All along the Alabaster Coast, herrings are the order of the day in the month of November! Visit one of Normandy’s herring festivals this year and you’ll find plenty to make your mouth water, not to mention music and entertainment for all ages.

the King of Fish

Herring is traditionally known as the poisson roi (king of fish) in Normandy and, up until the 1970s, was a major contributor to the local economy and population. It was also often said ‘Eat up your herring and you will have beautiful children!”. Herring comes in many guises; grilled, salted, marinated, best served with a zest of lemon and a glass of white wine, and has been a staple food for centuries. Get stuck in!

festivals throughout november

Herring festival season in Normandy starts in the seaside town of Le Tréport before moving west along the Alabaster Coast to Dieppe, Saint-Valery-en-Caux and Fécamp. Enjoy stall upon stall of market sellers grilling fresh herrings, dubber the ‘king of fish’ in these parts, fishermen selling their wares on the quaysides, and live music as you eat. In Dieppe, the number one scallop port in France, you can also enjoy this specialty alongside herring at the city’s annual festival, which attracts over 100,000 people every year. whereas in Fécamp, Les Pêcheries Museum is well worth a visit to find out more about this fishing port’s rich maritime heritage.

meanwhile, inland…

Lieurey in the Eure département also celebrates herring, welcoming around 10,000 people every November. This tradition dates back to the 15th century when merchants delivering herrings to soldiers stopped in the village during a snowstorm and decided to sell the fish to the villagers so it wouldn’t go to waste. There is also an annual challenge to see who can eat the most herrings. Don’t all rush at once!*

*Please eat herring responsibly

USEFUL INFORMATION AND DATES

Le Tréport Herring Festival: 7-8 November 2020
Lieurey Herring Festival: 11 November 2020
Dieppe Herring and Scallop Festival: 14-15 November 2020
Saint-Valery-en-Caux Herring Festival: 22 November 2020
Fécamp Herring Festival: 28-29 November 2020

The French Government and health authorities have announced the cancellation of all non-essential gatherings to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Events may be cancelled or postponed. Please check these events’ official websites or social media channels before undertaking any travel.