Published by Lyn on 2 May 2016
I stayed at this rural B&B while cycling Stage 1 of the 2016 Tour de France from Mont St-Michel to Utah Beach.
Chez Diane and Robert Sébire
11 rue du Vieux Lavoir, Gruchy Village
This is a cosy an atmospheric B&B set in a coastal village. The house is immaculate, with wonderful old French furniture and comfortable beds. I found the host, Robert, a bit stand-offish at first, though this may have had something to do with the fact that I’d arrived on his doorstep half-dead from exhaustion. It didn’t take long to warm to him after he rescued me from rain and wind en route to dinner (see point 3 below).
5 things we liked
1. My room had a bath. After struggling through 94km of hilly riding, seeing a bath in my room was like walking in and seeing a pot of gold.
2. It was very peaceful. The B&B’s gardens are sprawling and quiet, though beware that the village is tiny and there’s not much there if you arrive by bike and have no intention of using it again that day.
3. For dinner, I walked half way to Restaurant Le Grand Herbet on the beach. I say ‘halfway’ because it was raining and windy and I hadn’t realised the beach was quite so far (1.5km) when I set off on foot. Robert miraculously turned up en route to give me a lift the rest of the way. By the time I’d tucked away my seafood risotto with asparagus and peas (YUM), the storm had blown over and I was able to enjoy a lovely stroll back to the B&B. If you are passing Blainville-sur-Mer, do try to visit the Grand Herbert – in summer I imagine it’d be magic place for a beer or a glass of wine over lunch on the sun deck overlooking the beach.
4. There is a convenient local Carrefour store at the service station on the D651. This is a good place to top up on supplies.
5. Robert’s cakes at breakfast. I ate several slices and then hastily wrapped another two slices in a napkin and smuggled them away in my pannier for roadside snacking. If the cinnamon one is on the table, take twice as much, really, it’s that good. I’d have liked to have seen some more cereals at breakfast and maybe an egg option, but I’m willing to overlook these because of the quality of the cake (and there’s also the Carrefour, see above, for topping up supplies). After I’d secured my stash of cake, I spent the remainder of breakfast staring at the framed legion d’honneur medal and certificate on the wall in the breakfast room. It was the first I’d ever seen, and one given to an uncle and based down through Robert’s family. It was a little bit awe-inspiring.
There is safe parking in the shed in the garden: it’s not an enclosed/lockable shed, but the garden is very private with no external access (though ideally I’d prefer my bike locked away properly or to be left inside the house).
All-in-all, though, this is a nice stopover point, and close to the coastal road that gives such great access to the beaches of the Manche.
Chez Diane and Robert Sébire
11 rue du Vieux Lavoir Village Grouchy