Category: Bretagne/Brittany

November 4th, 2010 by ptinfrance

au chateau a mont dol france bretagne brittany bed and breakfast
We recently stayed for a few days at au Chateau de Mont Dol, a charming bed and breakfast in a small village not far from Mont Saint Michel and Cancale in Brittany. Though not really a chateau (it’s a renovated farmhouse), the place is enormous with five rooms (two doubles, one triple, one suite, one family suite for 4) and attached to the main house are three gites (self catering apartments).
au chateau a mont dol france bretagne brittany bed and breakfast
Au Chateau de Mont Dol is a comfortable, convenient and affordable base to use while you’re exploring Bretagne and it’ll be even more worth it to you when you return to your home sweet home after a tiring day’s worth of sightseeing.
au chateau a mont dol france bretagne brittany bed and breakfast
We stayed in the family suite, which sleeps a total of four. Two downstairs and 2 up in a loft. This is perfect for a couple and two kids. Very comfy and inside the rooms you’ll discover mini meringues for guests to much on!

Another reason for choosing this charming B&B is that one of the owners, Yannick Goulvestre, is a chef, having worked at Alain Senderens (Lucas Carton previously), a three star Michelin restaurant. That means the meals are excellent.
clams repas au chateau a mont dol france bretagne brittany bed and breakfast
Clams definitely win against snails.
entree repas au chateau a mont dol france bretagne brittany bed and breakfast

entree repas au chateau a mont dol france bretagne brittany bed and breakfast
and we were particularly impressed with his orange dessert souffle!
souffle au chateau a mont dol france bretagne brittany bed and breakfast
Served with chocolate gelato and buttery biscuit, it was one of the best desserts I’ve had in France. I wished we had started the meal with dessert. If we’d only had that for the entire meal, I would’ve been very happy!
au chateau a mont dol france bretagne brittany bed and breakfast
Another gorgeous dessert served on a different night:
au chateau a mont dol france bretagne brittany bed and breakfast
Herb tea and chocolates after dinner:
au chateau a mont dol france bretagne brittany bed and breakfast
In the morning, wake up to steaming French coffee and a yummy breakfast of home baked goods, crepes, fruit, cereals, yogurts.
au chateau a mont dol france bretagne brittany bed and breakfast
You know, a typical European offering. Make sure to try the amazing salty Breton butter!

au chateau a mont dol france bretagne brittany bed and breakfast

Au Chateau de Mont Dol
1, rue de la Mairie
35120 Mont Dol, France
Telephone: +33 (0)2 99 80 74 24

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, chambres d'hotes/bed and breakfast, food and drinks, tips, travel and places, travel tip Tagged with: , , , , ,

October 22nd, 2010 by ptinfrance

breizh cafe in cancale france
We were in Paris a little while ago and headed over to Breizh Cafe, a creperie that focuses on quality and organic ingredients, crepes, galettes, other goodies from Brittany and some twists on these traditional dishes. They turned us away because we didn’t have reservations. Pffff! So, we went to the first Breizh Cafe in France, located in Cancale (Brittany), which is, I think, is better. So there!
breizh cafe in cancale france
Like its Parisian sister, Bertrand Larcher’s Breizh Café offers tradional and original dishes. but unlike in Paris, the Breizh Café in Cancale is right on the beach.
breizh cafe in cancale france
And because the seafood is caught just a few yards away and is delivered the same day, it couldn’t be fresher.
breizh cafe in cancale france
Definitely order oysters! They were the best I’ve ever had.
breizh cafe in cancale france
Have local cidre with your galettes and crepes. A must.
breizh cafe in cancale france
If you’re looking for the freshest, tastiest sashimi ever, go upstairs to La Table de Breizh Café, which just opened last February. It specializes in Japanese-Breton cuisine created by Chef Rafael-Fumio Kudaka.
breizh cafe in cancale france
For dessert, crepes of course! I can never resist a crepe with salted caramel.
breizh cafe in cancale france
This one wasn’t too bad, either.

Lastly, you can purchase organic buckwheat fllour and buttermilk, among other products at Breizh Cafe.

Breizh Café/La Table de Breizh Café – Cancale
7 quai Thomas
35260 Cancale, France
Telephone: +33 (0) 2 99 89 56 46 / +33 (0) 2 99 89 61 76

Breizh Café – Paris
109, rue Vieille du Temple (Le Marais)
75003 Paris, France
Telephone: +33 (0)1 42 72 13 77

Breizh Cafe Creperie – Tokyo
Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
Telephone: +81 3-3289-3531
There are also locations in Yokohama, Kawasaki, Akasaka and HIbiya.

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, restaurants, tips, travel and places, travel tip Tagged with: , , , , , ,

May 25th, 2010 by ptinfrance

village de Vitré the village in Vitré
Vitré (Brittany, Ille-et-Vilaine) is the most well-preserved medieval village I’ve seen in France with its narrow streets of cobblestone,
magasin de Vitré shop in Vitré
surrounding ramparts and half-timbered houses.
Château de Vitré the castle in Vitré
The 11th century Château de Vitré showcases fairy tale towers and has historically proven to be one of the most powerful castles in history having not been occupied during the Hundred Years War. The English attempted to take it over many times, without success, even though they’d occupied the village.
maison de Vitré house in Vitré
The best part of our short trip, however, happened while we were meandering around the old village, taking photos, chatting, then suddenly, a local villager speeds by and grumpily yells, “You’re right to take photos. It’s beautiful here!” then he smiled ear to ear. My sweetie then says, “Oh, but we actually want to take a picture of you.” And this adorable man enthusiastically agreed.
homme de Vitré man in Vitré
Then we asked, “Will you stand like THIS?”* And he did! People of Vitre, you rock.

* My nephew has been posing for photos like this and we thought we’d find some competition for him. Actually, many travelers in France who we didn’t know agreed to do this.

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, people, tips, travel and places, travel tip Tagged with: , , , ,

May 19th, 2010 by ptinfrance

chocolate paint palette with macarons georges larnicol
If for one reason you come into Maison Larnicol, the brainchild of Master Chocolatier and MOF, Georges Larnicol, it’s to marvel at his playful, colorful chocolate creations.
macarons larnicol
Oh but you should taste as much as possible, too. We dropped by his shop in Saint Malo (Brittany) but he has a whole slew of shops in these cities Auray, Bordeaux, Concarneau, Guerande, La Baule, Locronan, Nantes, Pont Aven, Quimper, Rennes and Saint Brieuc.
kouign amann
The kouign amann (an oh-so-amazing buttery, baked Breton pastry), macarons and chocolate were heavenly. There are no additives, preservatives or artificial ingredients in the baked goods.
kouign amann kouignettes
The mini kouign-amanns called kougnettes are so cute and come in 14 different flavors.

The only regret we have now is that we didn’t try every single item in the shop. There’s so much more to grab here: cookies, lollipops, galettes…

Maison Larnicol
6, rue Saint-Vincent
35400  Saint Malo France
Telephone Number: +33 (0)2 99 40 57 62

Continue reading the post to see more photos.
Read more of this article »

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, chocolate, MOF Meilleur Ouvrier de France, shopping, tips, travel and places, travel tip Tagged with: , , , , , ,

April 4th, 2010 by ptinfrance

chocolate in france

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, chocolate, events Tagged with: , , , , , ,

August 10th, 2009 by ptinfrance

From the telegraph:

“…The places under threat include some of the area’s most popular resorts. Bays popular with Britons from Mont-Saint-Michel along the Atlantic coast all the way to La Baule, a top summer beach destination, are now struggling to dispose of thousands of tons of Ulva lactuca – more commonly known as sea lettuce.

Doctors have warned that the algae pose a health risk as they produce hydrogen sulphide when they rot. That can become trapped under a seaweed crust and be as deadly as cyanide if released suddenly.

Two weeks ago, a horse rider lost consciousness after breathing in the toxic fumes on the beach in Saint-Michel-en-Grève, where 16,000 tonnes of the algae have already been collected this year. His horse was killed.

Pierre Philippe, of the Lannion hospital in Brittany, which also treated a council worker who fell into a coma while clearing beaches, said there were “almost certainly other unreported cases”. The seaweed has been multiplying abnormally fast due to the use of huge amount of nitrates used in intensive pig and poultry farming. The nitrates seep into the region’s rivers and end in the sea. Scientists said global warming could also be a factor.

The worst affected area is Saint-Brieuc on the Côtes-d’Armor coast of Brittany. Besides Saint-Michel-en-Grève, around ten beaches have…”

Continue reading

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, environment, news, tips, travel tip Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

March 8th, 2009 by ptinfrance

pizza with insects in brittanyThere’s a crisis and all but do we have to resort to eating crickets, worms and cicadas? I’d like my pizza with mushrooms and pepperoni, please. 86 those grasshoppers and creepy crawlies!

After restaurateur Alexis Chambon met Michel Collin, a bugologist (ok, an entomologist), he thought it would be a wonderful idea to launch a restaurant that serves all kinds of insects. So he did and now you can find bug cuisine at his restaurant in Guidel, a small town in Brittany.

You can order pizza with insects or go for the fried crickets, that supposedly taste like….peanuts. (not chicken)

(link and photo from lepost)

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, food and drinks, news, restaurants, tips, travel and places, travel tip, weird

January 21st, 2009 by ptinfrance


photo courtesy of Presse-Océan

David Bernard and Marie Geffriaud, owners of L’Etage, a small restaurant in Nantes (Northwest France, Region: Pays de la Loire), are offering an exceptionally cheap lunch menu on Tuesdays. It’s a marketing tactic to get noticed but it’s also a way to address the financial crisis that has hit France and their clientele. So far, it seems to be working.

For 3.50 €, a sample menu would include thai curry chicken and rice and for dessert, a choice of custard or fruit salad.

I hope other restaurants will follow their example.

15, rue Beauregard
44000 Nantes
Tel: 02 40 12 10 04


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Posted in advertising & marketing, Bretagne/Brittany, food and drinks, Loire Atlantique, news, restaurants, stories, tips, travel tip

October 10th, 2008 by ptinfrance

camomile the cow and french guy traveling around france

Upon first glance, this seems to be a ridiculous attempt to grab attention, but that’s clearly not the case here.

While those seeking a life changing epiphany take pilgrimages to Lourdes, Santiago de Compostela, Mecca, and beyond, Hadrian Rabouin, an 18 year old Breton (guy from Bretagne), has something else in mind and decided that what he needed, was to walk a 1200 kilometer (745 miles) circuit in France with his cow named Camomile, a one and half year old Charolais heifer.

With organic farmers for parents, Hadrien grew up deeply engrained in toxic-free nature, and amidst the mindset of respecting his environment. The goal of his long walk is to discover and catalog plants that have been long forgotten. He plans to learn and live off the land whenever possible, and to meet whomever falls in his path for four months, walking approximately 20 kilometers per day, which is dependent on how Camomile feels, of course. He hopes this experience will give him a better perspective on where his life is going.

He didn’t want to bring any money but his mother insisted he at least bring a credit card and phone home now and again. His parents are comforted a little that he has a companion, albeit a cow for a companion. Reluctantly, he brought a credit card as well as 20 euros, which he apparently hasn’t needed because people along the way so far have given him money and food. He began his so-called pilgrimage on August 1 so he should be about half way through his circuit right about now and finishing in December.

Who knows, maybe this is the start of a new travel trend…


Watch a video of the story

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Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, daily life, environment, food and drinks, games/software/tech, news, people

August 22nd, 2008 by ptinfrance

cancale bretagne brittany france

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Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, nature, photos, travel and places

August 15th, 2008 by ptinfrance

dinan bretagne france
Dinan, in Bretagne (Brittany)

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Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, photos, travel and places

August 1st, 2008 by ptinfrance

There’s one region where you will never be disappointed by the street side-made crêpes: Bretagne. I don’t know how or why or what exactly is the reason for this. The butter? Perhaps crêpes are the regional specialty because they are so good here. No. They aren’t just good here; they’re the BEST. It doesn’t really matter why, I suppose; it simply suffices to accept that it just is like this in Bretagne – and now I know. I also know now that I have to get back there for more. I had a simple salted butter crêpe, which melted in my mouth. My stomach grumbles thinking about it.

crepes bretagne street made

crepes bretagne street made

crepes bretagne street made

crepes bretagne street made

crepes bretagne street made

crepes bretagne street made

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Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, food and drinks, photos, travel and places, travel tip

June 27th, 2008 by ptinfrance

From appleinsider:
iphone france
“France Telecom’s Orange said Thursday it will launch Apple’s much anticipated iPhone 3G in France on July 17th with prices starting at 149 euro ($233) for the 8GB model.

Handset prices and plans

The exclusive French carrier of the touch-screen handset said the 16GB model will fetch 199 euro. Both subsidized prices require that customers also purchase a subscription to one of its existing “Orange for iPhone” plans (below), or its Origami Star (from 3 hours), First or Jet plans.

With other plans (except time-cutoff and pay-as-you-go), the 8Gb iPhone will sell from 199 euro and the 16Gb model from 249 euro, Orange said. For instance, customers can get the 8GB model for 199 euro with a one-hour Origami Star plan that costs 32 euro and offers up to 500MB of monthly internet access.

Meanwhile, “Orange for iPhone” plans (below) start at 49 euro per month for a plan that includes 2 hours of normal talk time, 2 hours of late evening and weekend minutes, and 50 SMS text messages. The most expensive plan is priced at 149 euro and includes 12 hours of normal talk time, 12 hours of nights and weekends, and 1000 SMS messages. All “Orange for iPhone” plans include Visual Voicemail and up to 500MB of monthly data usage. ”

Orange will also offer the 8Gb 3G iPhone from 199 euro and the 16Gb version from 249 euro with a 24-month contract under its loyalty upgrade program.

Preferential upgrade offer

As part of the carrier’s “Change your mobile” promotion, Orange customers who purchased an iPhone before 12 June 2008 and are using it with an Orange plan (except time-cutoff, Initial and Mobicarte) will be able to buy the 3G iPhone for 99 euro through a 100 euro refund valid until 31 October 2008. The offer requires a 24-month contract.

iPhone 3G for business

The 3G iPhone will also launch for Orange Business Services clients on July 17th. Business clients will also be eligible for the “Change your mobile” offer.

Orange said its 3G network currently covers over 66 percent of the French population.


Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, events, food and drinks, kids, paris, people, religion, travel and places

June 12th, 2008 by ptinfrance

Usually when we get ready for a trip, we do a little research on specific accommodations if we’ve never stayed there before. It helps so much to see web sites that have participant reviews, so you’ll know what to stay away from, what to expect and simply plan from there.

Our recent trip to Bretagne (Brittany) did not involve this process because it was actually hard to find a B&B online with reviews – so we did take a huge risk by choosing a place with no user feedback. We found a lot of promising places on the internet but some only “sounded” great in theory. For example, we saw “Stay in a 17th century castle!” describing luxurious amenities etc. – the only problem was: there were no photos. Um. We need photos, people!

For instance, say we show up at a place that has no photos on their website. What are possible scenarios? A hotel from The Shining? Norman Bate’s House? The Cottage from The Undead? My point: Never stay at a place you haven’t seen!
bed and breakfast bretagne brittany france

Back to this post. We fortunately chose a place that did have photos on their website (though we couldn’t find any reviews). It looked promising and was run by a French family, so we thought we’d give it a try and stay there a whole week. It was awesome.
bed and breakfast bretagne brittany france
Le Manoir de Villeneuve isn’t just any ole bed and breakfast place. It is far beyond this category of B&B because it’s an elegant, relaxing 18th century estate in a huge French manor (more like a small castle) and it was a wonderful place to call home while traveling around in Bretagne.
room photo bed and breakfast bretagne france
The rooms are impeccably clean, comfortable and tastefully decorated. They will also be freshened up each day.
bed and breakfast bretagne brittany france
The bath is large and inviting. Each room in the manor has its own private bath.

bed and breakfast bretagne brittany france
You’ll wake up to find fresh squeezed orange juice, real raw milk from a farm nearby, luscious coffee or tea, fruit, baked breads and home-made, organic cakes and pastries. Who needs bacon and eggs? Here, no one. This is wonderful, wonderful breakfast, the French way.
donkeys bed and breakfast bretagne brittany france
The estate stretches across 6 hectares of land, which is enormous, so don’t be surprised if you run into some animals here and there when wandering around the vast “park” and side areas. Note: Donkeys are so soft!

An enormous advantage, and a criterion we require from our accommodations, is that it serve as a convenient base that is accessible to several points of interest. Le Manoir not only meets this criterion, but it also gives you the feeling that you are far from everything yet you are actually very close to Saint Malo, the beach, Ile de Bréhat, Dinard, Paimpol, Fort La Latte and both the cote d’emeraude / Emerald coast as well as the Cote de Granite Rose (Rose granite coast). Also, from here you are just an hour’s drive to Rennes.

For a true, French B&B experience in Bretagne, we highly recommend Le Manoir in Lamballe. It is an ideal location to have as a base to explore many places. Coming back to the manoir and town of Lamballe is comforting and you’ll have a variety of things to do there. The town of Lamballe is beautiful and there are excellent restaurants, cheese shops, wine stores and specialty shops that will keep you well-fed and entertained.

The full time residents of the manor is a French family of five (a couple and three kids) and you might see them around, as well as their friendly Weimaraner, Tom. You’ll be greeted by a very gracious and sweet hostess, Nathalie, a former sign language translator. She will be your contact during your stay at Le Manoir de Villeneuve.

Le Manoir de Villeneuve
Contact: Nathalie Peres (French and English spoken)
3 Rooms, 1 Suite
St-Aaron, 22400 Lamballe France
Telephone: +33) 02 96 50 86 32 or +33) 06 20 81 16 28
Website: Le Manoir de Villeneuve (for more photos and rates)


Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, chambres d'hotes/bed and breakfast, photos, Recommended Accommodations, travel and places, travel tip

June 6th, 2008 by ptinfrance

cute pair of birds in a birdhouse in the parc du thabor rennes france
There’s a bird sanctuary inside the beautiful Parc du Thabor in Rennes, which is where we saw this adorable bird couple while wandering and exploring nature inside a city with our buddy and favorite Rennais, Martin. (Photo by Martin, btw. Merci!)

Are they Parakeets of some sort? I’m not sure.

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, nature, photos, travel and places

June 3rd, 2008 by ptinfrance

fort la latte en bretagne france

The 14th century castle/fort, Fort La Latte sits majestically atop a 70 meters (230 ft) high cliff along the Cote d’Émeraude (Emerald Coast) in northern Brittany. It is one of the most spectacular sites in Bretagne.

Built from the ground up on a small spit of land on the Baye de la Fresnaye by one of the oldest Breton families, Goyon-Matignon, the castle (known at the time as “Roche Guyon”), was first besieged by Bertrand du Guesclin in 1379. After Brittany became part of France, in 1490 it was unsuccessfully besieged by the English. Later, when the castle was known as La Latte, the Holy League really did it in and dismantled, plundered, devastated and set on it fire.
fort la latte en bretagne france

Between 1690 and 1715, the architect, Sir Garangeau, under the reign of Louis XIV, turned La Latte into a fort. They added military structures to defend Saint-Malo against English and Dutch attacks.

The final attempt to attack the castle was in 1815 by a few men from Saint-Malo during the “Cent-Jours”. Like their predecessors the attack was unsuccessful. It fell into disrepair during the 19th century and sold by the family in 1892, and is currently privately owned. In 1925 it was declared a monument historique, a protected place of historic interest and was slowly restored.
fort la latte en bretagne france

The Fort La Latte is a “must visit” if you’re in Bretagne. If you’re not into medieval forts, drawbridges and war paraphernalia, the views from the castle are absolutely magnificent. The surrounding area is breathtaking, and is great for mountain biking, hiking and picnicking.

We visited just about an hour before closing hours, which seems like a perfect time to go because we were nearly alone, wandering around the premises. Heaven, especially if you’re not into crowds.
fort la latte en bretagne france

If it seems like you’re walking on a Hollywoodian movie set, you actually are. Well, the fort is the real deal, but it’s been used as a backdrop for many movies. Notably, The Vikings with Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis, Ridicule by Patrice Lecomte with Jean Rochefort; Le jeu du roi with Marc Evans, Pierre Dux and Francois Matouret; Lancelot du Lac (made for TV movie) with Gérard Falconetti, La Danse de mort with Michel Bouquet; Metzengerstein with Jane Fonda; Chouan with Sophie Marceau and Philippe Noiret.

Fort La Latte
Open every day April 1 to September 30; October to March open afternoons, weekends, national holidays and bank holidays.
Admission: 4 Euros
Telephone: +33) 02 96 41 40 31


Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, cultural differences, history, people, politics, travel and places, travel tip

June 1st, 2008 by ptinfrance

fete du lait bio organic milk festival
This organic milk festival is today in Bretagne (Brittany). Sorry about the late notice.

Learn more about organic products and how their production respects the environment (non-GMO, no pesticides or chemicals) and animal well-being, via this festival that every department in Brittany is celebrating with concerts, theater plays, debates and more. This isn’t just the organic dairy industry. You’ll also find bakers, farmers and animals – and their products as well. Visit a number of participating farms to experience what “real food” raising and making (and eating!) are.

You can have an organic breakfast and meet the people who bring quality products to the public.

*Note: You must have a reservation.

La Fête du Lait Bio 2008 – Organic Milk Festival
June 1, 2008
Contacts by Department: Cotes D’Armor – Jean-Sebastien Piel; Finistere – Alex Lannuzel; Ille et Vilaine – Nadege Lucas; Morbihan – Celine Rolland
Admission: 5 €, 4€ Students and Unemployed, 3€ Under 12
Website: Fete du Lait Bio

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, daily life, education, events, health, kids, nature, news

May 31st, 2008 by ptinfrance

saint brieuc street art brittany bretagne france
I almost didn’t notice this fun street art in the pedestrian shopping area of old town Saint-Brieuc, Brittany France, and would’ve just walked by without taking a picture. Good thing I did a double-take!


Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, photos, signs

May 30th, 2008 by ptinfrance

There’s an article in today that reveals the greatest mysteries of Stonehenge, namely, what the giant brooding stones represented. Apparently, the location was a a burial ground for several generations of a single, elite family.

This is interesting because a similar idea dominated our conversation when we were visiting the “French Stonehenge” in Carnac, in Brittany, France just about a week ago.

Carnac isn’t Stonehenge, clearly, but the place is 6000 years old (older than Stonehenge) and there is a dense collection of menhirs (standing stones, nicknamed the “Stone Army”) as far as the eye can see. Approximately 3000 of these standing stone relics are aligned in rows amidst the vast area of fields close to the Atlantic Ocean in Brittany. It is impressive too see them.
standing stone alignments menhirs megaliths carnac france
All sorts of theories and speculations popped up in our conversations about the stones’ origins: a challenging game, a landing field for UFO’s (hee), an endurance activity for physical stamina, to name a few – but what emerged as the most likely, was the cemetery theory. Not really far fetched since the dolmens and cairns in Brittany served funerary functions.

So many have ruled out the idea that the menhirs were part of a cemetery. We just have to respectfully disagree with that. Granted, there are no remnants of skeletons here, which is a reason researchers rule out a cemetery, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a cemetery! Our theory is that it WAS a cemetery, or perhaps, more accurately, a memorial for the thousands of Gaulois soldiers who left Carnac to fight against Romans their enemies at sea – and never came back. THAT is why there are no skeletal remains! Besides, doesn’t it look obviously like a veterans’ cemetery, Neolithic stye?

Later when researching this a little, I found some other theories. In the 50s and 60s, Breton children chanted the legend to tourists: All the stones were part of a Gaulois cemetery. The richer the dead person, the bigger then stone. Another theory tells the tale of Saint Cornelius. He was pursued by pagan soldiers all the way to the seashore, and with no boat to flee, his defense was to turned them into stone.
standing stone alignments menhirs megaliths carnac france
In any case, Carnac, is a well worth a visit but you will need a car to reach it. The largest city close by is Rennes, where we began and it took about one and half hours to reach Carnac from there. You can stroll among the menhir alignments freely from October to March, 9am to 5pm. During the busy season from April to the end of September, you are not allowed to pass the fenced and rock barriers – to protect the vegetation around the stones.

Links: Official Carnac website, DVD: Global Treasures: Carnac Stones Bretagne, France

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, cultural differences, history, photos, travel and places, travel tip

May 26th, 2008 by ptinfrance

laurent le daniel patissier meilleur ouvrier de france rennes
Last week in Rennes, we ALMOST met miserable misfortune by NOT stepping into this place, Le Daniel, a patisserie. My sweetie stopped abruptly and said, “M.O.F.!”


“M.O.F.! M.O.F.! We HAVE to go into Le Daniel; he’s an M.O.F.”

“We just ate and I’m not very hungry. How do you know? And…What the heck is an MOF, anyway?”

“Meilleur Ouvrier de France! It’s on the window. He’s the best.”

By some miraculous and divine intervention of nature, my sweetie, who usually can’t find butter in the frig (when there’s only butter and nothing else in the frig), noticed the small print with “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” on the window whilst the three of us walked by briskly on our way to fnac.

“NEVER ignore an M.O.F. THAT is just crazy.”

So, we entered and sampled some things.

Before I go on with this story, I have some explaining to do about the “Meilleur Ouvrier de France.” It means “Best Craftsman (or Worker) in France” and this is a coveted award only given to the very best artisans of France every 3 years (since 1924). There’s a long list of categories so the M.O.F.. can be a pastry chef, a furniture maker, painter, saddle designer, all kinds of “craftsmen.” There’s a stringent process to earn this ranking and those who succeed keep their title for life. Their work is absolute pure quality, the best France has to offer. The people who earn this rank are all passionate about what they do and it shows in their work. So now I know that I should never ignore an M.O.F. You shouldn’t either, especially if you see an M.O.F. who makes pastries!
le daniel mof rennes france pastries

There are lots of very good patisseries in France (except near our house) but some really go beyond the call of duty and are ahead of others by giant leaps and bounds. Le Daniel was a true M.O.F. When the three of us ate our pastries, there was total silence. It was that good. I got a large salted butter caramel macaron and there are simply no words to do it justice.

We already want to go back. We have to check out his chocolates and ice cream!

By the way, do you know any M.O.F.s??? PLEASE tell me about them!

Le Daniel
13, Galerie du Théâtre
Place de la Mairie
35000 Rennes
02 99 79 33 81
Website: Le Daniel

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, chocolate, cultural differences, daily life, food and drinks, pastries, reviews, travel and places

May 25th, 2008 by ptinfrance

ile de brehat bretagne france brittany
We were happy to have beautiful weather when we visited Île de Bréhat in Brittany, where I took this photo just a few days ago. I have more photos that I’d like to post as a mini-slideshow plus more travel info, so if I could just figure out how to do that, I’ll post it all this week. Stay tuned.

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, nature, photos, travel and places

May 22nd, 2008 by ptinfrance

bergamote salon de the st malo mariage freres the
If you happen to find yourself in Saint Malo, a small, walled port town in northwestern France in Brittany, and can only do one thing there, make sure it’s visiting what is facing the cathedral, which is a heavenly salon de thé called Bergamote. The tea and pastries and crepes are more sacred than the saints just across the way. It is really not to be missed.

dessert pastries in saint malo salon de the
Bergamote exclusively offers Mariage Frères tea, which is considered by many to have some of the best teas in the world.

After a day’s exploring of the fortified city and surrounding beach area, relax and take in the view of Saint Malo’s cathedral from inside Bergamote. Treat yourself to a little bit of heaven with a blend of the finest teas around. The teas are really excellent (I really like the “Eros” blend), and can match perfectly with the luscious house made pastries and crêpes. You will absolutely NOT regret it.

Bergamote Salon de Thé & Creperie
Place de la Cathédrale
Saint Malo France
Tél. 02 99 40 28 14
Open: Wednesday to Sunday 11am – 6pm
July and August open Tuesday to Sunday

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, food and drinks, pastries, travel and places, travel tip

May 20th, 2008 by ptinfrance

between cancale and st malo in bretagne brittany france
We’ve been in Bretagne / Brittany (western France) for several days now, so I thought I’d post a quick blog entry while I have a minute. This photo was taken between Cancale and St. Malo along the English Channel. It doesn’t quite do justice to the real beauty that is Bretagne, but that is probably because I need some photography lessons.

Stay tuned…more of Bretagne to come!

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, nature, photos, travel and places

March 18th, 2008 by ptinfrance

From AP:

“Nantes — About 3,000 barrels of fuel oil leaked in and along the Loire River after a pipe ruptured while a tanker was being loaded at a Total refinery, the company said Monday.

Rescue teams used floating dams and Total mobilized a 200-person cleanup team to cope with the 400-ton spill at the Donges refinery in western France that began late Sunday, the company said in a statement.

Local officials said chunks of solidified oil were spotted on Atlantic Ocean estuary beaches, and fuel was seen floating along 12 miles of river Monday evening.

Total spokesman Burkhard Reuss said the cause of the rupture was not immediately clear. The company was trying to determine how long it took for the leakage of oil to be stopped, he said.

The Donges refinery produces about 230,000 barrels per day, he said.”

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, daily life, environment, health, Loire Atlantique, nature, news

August 6th, 2007 by ptinfrance

free range snails from brittany franceThough I’ve never wondered or cared about this, here’s some news escargot AKA snail lovers might appreciate. Organic snails are now available for the first time ever from a farm in Bretagne (Brittany). Are you jumping for joy?

“Didier and Jeannick Bonis are spearheading the defence of a national culinary icon under attack from Asian and Eastern European gastropods flooding France and misleadingly sold as Burgundy snails.

‘Welcome to snail Club Med,’ said Mr Bonis, 54, pointing to enclosures where 250,000 petit-gris or small grey snails are slumbering on wooden boards in the afternoon heat. Luscious green organic clover and radish along with marine limestone await them when they stir for their evening meal…” [Read the full article from the Telegraph]

Related: Escargot and Dave Barry, Escargot, the Unslimey Version

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, cultural differences, food and drinks, news