If Honfleur, Normandy was the birthplace of Impressionism, La Ferme Saint Siméon was the cradle. In the 17th century, innkeeper “Mère” Toutain earned her maternal nickname for the hospitality she offered to emerging artists at her farmhouse. Her guests came in search of fresh country air and creative inspiration beside the Seine Estuary: Boudin, Corot, Courbet, and Monet, to name a few.
The Impressionists met and mingled here, drank apple brandy between painting, and committed Saint Siméon’s cottages to canvas. Then, they traded Mother Toutain their artwork in exchange for room and board. Today, you can see their works at the Musée d’Orsay, but you needn’t travel to Paris to sleep in the very bedroom that belonged to Monet. Stay at La Ferme Saint Siméon on our bike tour of Normandy.