Chateau Les Bruyeres

Chateau les Bruyeres is a little relais we stayed at in Normandy our last night there. It is located in the fly-speck town of Cambremer, right in the heart of the Pays D'Auge, where you'll find the holy trinity of cheese towns: Camembert, Livarot and Pont L'Eveque, as well as the Route du Cidre where you can drive from distillery to distillery...or just take a walk through the apple orchards that line the hilly rural routes.

The Chateau itself is special for many reasons. The driveway lined by graceful trees is the first perspective you get on the restored 18th century building that was formerly a stud farm. On the ground floor is a gorgeous dining room where we ate that night, as well as a little bar with all kinds of cider and calvados to pour, and the "Louis XV" salon with its mismatched furnishings and large fireplace.

In back, there are stables with a few horses guests can take out on a ride, and a small pool area to enjoy in the summertime. The Chateau is also close to tons of cider distilleries and dairies, not to mention some very fine restaurants in the Norman countryside.

Speaking of restaurants, the one at the hotel is quite good, and well known around the area, as is the chef, Philippe Harfaux. Like many chefs in Los Angeles, where I live, Harfaux sources much of his menu, like the meats, fish, and cheeses, from local, independent producers, and he actually grows many of the vegetables and herbs he uses in the hotel's own "potager" garden out back.

I made a video of the grounds so you can see how special the place is for yourself.