Two days in Bernay
Two days in Bernay
Need time for yourself to relax before the festive season rush? We have the perfect Norman weekend break for you! Whether with friends or your loved one, this pre-Christmas break will do you good. Follow us for two days to the heart of Normandy in the charming town of Bernay.
One hour and a half away from Paris by train, Bernay is an unmissable stop to soak up the vibe of Normandy. Bernay, a "Town of Art and History", bedazzles visitors with its history, its well preserved architecture and its unspoilt landscapes. Outline of a weekend in Bernay…
Day 1: Exploring, antiques-hunting and indulging in local food…
Once you have dropped your suitcases, (we will provide a list of accommodation at the bottom of the page), go straight to Rue Thiers where the market is held (it's Saturday!). From Sainte-Croix Church to Paul Derou Square, the stalls are filled up with local products. Have a walk around the well-stocked shops, the stallholders, the producers selling their seasonal fruits and vegetables, their raw milk cheese or their local charcuterie and fishermen selling the fish and seafood caught along the coast of Normandy.
A breath of fresh Norman air to awaken your taste buds.
A little bit further away, a shop will catch your eye! The butcher and delicatessen Au Cochon d’Or brought back to date the “Terrine du Père Michelot”, a recipe created in 1920 and taken from the old cookbook belonging to the former president of the Eure’s Pork Butcher Association who invented, gathered and kept his recipes in his treasured notebook. You might also be tempted by the other speciality of the house: black pudding with scallops (we told you Bernay was an unmissable stop to soak up the vibe of Normandy!).
Continue your walk and admire the half-timbered houses lining this busy street. Stop at the Cellier Bordelais, a renowned fine food store where you will find cider, hampers and gourmet gifts, apple juice and other Norman delicacies including the famous Teurgoule, a traditional Norman dessert. Rue du Général de Gaulle, the pretty shop Esprit de Château, selling tableware, will show you its treasures: Gien pottery, Italian ceramics, black cherry furniture, Lussan ceramic guinea fowls, Sophie de Boissieu's tablecloths, etc. (Looking for Christmas gift ideas...).
What about a lunch break in a pleasant place!
Let's go Rue Gaston Folloppe, called the half-timbered house street. This street is an architectural gem: the medieval buildings show off their half-timbering and the shops are full of antique and second-hand objects to hunt for. Actually, before going bargain-hunting, treat yourself to a lunch break at Le Bistrot! Crowded with in-the-know locals, this restaurant welcomes its guests to a cosy and historical setting (the building, a former court of miracles, dates back to the 15th century) and comprises a pleasant terrace in an inner courtyard. The owners have devised a mouth-watering menu. Foie gras specialities, snail fricassee with Camembert and Calvados, tartiflette viroise (cheesy potato bake with Vire chitterling sausage)… you will enjoy the delicious terroir cuisine.
An ideal Norman town for antique lovers and bargain-hunters
After your delicious lunch break, stroll down Rue Gaston Folloppe. There are lots of surprises awaiting in this very old street. Who will give in first for the wrought-iron chairs and table in the street, the milk pails, the updated egg baskets, the 1970s furniture and the cuckoo clocks? Not two antiques and second-hand shops are the same. In front of the window, packed with books, sit down at a table to leaf through the books made available to passers-by. How curious! Open the door and discover the bookshop Le Rouge et le Noir. It is a community bookshop where human relationships and encounters are the focus of literary and socially-engaged activities.
When you have finished hunting for bargains, let’s sit down at Palette de thé. It is a pleasant place for a little mid-afternoon snack with tea and homemade cakes in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. Moreover, you will be able to find gifts for foodies ;)
At the end of a busy day filled with visits and new experiences, it is time to stop for a drink* in a friendly place ;) Head for Brin D’Zinc, again located in Rue Gaston Folloppe. This pub is decorated with antique and second-hand objects, mismatched tables and chairs. A pleasant mix of styles gives its character to this place that gathers all generations for a drink or a concert.
*Alcohol abuse is dangerous for health, please drink responsibly.
Day 2: Cultural Sunday
After lying in bed a little longer and enjoying a hearty breakfast, you are now ready to go and get to know this Norman town better. Equipped with the brochure "Water, Stone, Wood" and guided by the information panels, follow the heritage trail to explore this beautiful town. The tour takes about 2 hours and you will discover tortuous medieval streets such as the Rue de Geôle, old colourful half-timbered houses, carved porches, small washhouses situated along the Cosnier and the Charentonne rivers.
The Abbey Church is undoubtedly the showpiece of the tour. As a matter of fact, this abbey church is the first example of Romanesque architecture in Normandy. Many architectural techniques were experimented here. Its central nave, its arches, its Corinthian capitals with curious carvings, and the diversity and wealth of its décor are simply beautiful. Exhibitions are often held there.
For your last meal in Bernay, let's go to the Clos Normand restaurant located Rue Robert Lindet. It is situated opposite the abbey church! The Chef, Christophe Rabault, gained his experience with the greatest chefs. Give the Œufs en meurette (poached eggs in red wine sauce) a try!
If you still have time, go and visit the Museum of Fine Arts to admire the collections of paintings, sculptures, Rouen tin-glazed earthenware and archaeological objects. The Laval Room is splendid with its parquet flooring and carved wood panelling.
Depending on the weather and the time you have before you leave, you might as well enjoy a bucolic walk a stone's throw away from the town centre. The Greenway Bernay – Broglie follows a former railway line that has been turned into a walking trail. And for experienced golfers or curious passers-by, the 100 % environmentally-friendly golf course is nestled in the Natura 2000 protected valley.
Great places to stay, exceptional heritage sites all located within walking distance of one another, authentic Norman flavours, heart-warming encounters and cultural discoveries, Bernay is an ideal town for a weekend getaway within easy reach.
Our selection of places
Where to stay?
B&B, La Ferme en ville, 428 rue de Saint-Nicolas
B&B, La Glycine, 22 rue Alexandre
B&B, Les Aulnes, 1 rue Judith de Bretagne
Where to eat?
The Bistrot, 21 rue Gaston Folloppe
The Brin d’Zinc, 32 rue Gaston Folloppe
Palette de thé, 12 rue du Général Leclerc
The Clos Normand, 5 rue Robert Lindet
Where to go shopping?
The Trèfle Bleu Décoration, 7 rue de Morsan
Palette de thé, 12 rue du Général Leclerc
The bookshop Le Rouge et le Noir, 22 rue Gaston Folloppe
L’Atelier des rêveurs, 13 rue Gaston Folloppe
Antiques shops in Rue Gaston Folloppe
Cacao story, 3 rue Albert Parissot
The Tourist Information Centre Terres de Normandie is located 29 rue Thiers, 27308 Bernay
Find the complete list of events and festivals in the calendar of events!