Everybody leaves Paris in summer. Our boulangerie and our greengrocer are closed for 6 weeks. I heard even maids can take a month of paid leave. Of course we couldn’t stay behind. So, we took the train from Montparnasse and only three hours later on exiting the TGV, we were met with a lovely salty sea breeze that filled our lungs. Fresh fish, sandy beaches, a rough coastline you can all find it in the former keltic part of France; Bretagne. Also known in Breton as Breizh.
Next to delicious fish plates Bretagne is known for its crêperies. Best to be enjoyed with that other sweet bubbly drink, cider. I recommend the galettes sarasin (blé noir), savory crêpes. They taste fantastic with ham and cheese, eggs, smoked salmon etc. Wash it away with Kerisac cider and top it off with a sweet crêpe beurre sucre for dessert. The combination of salted butter with sweet sugar tastes great! The salted butter, a local specialty, used to be hard to find in other parts of France but is now available everywhere.
Fleur de Sel
The best sea salt comes from Guérande. Hand picked and a true delicatesse. It doesn’t get more biological than this. My husband’s grandmother used to work as a paludière (the person who harvests the salt through the use of some sort of giant wiper) when she was young. The same technique is still used today.
A small fishers town with quintessential little houses and a crowded port. In the summer the small streets are filled with tourists. It has been said that the number of inhabitants goes from around 2000 during winter to more than 30000 in the summer. Not a real problem in this beautiful place! Lots of nice sandy beaches to choose from in the area: La Baule, Pornic, Pornichet, Le Croisic.
This time we’re in luck with sunny weather and even the water is warm enough (for some people) to swim in. It can also get windy and wet on Bretagne’s charming rocky coast. But this time we’ll enjoy the fact that the weather gods seem to be in our favour. Though there’s a good side to this as well; it never gets too hot and sticky and I can’t wait to hire boat and sail into the sunset!
To get the beach feeling in Paris you can go to Paris Plage, a sandy beach on the banks of the Seine. Originally designed for those who aren’t fortunate enough to leave the city.