OffranvilleDelightful

Delightful Offranville

A charming village

Flowery and green, this lovely village boasts all the charms of Normandy. The walks there are exceedingly pleasant, dotted with dovecotes and manors evocative of the era of painter Jacques-Emile Blanche.

Offranville is best explored early in the morning, when the pink line of the rising sun appears to awaken the flowers in William Farcy Park. Its landscape gardens, with waterways straddled by a wooden bridge and lined with benches, offer an enjoyable respite. People go there for its heirloom roses and varied flower beds.

With a comfortable seat at Terrasse Gourmande, in the old 18th century cart house, it’s time to relax and enjoy simple, bucolic cooking. A little farther along, in the village’s oldest half-timbered house, Michelin-starred Chef Laurent Kleczewski demonstrates his creativity with regional products. His restaurant Le Colombier has made a name for itself in the world of fine dining, known for its friendly atmosphere and its harmonious cuisine, ranging from its creamy oyster soup with coriander and preserved lemon to its French veal chuck with a cream sauce to its turbot with fig shavings and a citrus sauce. A real treat for your taste buds.

A choice ambassador

Painter Jacques-Emile Blanche made Offranville’s relaxed lifestyle his own personal credo. In 1903, he moved into Tôt Manor with his wife Rose, where they received the artistic and political high society of the times. He took his friends on walks in the fresh air and formed strong ties with the region. As a result, Offranville was known to Paris’s jet set and even as far away as England, which the painter regularly visited. Small manors and lovely villas sprang up in the town. The Jacques-Emile Blanche Museum showcases the painter’s 40 years in the village, through correspondence, photographs and more, and of course features the artist’s work with a collection of paintings and drawings. A route from Offranville to Dieppe and Pourville-sur-Mer also follows in the footsteps of the artist who loved those spots.

The pace of a peaceful village

The easily recognizable twisted spire of Saint-Ouen Church lends a touch of eccentricity which the village coquettishly preserves. Built in 1570, there was a defect in its construction, such that the spire is still spiralling today under its slate shingles. The age-old yew, previously planted alongside the church as symbolic protection for the village is impressively large.

But sounding out Offranville also means following the path to its four dovecotes and heading down to the River Scie to discover the Moulins Jeanet and de la Pierre mills and the Quenouille twin mill. For those who want to take advantage of the surrounding countryside, bicycles are available for hire at the Maison du Parc, so you can ride along the Véloroute du Lin or the Avenue Verte as you explore the Norman farmland.