Hotel Tardif Noble Guesthouse is an absolute gem, located in Bayeux, a quaint and historic little town in Normandy. Upon our arrival at this lovely chateau, we were greeted warmly by our host and proprietor Antony and his gentle-giant Labrador Retriever, Atlas. The elegant French furnishings and tapestries are true to this vintage home, which has a peaceful and quiet air about it. Antony showed us to our spacious room, which was decorated in traditional French fashion and overlooked lush botanical gardens. The room was furnished with a comfy queen-sized bed as well as a classic antique armoire and chest of drawers, providing ample space for us to unpack and make ourselves right at home. The room showcased a grandiose marble bathroom with a shower-tub combination and double sinks; colossal by European standards.
Breakfast was served in the inviting dining room amidst a large French provincial table under a sparkling chandelier. Antony brought us mouthwatering freshly baked pastries, luscious fruit, cheeses, coffee and tea. Over breakfast, Antony told us stories of the rich history of this home, which had been designated as a historical location and dates back to the 18th century. The home was owned and the gardens established by the same nobleman who designed the palace gardens at Versailles. After the Revolution, it belonged to a minister of Napoleon Bonaparte named Tardif, hence the name. Hotel Tardif also has a rich history with respect to the end of World War II. It was the home of the mayor of Bayeux, and when the Nazis invaded and took over the city’s government buildings, the mayor moved the French administration offices to his home. General Charles de Gaulle stayed here following the Normandy invasion, and wrote the famous liberation speech which was delivered at Bayeux. After the war the chateau fell into disrepair but Antony purchased it and has restored it to its current beauty.
The location of Hotel Tardif is ideal, within easy walking distance of the famous Bayeux Tapestry and the Bayeux Museum which is dedicated to the D-Day invasion and the Battle of Normandy. A short drive will take you to the famous beaches of Normandy. And, just outside the doorstep of Hotel Tardif is the absolutely gorgeous medieval Notre Dame Cathedral of Bayeux. The little village of Bayeux, complete with an old waterwheel, cobbled streets and gabled buildings is conducive to wandering and shopping for delectable gourmet apple treats and Calvados, an apple brandy which this area is known to produce.
Antony is well connected in this little town and a wealth of information when it comes to recommendations. At his suggestion, we visited two wonderful restaurants, La Rapiere and Le Petit Normande, both are within walking distance of the chateau and we enjoyed exceptional meals. Take our advice and let Antony send you to dinner – you won’t be sorry!