It's a great little campsite close to a beach and about 20 minute cycle to the main village where great food was served all day from a variety of eateries.
You can hire a tippee to stay in and watch the beautiful sunsets from the beach just across the road.
The staff were super friendly (even if somewhat intrigued by my bad allo allo-esque accent) and you can't knock warm croissants from the small shop first thing in the morning.
This place and its surrounding areas were a joy to explore and felt very similar to the Isles of Scilly.
We had an excellent cycling holiday in Finistere, the western part of Brittany, last year. It’s easy to take your bikes on the overnight ferry from Plymouth and within minutes of arriving in Roscoff you can be eating breakfast in a seafront café before setting off along quiet country lanes through rolling farmland and tiny hamlets. The terrain is just right with enough change in gradient to make it interesting without being too strenuous, the roads are generally not too busy and there is plenty to explore along the way including ruined churches, standing stones and lighthouses as well as miles and miles of spectacular coastline. We stayed mainly in chambres d’hotes (the equivalent of B&Bs) which offer good value accommodation and we ate some wonderful meals, the most memorable of which was at La Corniche, a seafood restaurant right on the water’s edge in Brignogan-Plage. Our favourite stretches of coastline were the windswept Pointe de Penhir on the Crozon peninsula and the Côte Sauvage (the Wild Coast) further north where waves crashed on to the rocks below us and we visited the tiny chapel of St Samson.
Le Garo, 29890 Bignogan Plages
+33(0)2 98 85 81 99
Google map: bit.ly/pQULIq
This charming resort town in the Calvados region still retains its turn-of-the 20th Century charm filled with venerable hotels and the odd cafe that seems preserved in a 1950's time warp. My tip for a truly unique experience is to go to the beach early in the morning and watch the trotting horses being put through their paces on the sands at low tide. It's free and you can get a lot closer to the action than at the track - and it's something unique to Cabourg.
Google map: bit.ly/o6we0X
La Bagnolese is a sweet, strong alcoholic drink made from calvados (the Normandy speciality, of course). The grandmother of the family who make it sells it from their house and she is more than willing to let you try the different types!
Place de l'Eglise, 61140, La Chapelle-d'Andaine Google map: bit.ly/pwviqu
A lovely Breton town based on La Rance. Some wonderful restaurants on the riverfront and a fantastic sprawling hill road with a selection of nice small shops. Plus boat rentals/canoes and a picturesque biking route leading up the river to the village of La Vicomté.
Google map: bit.ly/poAxY1
In Bayeux, as we started our walking holiday we were taken quite by surprise by this memorial to journalists of all nations killed in combat zones since 1946. Along each side of a pathway through a wooded park are engraved memorials, one for each year since it was opened. To date there are an astonishing 2000 names recorded. Opposite the huge British Cemetery it was a quiet reminder to us of the true cost of knowing about conflicts and that there have been and are ongoing wars.
We did the Mulberry March with Belle France and stayed at the Hotel Lion d'Or.
A gorgeous cluster of eight or so gites just 10 minutes from the coast in Brittany. Looking for the perfect easy-going family holiday location? This is it. Paradise for young ones with a huge secure site that showers them with facilities, two heated (and gated) pools, a lawned garden in the centre of all the gites featuring the classic and ever popular park paraphernalia. Then there's a huge trampoline, a covered barn with soft play area and ball pit and an endless supply of ride-on's inc scooters, bikes and tractors ... If that's not enough, the free roaming rabbit and the chicken shed is the cherry on top. For the parents the pools are fabulous, but to be honest we reverted back to our childhood and joined our three-year-old on everything designed for him. The on-site bar however provides a well earned break in the evening and comes with peace of mind as the baby monitors are lined up alongside the tasty French Vino and cheese. English hosts Simon and Lesley were top dollar, and were more than happy to accommodate all our various requests. A great place to stay if you are a family traveling alone, as you will meet lots of similar families (and the kids end up entertaining themselves) but would also be a great place to book with friends. Highly recommended.
Driving from London to the Cote d'Azur with my wife and daughter I decided to break the journey by getting hideously lost in Brittany. I asked some local gents if they knew of a decent hotel for the night, but they insisted we stay with them at their French cooking school in Kerrouet. English was the main language spoken, although people were from all over the place and the atmosphere was great. It was a perfect base to visit the main spots in Brittany, like Dinard, St Malo, the Inter Celtic Festival at Lorient and the ancient stone alinement at Carnac. We never did get down to the south of France but had a splendid time in Brittany and I can now cook a mean Moules a la Creme!
I saw this bistrot recommended in a 2008 Guardian article as one of the 'Top 10 Paris bistrots on a budget'. I can gladly say that it continues to please. We were superbly attended to from start to finish by the friendly owner/ waiter making us feel very welcome. We ordered the three course menu (€18.50-very reasonable for an evening meal in Paris) and let the owner suggest a wine, which went perfectly with the fish we ordered. A constant supply of chilled water was brought to the table and baskets of wonderful fresh bread. The chocolate pudding and the tiramisu were delicious. As a digestif we had the excellent homemade Vanilla rum (€4.50).
30 Rue Pierre Leroux, 75007 Paris
+33 (0)1 42 73 28 34
Google map: bit.ly/l0TGpp
A very pretty small town, with good hotels and restaurants. This place is a bit of an oasis among the busy stretch along the Calais coast. But the location is perfect for anyone who wants to stay overnight on a day trip or shopping trip to France via the ferries or Channel Tunnel. It sure beats hanging around Calais!
Tourists may be queuing up in front of Ladurée for its famous macarons but Parisians often shlep to the bucolic and authentic Daumesnil quartier to get the best Mille-Feuille in Paris, at Vandermeersch’s. A Mille-Feuille (literally, thousand leaves) is a landmark of French patisserie. Its « leaves » must be light and crispy and its cream delicately perfumed with vanilla and a touch of rum.
278 Avenue Daumnesil, Paris 12th
+33 (0)1 43 47 21 66
Google map: bit.ly/kxdncA
The Album bookshop is a temple dedicated to the art of Bande dessinée, an extremely successful art form in the Francophone world, which has no equivalent in Britain or the USA. In Anglophone countries, comic strips are considered a mere entertainment mainly targeted at children. The expression graphic novel had to be coined to appeal to a more mature readership. In France, Belgium and Switzerland, dozens of young authors’ names and unique visual signatures catch people’s eyes whenever they pass a bookshop. Asterix alone has sold 326 million albums since its creation in 1961 and has been translated in 107 languages and dialects.
You won’t have to pass an exam to get a room at Hôtel des Grandes Ecoles, just make sure to book in advance. This hotel, ensconced in an impasse with a garden, right in the heart of the Latin quarter, opposite where Hemingway lived in the Twenties, has affordable and lovely hotel rooms, some with Toile de Jouy wallpaper which will no doubt colour your dreams. Room from 118€. It is not cheap but worth the investment!
It's a very good French restaurant. Firstly, I can pronounce his name without shame.
His food is great and people are so nice and lovely.
And last but not the least, the ice creams are awesome!
5 rue des Teinturiers, 84000, Avignon
+33(0)8 99 23 02 18
Google map: bit.ly/isytlj
Located in the heart of the Somme, five minutes from Newfoundland Park, I have nothing but praise for this fantastic, rural, privately owned guest house, tea rooms and history centre. As one of a party of 12, we were all thrilled by the homely welcome, accommodation and excellent food.
Owner Avril Williams, her son and his partner run this well-oiled operation and they certainly put their heart and soul into it. If you plan to stay, the accommodation is spacious, comfortable and there is plenty of room to relax in the lounge.
Being 'true-Brits' we all enjoyed our English breakfast complete with free-range eggs straight from Avril's own hens. Being a farmyard, Avril also has a number of sheep, cats, and a dog; but we were stunned to hear from Avril herself how one customer complained because of the "sheep poo" in the garden! Some people ...
The garden contains a section of genuine World War One trench which was excavated by the Royal Air Force Regiment and there are many finds displayed around the tea-rooms, house and in Ocean Villa's excellent private museum. With an entrance to the cellars of the old, war-time house directly from the trench and garden, Ocean Villas seeps you in the history of this important historical wartime site. On the cellar walls it is possible to read the WW1 graffiti left behind over 100 years ago. Many of the solders who left their mark have been identified and Avril can tell you the story of them all.
Across the road is Avril's Great War museum which (and I have visited most of them) is possibly the best privately-owned museum on the whole of the Somme. It is a must-see whether you drop in to the Tea Rooms or not.
Thank you Avril, this was a holiday and a half!
This Bed & Breakfast offers wonderfully friendly accommodation with optional evening dinners close to St Cere. The rooms are very comfortable and well decorated but it is the hosts that make this place worth visiting. Nothing is too much for them and the evening dinners are delicious (they provide vegetarian meals for those who want them). It is a renovated farmhouse in a beautiful location perfect for exploring the area around St Cere and the Dordogne Valley. Excellent value.
This superb Belle Epoque building with painted frescoes in the heart of Les Lilas, a little village North-East of Paris (métro Mairie des Lilas), is also an art house cinema. Parisians in the know flock to Les Lilas to see films, in style.
181 bis, rue de Paris, Les Lilas 93260
+33(0)1 43 60 41 89
Baker Pascal Barillon won this year the prestigious Best Baguette Award for his baguette 'tradition'. He got a score of 19.5/20. He is also known for his patisserie creations such as L’Abbesse, a chocolate mousse and orange peel on a truffle paste. Now, run!
6, rue des Abesses, Paris (18th) 75018
Google map: bit.ly/ldezGo
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org