There are many wonderful places to stay in Normandy, and this makes finding that one special Hideaway that is different from your average sleeping facility stuffed with an endless array of brocante items rather difficult…..at least in Mrs. Local Hideaways’ humble opinion…. But, ‘à la campagne’ or ‘in Normandy’s countryside’, I was lucky to find:  “La vie de Cocagne”, which roughly translates as “Land of Plenty”. And that is just what it is!

Having lived a hectic life in Paris, the owners of this Hideaway, Thierry and Caroline, went back to their roots to Normandy looking for space, peace and quiet. Some 14 years ago they bought this old typical Norman half-timbered farm and refurbished it completely. After this they set to work on the barn and voilà: La Vie de Cocagne was ready.

The cosy house offers three spacious bedrooms with wonderful beds and two bathrooms with showers. It is perfect for friends or family, but also, depending on your budget, for a romantic stay for two. The spacious living room with wood-burning stove,  large windows and glass doors offers a great view of the surroundings and of the owners’ pets: two donkeys and a horse! My children were ecstatic: they visited the donkeys, Chocolat and Basilic,  first thing each morning! The living room, complete with a wide sofa, satellite TV and an enormous collection of dvd’s, is ideal for long winter evenings of relaxation. The open space kitchen is fully equipped and is perfect for foodies wanting to prepare all kinds of lovely French dishes. This is your perfect home away from home!

Thierry and Caroline are the most welcoming hosts. For starters, upon arrival you will find the fridge filled with all sorts of necessities, enabling you to start your holiday relaxed and comfortable, without immediately having to rush off to the nearest supermarket.  They have aimed to create a place where they themselves would want to live, and boy, have they succeeded! By decorating the house with beautiful, high quality fabrics and furniture brought home from their frequent trips to Morocco, they have created a warm and comfortable atmosphere. By the way, Thierry and Caroline speak perfect English and will be able to direct you to the best restaurants and places to visit.

Last but not least, let me tell you about the beautiful garden: two terraces, one of which has a hot tub, and both with a wonderful view of the surrounding fields. As the property is so large and you are so far away from the owners’ house,  your privacy is guaranteed.

In short, here you can unwind completely…and in all seasons, for every season has its perks: in the winter you can have long and lazy evenings in front of the wood-burning stove; spring is when you can most enjoy the apple blossom (La Vie de Cocagne is on the Cider route): during the summer it is only a short distance to the nearby beaches or you can have a barbecue on the terrace and in de fall you can enjoy the apple harvest and the couleur locale! La Vie de Cocagne is the perfect place from where to start discovering Normandy or to just unwind and do nothing…..Life is sweet in Normandy!!

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