The forecast for Monday and Tuesday calls for snow, low temperatures and strong winds from the north. I'm certainly not looking forward to that since we've had such nice weather these last few days, especially on Saturday when the sun was out in full force. Fortunately, I took advantage of this and drive out to Cosqueville and some other small villages along the Val de Saire. I planned on having lunch at a very nice restaurant in town called Au Bouquet de Cosqueville but I wanted to explore a little bit before noon. The first place I visited was the local beach called “La plage du Vicq” which is a popular sunbathing spot for locals during the summer months. After that, I wandered down a small country road past small farms and gardens protected by hedgerows and wooden fences before reaching the parish church of Notre-Dame. Along the way I came across one of the fourteen communal wells which have been a part of Cosqueville’s cultural heritage for hundreds of years. These old wells are in fine working condition but are located on private property and not always easy to see from the public hiking paths. L’église de Cosqueville is under the patronage of Our Lady and St-Marcouf. The main portal is covered by porch which blocks three 12th century Romanesque openings, two of which are permanently sealed. The nave dates from the 12th century and is made up vaulted masonry and pointed arches which cross at intervals. On the left just before the main altar, on a marble slab, is a list of the successive priests of the parish. A strong wall with two pillars on the left and two sturdy columns to the right hold up the 15th century bell tower. The low, vaulted dome formation is now the choir where the main altar rests. Beyond the choir is an apse which was built in 1770. Here is the high altar, built by a carpenter from St-Pierre-Eglise to replace the original which was destroyed during the Revolution on March 23, 1794. Its four columns support a canopy which covers the altar, several statues, and other sacred objects. Placed above the altar are a statue of the Sacred Heart (1888) and two adoring angels. Aside from a stained glass window of Notre-Dame de Lourdes and another of Ste-Joan d’Arc, all other windows are 1970s. On the right side are two chapels. The first adjoins the tower and was originally dedicated to St-Fiacre but became the chapel of the Virgin Mary. It has a white, marble altar from the late 19th century. The other chapel was originally dedicated to Ste-Anne but became the chapel to St-Jean. To the right of the altar is an ancient plaque which was completely defaced during the Revolution. The most unique part of the church is the octagonal tower, quite rare in the Cotentin, with lancet windows. In 1770 a ring of five bells, perfectly tuned, were placed inside the tower but during the Revolution four of them were removed and taken to Cherbourg where they were melted down. I walked back the same way I had come and went to Au Bouquet de Cosqueville in le hameau Rémond for lunch. The service was exceptional and the atmosphere warm and relaxing. I would recommend this place to anyone since it is the classiest restaurant in the region between Cherbourg and Barfleur. Their seasonal menu can be found here. For starters, I had le gratin de moules et légumes safranés, then la fricassée de pintade while my friend had oysters and le pavé de lieu jaune rôti (grilled fish) with crème de lentilles vertes du Puy. For dessert, we both had the house specialty called le délice du bouquet which was a mix of caramelized apples served with an apple sorbet covered in caramel and crème chantilly. It was absolutely delicious !!! Hats off to the owners Luce et Stéphane Dieu for such a wonderful lunchtime experience.