Brittany – Blue Skies & Full Stomachs

28- 30 March 2018

The scenic Route Touristique along “the Abers” –  a series of 3 rivers running into the sea, with beautiful white-sand tidal inlets – was predictably beautiful. The coastline here is incredibly rocky – it really needs all those lighthouses – and the crisp, bright weather with a strong breeze whipping up the caps had it looking at it’s best. A great day for driving. We stopped at the small inlet of Portsall for a surprisingly good lunch  – local white fish, gratinee for Danny and mixed with scallops in a prawn bisque for Kate. We thoroughly enjoyed poking around in a nautical shop – wow they have some useful stuff  – and popped our heads into the real Irish Pub and found it was selling Celtic delights such as Beef in Guiness! 

After crossing the very Welsh-sounding Aber Benoit & Aber Wrac’h we took a minor road down to a rocky point at Neis Vran where we parked in splendid isolation looking out over the Atlantic towards the setting sun. And what a sunset it was! Gorgeous.

A great place to sit still and contemplate nature for a couple of days. Our company was Brent Geese and curlew and our view across the ocean remained uninterrupted except for the flashing of the lighthouse out at the point.  A perfect spot for solitude. 

After a couple of days the fog set in so we set off. The flat fields surrounding us were filled with rows of sprouting onion sets, reminding us of the Roscoff Johnnies – the French men in black berets who loaded their pedal cycles with onions and sailed to England with them from Roscoff for over 100 years, right up to the 1930’s. There’s a museum to them near Roscoff but we’ve never made it there.

Our next destination, Carantec, was swathed in a sea fret and it took us some time to realise the Aire we were parked in was next to the sea! The sun managed to clear it away by mid afternoon and small sailing boats and hordes of windsurfers headed out into the bay – a place transformed by sunshine.

Carantec Parking
We are the middle motorhome, far right. Fog has just cleared

 Our reason for being in Carantec was a reservation Danny had made before we left England – Patrick Jeffroy’s Michelin-starred restaurant in the Hotel de Carantec overlooking the bay for our last night in Brittany. We dug out our glad rags and presented ourselves at reception hoping we passed muster. A nice lady smiled and said “are you the ones in the motorhome” – hopefully because we were the only English there and not because we looked like complete anoraks! Our table was by a huge window with wonderful views over the bay and the food was excellent – we took guilty pleasure in the taste of sinful foie gras, alongside local lobster, red mullet and pigeon and of course some French truffle.

Delicious, and when we asked for a copy of the menu they took one into the kitchen and got Patrick Jeffroy himself to sign it. A great if somewhat indulgent way to say goodbye to Brittany. I’m sure we’ll be back.