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Mar 31, 2013 08:53 PM

Suggestions in and around Honfleur, Cancale, and Lorient/Vannes in Brittany

I have about 9 days at the end of coming April to explore the region and would appreciate your ideas and suggestions. I would prefer to stay in ferme auberges near the cities in discussion as we will have a car for easier access but prefer to spend much less time driving than walking. It was a great pleasure to search through your posts here and many many thanks for greatly informative posts. From them, I am considering these ferme auberges to spend 1-3 nights to explore the restaurants in the area.

Ferme de la Porte in St. Jouan des Guerets
-Cancale, Mt. Ste. Michelle, St. Brieac

Chambres d'hotes Talvern
-Any further inland small towns with good restos to take a break away from the shore?

Moulin de Rosmadec in Pont-Aven
- Lorient, Vannes

Along with food that's offered in the ferme, here are some of the restaurant suggestions I've been day-dreaming and drooling about:

Youpala Bistrot in St. Brieac
Restaurant La Taupinière in Pont-Aven
Sa Qua Na in Honfleur

These are some of the site/activity suggestions I would like to follow:

AM Market in Cancale
Roscoff ferry to Ile de Batz for Algae Crepe
Pont-l'Abbe Market
Mont Saint-Michel

I have yet to put together the sequence in which to visit these places, so some logistical suggestions would be welcome too. We will be flying in and out of Paris and spend 2-3 days in the beginning and end there before getting on the train to embark on this trip.

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  1. How good to see you are on the road again, Kurtis. And, of course, I think your choices are brilliant! Two questions: are the nine days you speak of inclusive or exclusive of Paris? If all can be dedicated to Brittany, your plan can work. Two, are you speaking of April 2014 or have you already booked your lodgings, since the places you list book very early. (It took me three years to coordinate several nights at Talvern.)

    We usually take the train to Rennes; I would suggest saving some rather boring driving and taking it as far as Lorient or Vannes before driving to Talvern for two nights. In that area, I fell in love with St. Cado, a non-commercial village approached by causeway on the Etel estuary near Belz. Perhaps a spot for a picnic or a day-dream. (I need a tiny house there; my husband thinks not.) You can drive to your western destination (eg Roscoff) on the north coast, wander east and take the train from Rennes. Or, of course, reverse this entire scenario.

    I might be crass and consider staying at Rosemadec and dining at La Taupiniere. I can't recommend Rosemadec a a dining destination. And, please don't miss SaQuaNa. I went with doubts and loved every minute of our memorable three hour lunch. Cour St. Catherine is a lovely stay in Honfleur.

    I doubt I can convince my DO to do so, but I'd love to stay one night on Mont Saint-Michel. In conjunction with MS-M, St. Malo is worth a half day. I think you can find proper food there if you are selective. Our tiny mind-blowing hole in the wall serving revelatory fish overnight became a Lebanese restaurant. But there is a pretty little Bordier shop.

    Lastly, a highly recommended read is "The Horse of Pride", an octogenarian's biographical remembrances of life in Brittany in the early to mid 1900s. Your library can probably find it for you.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mangeur

      Thanks Mangeur for your thoughtful recs on logistics and restos. I too think a night in Mont Saint-Michel would be a beautiful one as i hear it turns magical after the exodus of visitors and under the full moon.

      It looks like the trip in this region will need to wait (as you described accurately the necessary reservations didn't align as idealized on short notice) as our other option for this trip was to explore more of Provence points north of of Gigondas is working out quite nicely as we recently heard back from L'Oustalet with confirmation of " la table de Kurtis" : )

      1. re: Kurtis

        Since you have a year to prep, please do dredge up "The Horse of Pride". It is one of the most illuminating books I have read on that area and, in some ways, country France in general during that time.