24-Hour Room Service: La Ranconniere, Normandy

THE MINUTE you sweep through the Ranconniere's crenellated stone gateway it becomes clear that this is not going to be a holiday down on the farm. The Ferme de la Ranconniere is really a manor house, dating from the 13th century, with a few converted farm buildings added on. The first impression is of a large, rather grand country mansion but inside there is an overriding sense that you are staying with old friends. The hotel is family-run, and the reception area appears to be a desk in the family sitting room.

The hotel doesn't pamper its guests with spas or exotic gardens: the luxury is in the gastronomic experience. The restaurant at La Ranconniere is an exception to the rule that hotel food should be avoided at all costs: it is so popular with locals that, even if you are staying there, you will need to book a table. Not exactly low in calories, the emphasis is on butter, cream and local cheeses - as you would expect in Normandy. If a five-course dinner and a huge breakfast are not enough, the farm shop in the courtyard sells local produce that is ideal fare if you fancy a lunchtime picnic.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Ferme de la Ranconniere, Route d'Arromanches, 14480 Crepon-Creully, France (00 332 31 22 21 73, fax 00 332 31 22 98 39). Transport: take your own, although this is good walking country for the energetic. Crepon is about 40 minutes' drive west of the ferry port of Ouistreham, or half an hour from Caen-Carpiquet airport. Alternatively, the nearest railway station is to be found eight miles away, in Bayeux.

ARE YOU LYING COMFORTABLY?

What to expect: the rooms are rustic, rather than streamlined, and part of the charm is that they are all slightly different. Regular visitors tend to have their favourites, but most have wooden beams, and there are some lovely views over the surrounding Normandy fields. The beds are comfortable, and the doubles have proper double mattresses. All the rooms have private bathrooms; they're not very fancy, but they have all the essentials, including masses of hot water.

Freebies: nothing out of the ordinary here: just the usual selection of soap, shampoo and so on. If you want to be pampered, you'll have to take your own supplies.

Keeping in touch: come here to get away from it all, not to keep in contact with the outside world. All the rooms have phones and satellite TV and, if you really must, there's also a fax machine at reception.

IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS

Who stays here: Francophiles, history buffs, and English couples on weekend breaks. But don't be put off by the preponderance of overnight guests from across the Channel; this is a great base for exploring one of the most interesting regions of France.

What to take with you: a pair of good walking shoes, and a copy of Overlord, Max Hastings' very detailed but readable account of the D-Day landings. This part of Normandy is right in the middle of the Second World War battlefields, and will probably look familiar if you have seen Saving Private Ryan or The Longest Day.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Double rooms start at 295FF (pounds 30) with a larger-than-normal French breakfast costing an extra 48FF (pounds 5) per person; the largest rooms are 480FF (pounds 50) for two people.

I'm not paying that: A gastronomic break, which includes a double room, 2 five-course dinners and 2 breakfasts, starts at 720FF (pounds 75): a potential saving of 51FF.

Still too much: Cheaper places tend to be dotted along the coast rather than inland. The nearest resort is Ver-sur-Mer, where the Hotel La Boussole (00 332 31 22 20 49) has double rooms from 160FF (pounds 17).

Cathy Packe

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Emo rockers Fall Out Boy

music

Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat

Arts and Entertainment

film

Arts and Entertainment
A sketch of Van Gogh has been discovered in the archives of Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The super-rich now live in their own Elysium - they breathe better air, and eat better food, when they're not making beans on toast for their kids

    The super-rich now live in their own Elysium

    They breathe better air, eat better food, take better medicine
    A generation of dropouts failed by colleges

    Dropout generation failed by colleges

    £800m a year wasted on students who quit courses before they graduate
    Entering civilian life 'can be like going into the jungle' for returning soldiers

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Entering civilian life can be like going into the jungle
    Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

    Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

    Fifty Shades of Grey director on bringing the hit to the screen
    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
    Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

    The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

    Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
    Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

    A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
    How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

    How books can defeat Isis

    Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
    The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

    The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

    The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
    Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

    Young carers to make dance debut

    What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
    Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

    Design Council's 70th anniversary

    Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch