres de Miromesnil – 76550 Tourville-sur-Arques
Cooking workshop at the chateau
Cooking workshop with 3 or 4 kids.
During school holidays (except summer holidays)
Rates 2020: on request
The workshop can be led by Nathalie or another expert.
Family room in the Chateau
330 euros, Breakfast included.
Stroll in the park
7 euros per person.
Information provided may vary.
Practical information can be subject to changes.
A true heritage lover, she takes great pleasure in welcoming guests and visitors to her unique home. From the vegetable garden to the private salons of the chateau, she’ll give you a deep insight into the fascinating history of this wonder of architecture.