Café stops are an essential element of our cycling trips whereby we have a morning and afternoon stop for refreshment and a longer stop for lunch. This divides the days’ cycling into four stages which means that no one gets too exhausted and, over a week-long cycling trip, a considerable distance is cycled. We call this Café Wheeling. Some of our favourite cafés are described on this page.
CAFÉ GONDRÉE at PEGASUS BRIDGE
This café is located at the intersection of the cycle/footpath between Caen and Ouistreham and the road (D514) which crosses the Pegasus Bridge. Therefore, it’s conveniently situated for us to have a last drink in France at the end of a cycle tour before cycling the last 5 kms alongside the Caen Canal to the ferry port at Ouistreham.
Café Gondrée, at the eastern end of the Pegasus Bridge, was the first French house to be liberated during D-Day. It’s named after the family who ran the café; it’s now run by Arlette Gondrée, who was a small child living in the house when it was liberated.
The Pegasus Bridge derives it’s name from the shoulder emblem worn by the British airbourn forces who captured the bridge on the night of 5th June 1944, just prior to the D-Day Landings.
CAFÉ TRIBUNAUX in DIEPPE
The Café des Tribunaux, in the centre of Dieppe, is located at a busy junction of pedestrianized streets.The half-timbered building which houses the café dates back to the 18th century and was once used as the town hall. In the 19th century it was a favourite haunt of writers and painters such as Renoir, Monet and Oscar Wilde. Now, in the 21st Century it’s a popular watering hole for Phoenix cyclists!
It’s usually busy so if there isn’t a spare table outside then it’s well worth going inside; it’s certainly ornate and spacious.
BAR/TABAC in ST REMY LA VARENNE
This small café in a sleepy village in the Loire Valley is conveniently located on a cycle route between Angers and Saumur. It’s about 30 kms from Angers so is ideally situated for a mid-morning break if there’s been an overnight stop in Angers. The chairs and tables outside the cafe are on the cobbled road but there’s virtually no traffic; a peaceful spot. A couple of kilometres further on is Domaine de Saint Maur where it’s sometimes possible to do a wine tasting.
KINGTON CAFÉ in MARINES
Whichever way we cycle between Dieppe and Paris we always seem to go through Marines. It’s about 75 kms from Paris and has several cafes. The Kington has the advantage that there is plenty of space outside for sitting and parking the bikes. Service is good.
CAFÉ ‘AU VILLAGE’ at MESNIÉRES-EN-BRAY
This café is just off the superb Avenue Verte and about 30 kms from Dieppe so is ideally situated for ‘elevenses’ if there’s been an overnight stop there. It’s located on the D1 which runs parallel with the Avenue Verte at this point. If cycling from Dieppe turn off the AV at PN83 and, after visiting the cafe, rejoin at PN82. The service at this café is very good.
CAFÉ ‘LE COQ HARDI’ at CRIEL-PLAGE
This café at Criel-Plage makes a welcome café stop when cycling from Dieppe to Le Treport or Mers-les-Bains on the signposted cycle route which is part of the Eurovelo Route 4. There is a fairly long hill immediately after this café stop if cycling towards Le Treport.