With sincere thanks to Google, at short notice I made the very lucky discovery of Dormy House, a gorgeously located restaurant-hotel close to Porte d’Aval and across the beach from Porte d’Amont, strategically placed between two of the three Étretat cliffs. The hotel was on a dramatic perch over Étretat town itself and a great vantage point to Porte d’Amont whose views I was still surprised to discover despite seeing photos online. The weather was absolutely perfect, not a cloud in the sky, and getting lunch reservations was a snap even at short notice. We were even able to walk around the area before the appointed time, on the boardwalk and almost within breathing distance to Porte d’Aval, passing by some World War 2-era bunkers that served as reminders of a darker time. Lunch became a sunny, quiet affair that was almost impossible to beat – great service, delicious, well-prepared food, and views of incredible, carved out chalk cliffs and tiny people moving about. Given the warmth of the afternoon sun I was almost reminded of Santorini from both a dramatic and geographic standpoint, and the nostalgia that came with it.
Due to lack of time, it was with genuine sadness that we had to say goodbye to Dormy House and its incredible charm. To find myself among the fortunate ones there today is to be kissed by fate, and I can only hope I see Dormy House and Étretat again in my lifetime.