One of the towers at
Fort La Latte
Bretons do not
like to consider themselves part of France much like the Welsh
and Scottish relationship with the English (but more so). When driving out of Brittany to the
east, it is common to see the department sign obliterated with
graffiti - declaring that you are now entering France rather than
The coast is
spectacular much like Cornwall jagged and rocky. The huge
tidal range of the north coast makes it particularly striking
(watch out for the trivial pursuit question asking which port has
the largest tidal range in Europe it is St Malo)
Many guidebooks talk about the Pink Granite coast being one of
the most spectacular in the world. I wouldn't argue. It is
incredible that it has not been destroyed with over development.
Look at any attractive part of the English coastline and more
often than not there will be greasy cafes and amusement arcades
a stones throw away. Not so in Brittany. Miles of beautiful
beaches, impressive cliffs and no tat at all (or at most, a
tiny bit in the recognised seaside resorts).
Every time I go to Brittany (I go there a
lot as often as I can) I find something new about the place
that makes me like it even more. Early in August I went to visit
my father, who now resides semi-permanently in Dinan. He has a
modest terraced house on a cobbled street very close to the
centre of the town. As it was his 75th birthday we
were looking for a special place to take him for a meal. We read
in a (generally very good) guidebook, that a posh restaurant had
been set up in the top of an old water tower in Ploubalay
- not far from Dinan. Restaurant du Chateau d'Eau
promised excellent seafood and a wonderful view of the coast.
Restaurant du Chateau d'Eau, Ploubalay
Forte La Latte
On our way back from the wonderful La Latte Fort (on Cap Frehel)
we decided to pop in to the water tower restaurant, to check the
place out. After our short journey up in the lift we found
ourselves in a rather ordinary bar/café it seems the posh
restaurant had come and gone. On the plus side the view was still
there. We stayed for an ice cream, a quick coffee, took a walk
round the terrace, admiring the view all the way. Later in evening
we enjoyed our meal down at the port in Dinan discussed Cap
Frehel and the tower. The water tower is worth a visit but
possibly not for the food!
|The Hachette Vacances guidebook
is great for its non-stuffy practical style. Sections are short
and punchy. It breaks Brittany up into small local chunks
and picks out the very best things to do and see in each area. It
is the book to plan your Brittany holiday - the best I have found.
(I help organise a trip to Brittany every Mayday bank holiday for
a group of twelve friends - this book helps me look like the
expert guide!). For me, many other books either over do the
history, or are more suited to being coffee table picture books.
This one has good maps, great photos and lots of practical info.
The publishers have even negotiated discounts on entry fees of
many of the places mentioned. First published in the UK this year
(although originally published in France in 1998). Excellent value
- and the usual discount from Amazon, makes this book cost no more
than a couple of glossy magazines.
in association with
Property In Brittany
Unless you have limitless time (and
funds) to visit all the areas of France, a guidebook can be an
excellent way of deciding on a region before arranging visits to
view property. Whether you are buying for your main home, or
to rent out, the attractions of an area are important. However
beautiful your little cottage is - if there is little to do for
miles around (Brittany is a big place), you are either likely to
get bored, or struggle to find people to rent it from you.
If you have decided Brittany that
is the place for you, the following website offers a good
selection of properties in the region:
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