Above: Anne having breakfast with the head chef at the La Mére Poulard
Anne Espirito Santo, Operations & Product Supervisor France
Firstly, and most importantly, how do you pronounce “Le Havre”?
Ha Ha, good question! Tourists often have problems with the French “h” and “r“, and Le Havre has both letters! My best advice is to come here and hear it for yourself, but if that’s not possible, then I suggest you try to pronounce “luh hah-vruh”
What do you love most about Le Havre?
I have many great memories from growing up in Le Havre, such as family picnics between the statues & flowerbeds at St. Roch’s Garden, spending summers with friends at Le Havre Beach, famous for its Caban de Plage (beach cabins) and home to many fantastic seafood restaurants or following Le Havre AC, the oldest football club in France and owners of the new Stade Océane, which is used to host concerts, conferences and other sporting events.
What I love most though is the city’s effortlessly charismatic atmosphere; narrow pedestrian streets in the St-Vincent district, local shops at the Les Halles market, charming crêperies in the St-François Quarter and the renowned hospitality of the Normandy people.
Why are you an expert on this destination?
I was born and raised in Le Havre, and know this city thoroughly, as well as its many local characters, be it the local tour guides, shop owners or characters, such as Thomas Pesquet, a local who’s adored by all here as he’s currently stationed on the International Space Station ISS). I know who to contact for everything, whether you want to see the sights, buy local goods or eat at an authentic Normandy restaurant, such as Jean-Luc Tartarin, a Michelin starred French restaurant famed for its haute dining or the Taverne Paillette restaurant, famous for its “Choucroute de la Mer” with the homemade Beer Paillette.
Your Top 3 Recommendations?
- Le Havre Watching: There’s nothing quite like deliberately losing yourself in Le Havre’s meandering streets & vast open squares, gazing upon the clashing styles of unique and modern architecture – including designs from famous architects Auguste Perret and Oscar Niemeyer
- Local Cuisine: Let the sea air and the smell of hearty Normandy cooking scintillate your appetite while you walk through the St-François district. Formerly a fishing area, St-Francois now boasts many fantastic restaurants that serve up renowned Normandy fare, such as famous local cheeses, freshly cooked seafood and Calvados (locally produced apple brandy) or the local favorite, Moules-frites (mussles with french fries).
- History: A UNESCO World Heritage site, I often find myself enthralled by the city’s infamous WW2 past (the most bombed city in France), particularly in the St-Vincent district, which is bluntly narrated by the juxtaposition of old & modern architecture interlacing throughout Le Havre.
Any new innovative products you would like to share with us?
Founded by François I in 1517, the city is celebrating its 500th birthday this year. To mark the occasion, we have been working closely with the city’s tourism groups to organise the celebrations – festivities include:
- Art exhibitions coordinated by famous artistic director, Jean Blaise
- A giant mechanical marionette show by the Royal De Luxe entertainment group
- A fantastic fireworks display by the Seine river
And much more…Take a look at the video below:
For more information on Intercruises operations in Le Havre, contact Anne at: firstname.lastname@example.org