We hadn’t even slept a night in France but Monsieur and I were already having adventures on our French Road Trip. We’d been caught in traffic, were nearly run off the road by a nasty red-faced man in an evil orange car, missed our ferry by a mile, had to wait forever for another berth and once in France had a long, dark drive to Honfleur in the wee hours of the morning. Needless to say, we really didn’t give a monkey’s where we were sleeping that night, as long as we had a bed. (At one point I was tempted to just pull over and sleep in the car – that’s how tired we were, but Monsieur could not be persuaded.)
Given the above experiences, just imagine how happy we were to find that our motel was way-hey better than we’d anticipated.
Finding the motel was a doddle, but finding the motel parking entrance at 3am was not so easy. We could see the motel and its parking area but the gate was padlocked. When your brain isn’t shrivelled with fatigue, it would probably be quite simple to drive around a couple of back streets and find the correct, unpadlocked entrance, but Monsieur and I had the combined brainpower of a walnut at that point, so it took us a little while to work it out. Thankfully,we got there in the end, and (drum roll) there was a vacant parking place directly outside our room! It’s only a small detail but it brought us SUCH happiness. In fact, each and every room had its own parking spot directly outside the door. How very organised, our walnut brains thought. There would be no dragging suitcases across gravel making unwelcome, un-neighbourly noise in the dark. No searching for parking space in already-full car park before depositing car on the street miles away then fretting all night in case it’s not there in the morning. None of that for the Walnut Heads. No. We had a mere three paces from car to room door and in our state of near-brain-death and physical failure were very, very happy about that indeed. We didn’t even have to worry about waking up the landlady to get our key – she’d thoughtfully e-mailed us to say we were in room 4 and would leave the door unlocked with the key inside, just in case we arrived late in the evening. Motel owners around the world – you could learn a lot from these people. This is how to run a motel 101.
Inside our room, the space was small but sensibly arranged, with a very current colour scheme (turquoise and chocolate) on the walls. In a little alcove sat a pair of cane chairs and table, perfect for enjoying breakfast come morning, and the bedside tables and desk were limed oak – with a reproduction antique feel.
The bathroom was white white white with fittings that looked brand new and, even though it was a bit bland compared to the bedroom, it was so clean that I would happily have eaten an omelette off the floor. Well, to tell the truth I’m not mad on omelettes unless made by my brother, The Omelette King, and I honestly don’t make a habit out of eating off hard building surfaces, but I think you get what I mean. This place was Clean with a capital C.
As for the bed it could have been stuck full of nails for the local swami for all we cared but once more we were happy to find our expectations were not only met, but exceeded. Comfy, clean, fresh white cotton bedding. We sank into the pillows and slumber came immediately.
When the alarm went off in time for us to catch breakfast at the motel, it won’t surprise you to hear that Monsieur and I didn’t exactly bustle about like Mexican jumping beans. Our movements were more like molasses in a snow storm: sluggish to non-existent. The result? We missed breakfast.
Tant pis! Fine French coffee and a buttery croissant would not have gone astray, but it wasn’t going to happen. Monsieur and I were far from concerned about the situation. You see, in France you’re never far from food opportunities. We’d make up for the lack of breakfast with a proper lunch in Honfleur instead.
As we loaded up the Frogmobile, preparing for another day on the road, rooms that had just been vacated were already being cleaned. I peeped into a couple to see if the decor was the same as our room. It wasn’t. Each room had been individually decorated – some nautical, others with splashy primary colours, another decked out smartly in beige. The cleaner’s trolley was another revelation – Martha Stewart would have been impressed by the organisational abilities of these folk.
We dropped the key into the office, spying the breakfast room at the same time.
And a funny little bar in one corner. More space wasn’t really necessary because each room has a table and chairs outside their doorway – for evening apéritifs, no doubt.
“We were lucky to have found this place,” said Monsieur on leaving, “I’d come again.”
That’s quite a compliment coming from my rather exacting husband. What’s more? Breakfast is included in the room rate, and there’s FREE WI-FI. So if you’re planning on visiting Honfleur, and you think you may get stuck in traffic/ miss your ferry/flight/ train or for some other reason may arrive in the wee hours of the morning, reserve a room at Motel les Bleuets. Its owners are organised, considerate clean freaks, the just-out-of-town location is lovely and quiet and parking’s a complete doddle. What more can you ask? Ah, yes. The beds will make you snore in the best possible way, the already-reasonable rates include breakfast and if you plan to be there Monday to Thursday you can get the even more reasonable Businessman Rate. Highly recommended.
Motel les Bleuets website (note: don’t be put off by the look of some of the rooms on the site – the ones we saw were subtle, well-decorated, with excellent finishes. If you have something against sunflower yellow or fuchsia bedcoverings, reserve room 4. )