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Montreuil-sur-Mer sits atop a hill, encircled by ancient ramparts. Its medieval buildings and cobble stone streets have long attracted tourists including Laurence Sterne whilst writing his famous book “A Sentimental Journey”, Napoleon Bonaparte and the town’s favourite - Victor Hugo. The famous French playwright based his book Les Miserables on people he met and sights he saw in the town when visiting in 1837. These days savvy Brits nip across the Channel to soak up the authentic French ambiance on their doorstep. They’re drawn not just to the town’s good looks but to the Saturday morning market, the terraced bistros, Michelin star restaurants and gourmet food shops. Montreuil-sur-Mer is special when it comes to gastronomy and that gave expat Brit Tim Matthews who runs the gorgeous Maison 76 B&B in the town, the idea to create the label Destination Gastronomique. He and his business partner Michael Bennett joined with the town’s legendary chef, Alexandre Gaulthier who runs the famous La Grenouillère hotel and 2 Michelin Star restaurant in La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil. The historic little village sits on the edge of Montreuil-sur-Mer and attracts guests from around the world to indulge at the internationally renowned La Grenouillère. Together they launched the Destination Gastronomique website to showcase excellence in local products and restaurants. The joining criteria is strictly regulated, only the best of the best, and the team have held several food and wine events to great acclaim. Their next event will be held on Sunday 6 May, a “Symphony for the Senses“. A wine and food event combined with a flea market, live music and vintage cars in a day long celebration of all things French and fine. It will take place in the squares of Montreuilsur-Mer and the surrounding streets – all are welcome.
Photo © Michael Bennett Programme of events Place General de Gaulle: Join in a fabulous wine tasting experience and indulge in snacks in the big main square of the town featuring produce from some of the best restaurants and gourmet food shops from the town including the renowned Boulangerie Gremont. Don’t miss a taste of one of their Jean Valjean bread loaves – a nod to Victor Hugo, and utterly delicious. 6 May 2018 Montreuil-sur-Mer A Symphony for the Senses Cheese shop Caseus will also be present, they have become a tourist destination in their own right thanks to the simply awesome cheeses in store. And restaurants Le Caveau and Clos des Capucins will be on hand to tempt your taste buds. Place Darnetal: Vegetarian cookery demonstrations alongside local market gardeners supported by the boulangeries, chocolatiers and restaurants that line this pretty square. In the surrounding cobbled streets, the shops of rue d’Herambault and the rue des Cordonniers will especially open their doors from 10h-18h to visitors - with plenty of stop offs for refreshments. Place Gambetta: a chance to admire and assembly of vintage cars Musical entertainment from Gipsy Jazz to Rock and Pop will take place in the atmospheric Rue de Clape en Bas… and there will also be a braderie, a traditional French flea market! Finally, the town’s restaurants will be open for a long, lazy, scrumptious lunch. Photos: top left: Cave de Montreuil, sensational wine shop; top middle: Caseus cheese shop; top right: Tim Matthews and chef Alexandre Gaulthier of La Grenouillère
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