Early August of last year (2021), my family and I went on a food trip road trip to the beautiful region of Brittany, or Bretagne, as we call it here in France. We also went a little bit higher up to Normandy to see the magical Mont-Saint-Michel, something that any decent traveller should see at least once in this lifetime. We also came back to the very first restaurant I dined in with the hubs and family during my first trip here in France in Saint-Emilion in Bordeaux.
It was 2021, and COVID was still very much at large, and so, a lot of the touristy places were not so crowded during this time.
Our first stop was Noirmoutier-en-l’îsle. Of course, we specifically chose this location to dine at a famous two-Michelin starred restaurant, La Marine. We also stayed a couple of nights at their hotel, which was right next to the restaurant, in front of the pier. This restaurant was featured in the Netflix TV show, Chef’s Table, btw.
First of all, I totally love their hotel, Maison Moizeau. Our room was on the second storey, facing the street directly, with the beautiful view of the sea. Despite being in a crowded location, it was quiet. Breakfast was superb, and the staff were very nice and friendly. They always give a jarful of these delicious chocolate cookies, and in their pantry, we are welcome to indulge in their fragrant selection of tea.
The restaurant had very few tables, less than ten, I think. We had to reserve far, far ahead in advance to be able to get a table. Unlike my husband, I give as much points on the restaurant’s ambience as the food and service. I did not like how cramped the restaurant was, and how small the windows were. I was also not particularly very impressed by all the plates. But I remember being visually impressed by one of the entrées.
After Noirmoutier, we drove to Pluvigner in Morbihan to stay in a beautiful manoir (manor) called Manoir du Guern. It’s a charming gîte (bed and breakfast), which was a former presbytery in the 1800’s. The couple who bought the manoir did a lot of renovation. At the time we stayed there, they were in the process of renovating a chapel on the highest floor. They also have a huge backyard with fruit trees, mostly apples and cherries. The hubs and I had fun one afternoon playing table tennis in the backyard. I was so inspired by this manoir, I even did a watercolor painting of it.
On our first evening, we had crepes at a restaurant/castle close by. Crepes are a specialty in Bretagne, and you definitely have to try it while you’re there.
On our second day, we visited Île-d’Arz with some friends who happened to be in Bretagne at the same time. It was a short boat ride from Vannes. We enjoyed bicycling ’round the tiny island. It was really, windy though. I was glad I had an electric bicycle, being the not-so-sporty type.
Back in Pluvigner, we had fresh oysters at a random oyster bar by the sea. It was nice because it felt like we had the place all to ourselves, with the lovely view of the sea at sunset.
On our third day, we strolled around the Arch de Port Blanc in Quiberon in the morning. This place was totally out-of-this-world gorgeous, and not crowded at all. And in the afternoon, we saw some menhirs and dolmens. There were thousands of them in Carnac, but I most particularly liked the ones that I managed to climb in Erdeven (Les alignements de Kerzerho). They were a lot, lot more spectacular than Stone Henge, IMHO.
On our way to Saint-Malo, we stopped at a small old, medieval village called, Dinan, where we had lunch and had a beautiful view of the village on the viewing deck of an ancient clock tower.
We stayed at a nice B&B (gîte) in Saint-Malo. It had a beautiful garden with tall trees, fruit-bearing trees, flowering bushes, climbing vines, and even a mini vegetable garden. I especially enjoyed strolling around the garden after breakfast.
In Cancale, we dined at the famous two-Michelin starred restaurant called, Le Coquillage. It was situated right next to the sea, and from there you could see Mont-Saint-Michel when it’s not so cloudy and hazy.
Speaking of Mont-Saint-Michel, it is something that you must see once in your life. We climbed up to enter the cathedral. It was late in the afternoon, there were not so many people. It was nice. Although, it was still a bit crowded on the main passages on the way there. It was really a nice view from up there, and also on the way there. I have taken so many beautiful photos.
On our way back to the South, we made a short stop in Poitiers to see a children’s theme park called Futuroscope. I never liked rides and theme parks so much. It was hot and the queues were very long. It was a mistake to go there. But it was an experience. Plus, the city was quite nice.
Finally, we came back to St Emilion in Bordeaux to the very first restaurant (L’huitrier Pie) here in France where the hubs and I dined together. We were not yet married back then. I remember being so wowed by the vineyard tour, and the vineyards themselves.
I was so happy to know that the restaurant from eleven years ago still exists to this day. 🙂
Oh, and by the way, on the month of our anniversary (July) we had a mini-celebration at our very first three-Michelin star dining experience at Giles Goujon’s restaurant, Auberge du vieux puits, located in a tiny, obscure village of Fontjoncouse in the south. Food-wise, this restaurant was the best! But the ambience was so-so. It was nice to have met the star chef himself in person, though.
We initially planned to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary touring the West Coast of the United States. But COVID prevented us from doing this in 2021. But the good news is, for our eleventh wedding anniversary, this summer of 2022, we managed to make this dream come true. I’ll be posting about our grand adventure in the Great American West very soon! 🙂
Thanks for dropping by. Ciao!