Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Alençon..and our stay at Les étangs de Guibert


We have stayed at this lovely place before, and decided we must go back. The accommodation is clean and smart with lots of character, and the restaurant superb.  The menu is excellent value and the presentation of the food is a piece of art. The choices of Whisky's etc is exceptional, and you are very spoilt for choice. The dining room is very warm and comforting, with a lovely ambience about the place with a large open log fire, cosy for a winters evening. The setting of your dining table with fresh flowers/rose  is inviting in itself, telling you that a great feast is ahead, and we wasn't disappointed.

The staff were very tentative and explained everything we were about to eat. Our evening started with an Apero and canapés ....great start. Following this we had an amuse-bouche, they definitely started the taste buds going... Arrived later was our starter, then mains followed by cheese and a very scrummy dessert. (photos below)

Apero and Canapés


Starter..Salmon with egg

starter.. avocado with prawns

Glass or two..


Duck with sweet potatoes chips

Cheese board

Creme Caramel

Trio of caramel

Accommodation and restaurant..

Our bathroom

Our bedroom

Lounge area

Choice of Whiskys

More choices


breakfast room



Wedding room

Les étangs de guibert
Outside the Hotel

Our quick visit into Alençon


It was probably during the fourth century, while the area was being Christianised, that the city of Alençon was founded. The name is first seen in a document dated in the seventh century. During the tenth century, Alençon was a buffer state between Normandy and the Maine regions. In 1047, William Duke of Normandy, later known as William the Conqueror and king of England, laid siege to the town. The citizens insulted William by hanging animal skins from the walls, in reference to his ancestry as the illegitimate son of Duke Robert and a tanner's daughter. On capturing the town, William had a number of the citizens' hands cut off in revenge. Alençon was occupied by the English during the Anglo-Norman wars of 1113 to 1203.
The city became the seat of a dukedom in 1415, belonging to the sons of the King of France until the French Revolution, and some of them played important roles in French history: see Duke of Alençon. The French Revolution caused relatively little disorder in this area although there were some royalist uprisings nearby.
A long-standing local fabric industry gave birth to the town's famous point d'Alençon lace in the 18th century. The economic development of the nineteenth century was based on iron foundries and mills in the surrounding region. In the first half of the twentieth century the city developed a flourishing printing industry.
Alençon was home to Marie -Azélie Guérin Martin and Louis Martin, the parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. They were the first spouses in the history of the Catholic Church to be proposed for sainthood as a couple, in 2008. Zélie and Louis were married at the Basilica of Notre-Dame in Alençon on 12 July 1858 and spent their whole married life in Alençon, where Thérèse was born in January 1873 and spent her early childhood until the death of her mother in 1877.
On 17 June 1940 the German Army took occupation of Alençon. On 12 August 1944 Alençon was the first French city to be liberated by the French Army under General Leclerc, after minor bomb damage.
After the war the population sharply increased and new industries settled. Many of these were related to plastics and the town is now a major plastics educational centre.

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