(with places to eat)
One of the nicest ways to
enjoy Brittany’s very varied landscape is by combining a summer
stroll with a good meal in an attractive location. Here are some suggestions
for getting out and about in the good weather.
The Pointe du Grouin, just east of St Malo, is the
last headland before the bay of Mont St-Michel. A stroll here includes close-up views of the Ile des
Landes, which is a bird reserve, and Mont St-Michel itself in the distance. For
eating, the dining room of La Pointe du Grouin hotel right on the spot with its
panoramic views and superb fish dishes is highly recommended. Or drive on the
short distance to Cancale, oyster capital of Brittany, and buy some fresh from the harbour stalls.
The town of Redon is well worth a day-trip, especially for canal enthusiasts to visit the
inland waterway mecca, La Musée de la Batellerie. Wander through the old port
on the banks of the Vilaine which has a picnic spot at the furthest point right
by the water. For eating out, the famous and expensive La Bogue (‘Chestnut
husk’) restaurant is in a building once used by the Breton parliament in the
rue des Etats, or for a warm welcome and good food try the L’Abri Cotier in the
central rue des Douves, near the Nantes-Brest canal.
Lac de Guerlédan in the
heart of Brittany, has many miles of wooded shore-line with paths near
the water for all levels of walking ability. The Forêt de Quenécan to the south is particularly
beautiful. And to reward yourself, book for lunch at the Michelin star Grand
Maison (menus as low as 27€) in nearby Mur-de-Bretagne for an incredible foodie
treat from the kitchen of Christophe Le Fur.
Le Faouët has many walking
circuits, including the memorable Chapelle Ste-Barbe in its most unusual
setting and beautiful woodland. You can walk there and back from the town in
little over an hour, if you don’t want to follow the entire 12km Circuit des
Chapelles. Enjoy a good meal in the town centre at stylish Thon Kiri (rue du
soleil) with its eclectic menu and good-humoured service.
Guingamp is an interesting
town to visit, with a 7km circuit covering all the sights, including the famous
Black Madonna statue in the church. You can go into the town hall to see some
painting by Pont-Aven artist Paul Sérusier, and in the centre admire the
elaborate fountain and medieval houses, especially No.42 place du centre, which
has a fine Renaissance doorway. If you are serious about food, book for lunch at
La Boissière (www.restaurant-la-boissiere) just outside the town. For a cheaper
option, Le Creperie du Roy (rue aux Blés) has good crepes and a plat du jour.
Just outside Brest, the beautiful valley of Stang-Alar contains the famous Conservatoire Botanique National
with its plant collections and provides the perfect spot for shady strolls.
There’s the excellent Creperie Blé Noir near the parking area, or drive a short
distance to Moulin Blanc, Brest’s pleasure boat harbour, to eat on board an old ship at Ma Petite Folie
– good fun and excellent food.
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