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Brittany and....?

Hello CHers,
We're musing about a possible return trip to France next summer (July) and we have an exchange offer for a home in Rennes for one week, so we'll use that as a base for exploring Brittany. Looking for suggestions for an additional interesting food&wine-centric base for a week or so. We will probably spend a few days in Paris on either side of arrival and departure. Curious about Loire, etc. if you have opinions on best place to base for time of year, food options, etc. Also if you have opinions on Rennes as a base for Brittany that would be great. For your reference we have been to Paris, Lyon, Dijon, Provence, Languedoc previously. We are SF Bay residents looking for bib gourmand/one star level dining, we usually prefer red wine but are open to learning about new varieties/regions, and cheese farms/tours/areas would be a big bonus. Thank you for any thoughts!

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  1. I am most enthusiastic about Brittany as well as the Loire; last summer we spent about a week in Brittany and actually used the hotel/restaurant De La Plage near Sainte Anne le Palud on the West coast as a base (I wrote it up but cannot give you the link d/t CH rules but Le Roi Arthur in Ploermel, De La Plage and the Bib Mutin Gourmand in Crozon were good); as for the Loire, we've stayed in several places but I especially liked one B&B between the Loire and Cher rivers, perfect for hitting all the sites and markets. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend three one-stars - Le Gambetta in Saumur, La Chanceliere “Jeu de Cartes” in Montbazon and Charles Barrier in Tours.

    8 Replies
    1. re: John Talbott

      No sure why "d/t CH rules " for France. CH allows many of the same links for Italy, including those where there is a link for a business.

      You might check it out.

        1. re: John Talbott

          Why is the Italy board okay with it and not the France?
          Don't they like you? And you do not do it as a business which the people on the Italy board do.
          Makes no sense.

          Keep up the good work anyway. Thanks for what you do.

          1. re: John Talbott

            Have you checked the rules recently ? Because there have been a few changes... for instance
            "Sometimes there is relevant, on-topic information on your blog that you want to share with fellow Chowhounds. As much as possible, please include information directly in your post on Chowhound so that it becomes part of the discussion.

            Where including a full review doesn't make sense, you can share your thoughts and then link directly to your blog entry for the full review."

            Another example is how Chowhound use to frown upon hounds organizing a real-life meeting on the board, and now it says : "If you’re organizing a meal, post an initial announcement to Chowhound, and include an email or contact for people to respond.
            Use email (not Chowhound) to discuss specifics like who is coming, and to finalize arrangements."

            1. re: Rio Yeti

              Thank you both.
              And yes, I'm guilty of not checking them regularly.
              I will begin (again) to put links in and see what happens.
              For instance, the reference to the Brittany trip in 2012 above was at http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...

              1. re: John Talbott

                I don't check them on a regular basis, but recently did, and what surprised me most is the fact that we can now organize Chowhound meals... (if anyone's up for the job) ;)

                1. re: John Talbott

                  Thank you John Talbott for your efforts on my behalf. An excellent report for my purposes and the de la plage looks wonderful. I am a bit concerned that we'll run into the "festival cournouaille" out in Quimper in July (I assume limited availability of hotels/food/parking!) but we'll see what the final timeframe looks like.

          2. re: John Talbott

            One singular stop (say, for 2 nights) is the chambre d'hote Le Talvern slightly west of Lorient. Patrick was head chef at Laperouse in Paris before moving to the country/seaside where he offers a simple but excellent evening meal, table d'hote. This place is very popular and requires very advanced booking. It took me three years to coordinate our stay,

          3. Have you considered the Dordogne? Very beautiful, great food and wine, but it will probably be hot and muggy in July and you'd be too early for truffles. Lots of side trips, auberge/fermes, and enchanting hiking, canoeing, and bicycling.

            That said the Loire is wonderful as well.

            5 Replies
            1. re: ebethsdad

              In point of fact, there is almost no region that isn't worth the trip, except perhaps the coast of the Pas de Calais, that, like exiting almost any Metro stop in Paris, is one thing that makes this country great.

              1. re: John Talbott

                And even the coast of Nord-Pas-de-Calais is beautiful and soulful. So is the countryside. Even there, there's good food to have. Spend a weekend at La Grenouillère and circle around, then tell me about it.

              2. re: ebethsdad

                Excellent points, thank you! Would probably save the Dordogne for an autumn trip, which is our preferred travel season anyway. Will we escape some of the heat and humidity by staying farther north, or shall I investigate rental properties with a pool at the very least?!

                1. re: millerla

                  Weather is never very predictable. Some summers in Brittany are almost sunless, others are sweltering. It all depends on where the "Azores high" decides to park itself... a degree or two north and the North Altantic storms/ clouds are blocked and a few degrees south, endless dreariness. Judging from my teen-years summers near La Baule, the drear tends to win out.

              3. I just remembered that there have been several discussions of "bet food regions" and I can only find one now but it and others might be helpful.
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6184...