I know lots of you enjoyed my last galavanting post, so there will be more through the summer.
As normal I am in bed drinking a cup of tea (for my Non English readers I am from Essex in England so it is pronounced: cuppaty) whilst writing this blog. It is unseasonably chilly here in France so necessary to stay tucked in bed with a Welshie and cat snuggled up to me, whilst my lovely hubby makes the second cuppaty of the day.
Last Sunday Rich was asked to go and meet someone for a job, and we ended up in the pretty little village of Lonlay L’abbeye, in the Department of Orne, just over the border in Normandy.
As you may have guessed the town started as a Benedictine monastery originating back to 1020, which has had at least three fires, and was sadly decimated in WW2 when the Germans punished the villagers for welcoming American troops.
Only the church and some of the cloisters now remain of what was the abbey.
So we found ourselves in this pretty village on a blustery spring day. We walked around the gardens at the back of the church, surrounded by small apple trees, where, although now divided up, you could see what had been the land belonging to the Monastery.
There by the stream was the original cider press used by the monks all those years ago to make the cider for which Normandy is so famous. Amazing that this building had survived all the trials and tribulations that the village had endured.
With a stream running around the church gardens you had to cross small bridges to get to other parts of town: so quaint.
There was something about this place: it had a tranquility about it, it was so calm, and I loved it.
You can see from the photos all the tiny higgledy piggledy houses, some backing on to the stream: how I would love to live there with a babbling brook for company all day.
There were a number of small bars and restaurants and a little square with terraces, but sadly because it was Sunday all the bars were shut. So we have vowed to come back on a warm sunny evening to have a meal, and some vin, and to soak up the tranquil atmosphere whilst listening to the babbling brook.
Nothing came of the job, but life had still showed us the way: we found Lonlay L’abbeye.
This is where our second home is! It’s a tiny village house we have been renovating for years – had to be pretty much rebuilt from the ground up inside. We hope to be able to spend time there soon, once the kitchen is in. I only sporadically update a blog about it, but you can have a look if you are interested: http://www.atinyhouseinnormandy.com.
If you visit Lonlay l’Abbaye again, keep in mind that everything is pretty much closed on both Sundays and Mondays. The restaurant, Relais de l’Abbaye, is only open for lunch unless there is a special event. It’s a good value and the people are so nice. Domfront is also a fascinating place to visit, and not far away.
Hope to see you and Rich there sometime!
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Oh Ellen you’re only 35 mins from me, what a small world it is! I loved Lonlay L’abbeye so pretty, I am envious! Hopefully we will meet up one day. ❤️ we will have the two Welsh Terriers
This is why I love reading other bloggers so much. Your brief history of Lonlay L’abbeye sounded fascinating, so even before I finished I did a quick Google search to see if there was more about the German bombing of the town. I didn’t find anything (I’m sure there’s loads out there; I only did a quick-and-dirty search), but then you get a comment from Ellen who actually devotes a blog to the town. Love when that happens.
Great post, Moisy. And all along this Yank thought it was only pronounced, “Cuppa.” 🙂 – Marty
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I know! It is very difficult to find history on the war here, I have tried to find out if the chateau near us was occupied but to no avail. Rich has found out that Ambrieres was thick with resistance fighters. Sadly 1 farmer was burned alive along with his farm being burnt down & 6 were rounded up & deported to concentration camps all on the same day when the SS rumbled in. If you find out anything let me know. Cuppaty is literally cup of tea, all said quickly together. From where I live you would always be asked if you wanted a cuppaty! 🤣 Moisy ❤️
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What a gorgeous village! I won’t be travelling in the foreseeable future as needs like a lawn mower and a new laptop must take priority over wants like a European holiday 😦 Your wonderful galavanting is much appreciated!
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Thank you my friend let me take you on a cyber tour. M ❤️