Monday, 1 September 2014

Holiday 2014 Part 2: Home from home in Brittany


Brittany is my favourite part of France - we have been on holiday here many times. I think this is because it reminds me of Ireland - it's very green - it rains quite a lot as we discovered this week - and there's all that Celtic culture.  It is our dream to one day buy a house on the South coast along from La Baule, which is where the weather is best.  So we travelled there again last week - me, husband, daughter and her schoolfriend, carefully vetted by us as being a. a keen reader and b. not a fussy eater.

Allotments seen from the city above - very green as you can see.
This time we stayed in Dinan, just south of St Malo where the ferry comes in from Portsmouth.  We stayed in a gite overlooking the Rance river.  Not the best holiday home we have ever had - uncomfortable bed and the shower could only four dribbly jets of water. But a great location, just after the end of the main road in Dinan port, overlooking the river. It was quiet without being too isolated with a little bar/restaurant between us and the river.  Fifteen minute walk to the town itself, a pleasant stroll along the port, past privately owned boats and quayside restaurants and then a steep climb up the hill, occasionally pausing for breath at little art galleries and craft shops. Dinan is a beautiful preserved medieval town with a long history but, true to form, we didn't really bother finding out anything about this and concentrated on our usual holiday pursuits: eating, lazing around and reading books.  There was also a cycle path running along the river just outside our gite and I went on a couple of bike rides with my husband, a very unusual occurrence as I go much too slowly for him and won't ride far at home because of my fear of traffic.




The girls did their usual stuff - talking till after midnight, sleeping till ten, two hours of 'getting ready', then outside to link up with the bar's free wi-fi so they could catch up with Snapchat and Facebook and 'update their stories' with holiday pictures.  I wasn't terribly pleased to find out about the free wi fi and wanted a total break from the internet.  So I didn't bother. But the girls are lost without it.  One day when it was raining heavily they even stood outside sheltering under the restaurant's canopy so they could connect.  At least they found time for reading - their current favourite being the 'Divergent' series by Veronica Roth. I watched the DVD of the first book with them and quite enjoyed it.  It was better than 'The Hunger Games' anyway.  They also liked eating crepes and exploring the market.  I quite like this necklace and bracelet with the Breton symbol which my daughter bought and might borrow it sometimes.






So a good holiday, even though the weather was a bit mixed. We got to the beach in St Cast one day and sat outside most evenings to eat even if we had to wear jumpers and shelter from light rain under the big umbrella.  And we had some lovely meals out.  My favourite was a little restaurant on the quayside called LesTerre-Neuvas where we sat out side for lunch on our final day when the sun shone.  This meal below cost 16 euros and was absolutely delicious: crevettes roses with mayonnaise; scallops and salmon gratin, and something called Assiette Gourmand (greedy plate?) with cassis sorbet, chocolate mousse and far breton - a kind of egg custard with prunes.












9 comments:

  1. "The usual girls' stuff" made me laugh - so recognisable! The food looks fabulous xxx

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  2. Lovely holiday memories! Looks very beautiful x

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  3. Sounds like a lovely holiday and somewhere I have visited about 25 years ago. I recognised it immediately from the first photograph.

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    1. I first went to St Malo as a student in 1979 and then went to Dinan for the first time with my husband in 1987. Makes me feel positively ancient.

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  4. This sounds just like my favourite kind of holidays. We went to St. Cast for three years running, it was on a campsite a few miles out (not the one in town) and just beautiful. There was a lovely market nearby, where we bought lovely produce. We stopped going to France when James and Alistair came to live with us (we needed birth parent consent and all sorts of forms, it just wasn't worth the effort) and started going to Cornwall instead. Thanks for bringing old memories to the surface. Cx

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    1. We had a slightly scary experience getting through passport control on the way back. Long wait in rows of cars and then we were questioned about having a child with us who wasn't a member of our family. Thankfully her mother had given us a 'permission' letter - I'd never thought of that but we did need it.

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  5. Sounds like a lovely holiday, Doris, Brittany is beautiful. I recall many camping holidays there, as a child. I like your criteria for selecting your daughter's friend, who needs high maintenance people to look after when you're supposed to be relaxing!

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  6. Looks like a great holiday. I've never been to Brittany though I've stayed in another part of France years ago. Welcome home again - back to school I imagine.

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    1. Eventually but not until next week - really long holiday for us this year. We go back after most other schools.

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