Skinny Houses and Profiteroles

posted in: Mom's Musings | 0

After we left Giverny, we drove just a short piece further to spend the night in the quaint little town of Honfleur.

The Seine connects to the English Channel here, so this was a busier port in the past. However, now it is just beautiful with its old sailing ships and skinny medieval houses.

We learned that the reason they are skinny was because, when they were built, they were only taxed based on their width, not height. Interesting…

St. Catherine’s Church in the middle of town was simple compared to all the other churches we have visited and quite inviting. It had wood shingles and large wooden planks used throughout. Perfect for fishermen and their community.

The harbor was a delight to walk around and enjoy the light playing on the water, surrounded by the cobblestone streets and restaurants. Impressionists loved the gorgeous light effect from the river and sea coming together, and Honfleur is often thought of as the birthplace of Impressionism.

Many people were walking their dogs and Walden was thrilled to see waffles being served – a definite stop before we left in the morning.

Our dinner was interesting. Making reservations is very difficult for us with our limited phones and so many people to make a decision together; by the time we decide, often the restaurant is not accepting anymore customers. But as Grandpa said, we haven’t had a bad meal yet!

Formula menus are common here. You pick an appetizer, entree, and dessert for a set price from a list of options. Average cost is about $15-20 each, if it’s reasonable.

Our French is also very limited, so most of the time you just have a vague idea of what you’re ordering.

Chris tried salmon terrine and steak for the entree. Grangoo, Grandpa, Ella and I, and Walden had red poisson with asparagus, with camembert cheese for an appetizer – except for Ella and I.

Ella and I usually share, and we were shocked to find our “fruits de la mer” appetizer to come out as shrimp with all its parts, raw oysters, and snails (that did not remotely resemble the butter filled joy I have found escargot to be).

Then we were all thrilled to see chocolate profiteroles as the finale. Since Ella and I were a little hungry sharing the small portions, Chris and Walden sacrificed one of their profiteroles to the cause! The meal was full of unintentional squeals and disapproving looks for our poor manners.

No, not really, but eating here is definitely an event with clear etiquette (but not always clear to us).

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