If your idea of a perfect day is to amble through country lanes bordered by apple trees, waterways and half-timbered farmhouses, and then take a breather at a small restaurant for a leisurely lunch washed down with a glass of Calvados apple brandy, then this area is close to perfection for your French holiday.
The Mayenne department is farming country and is split up into hundreds of small farms, large forests, rivers and streams. It is synonymous with gastronomy, particularly the superb apples and delicious dairy products. Traditional dishes often feature apples, cider or calvados. Don’t miss local treats like pommeau (apple liqueur with a drop of calvados aged in oak barrels) and poiré (pear cider).
If you like cheese – especially ones local to the area – you’ll be spoilt for choice here. The village of Camembert (and its own museum) is around 90 minutes away and Mayenne itself has its own cheese-making tradition. Port-Salut, Chamois d’Or, Chaussée aux Moines, Vieux Pané, Saint Paulin, Rouy, Babybel, Bons Mayennais, Président… so many cheeses from Mayenne that are known and loved by all!