This is a wonderful 'literary wine bar' in the Marais, that hosts readings and performances. They have a solid list of 'by the glass' wines and space in the back to relax.
As well as the central Rue de la Republique, La Part Dieu shopping centre has everything and every shop you are looking for.
Seemingly one of the largest malls in Europe and having been there I can believe that claim!
Typical tourist restaurant in the old town.
Two starters, mains and desserts together with two beers cost €35.
Starters were basic and mains were bland. Still, it was very busy but not the best place to go. 5/10.
23 Rue St Jean, 69005 Lyon, France
+33(0)4 78 42 25 13
Google map: bit.ly/qCdNrI
Very popular bar on Rue Garet, a very busy area in Presqu'ile. Serves fairly decent pub grub.
A lot of outdoor seating on both sides of the road.
The bar has a bizarre shrine to smokers. The owner has undertaken a smoking experiment (see article below).
9, Rue Garet, 69001 Lyon, France
+33(0)4 78 28 48 11
Google map: bit.ly/nm853s
Situated on the famous “rue Mouffetard” in the heart of Paris, right next to the Panthéon, this fabulous boutique is typically French, and prides itself on selling products that are original, yet quintessentially French and, above all, of the very highest quality. The delicatessen boasts an array of products, such as Fauchon, Hédiart, in addition to delicious products sourced from small French manufacturers. A wide range of designer kitchen tableware is also available on sale. A very pretty boutique, perfect for indulging yourself, or indeed, others. A beautiful selection of luxurious products at prices which won't break the bank.
4, rue Mouffetard, 75005, Paris, France
Google map: bit.ly/pxyyLZ
Say what you want about Italian ice creams, and God knows they are divine, the real apex for me is called Berthillon. And you’ll find their glaces in the St Louis island of Paris. Each boule (scoop) is small and pricey but there is no word to describe the ecstasy of their gianduja with orange peel, verbena sorbet and raspberry à la rose. You can enjoy Berthillon ice cream at the salon de thé or just in cornets from their stands.
Here is one of France’s best chocolatiers and I know one thing or two about eating chocolate. Patrick Roger makes little milk and black rochers to die for and his 100% cocoa tablettes in their elegant green magnet boxes are like jewels. Roger also experiments with spices and you will find his chocolate with basil a real discovery.
Just walked hours from Le Louvre to the Arc of Triumph and looking for some respite far from the maddening crowd? Look no further. All you need is a love for Japan and its wondrous wagashi pastries. Toraya, a stone throw from Concorde square, is this very quiet and authentic Japanese salon de thé where you’ll be able to taste green tea-hot chocolate and restore your natural zen.
Pop your bike on the ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe, head east onto the 35km Avenue Verte for awesome tracks, villages, local food and cider, stay in a chateau, canoe chalk streams past watermills under trees full of mistletoe, an ultimate weekend get away.
From the village of Lehon, with its fantastic open air swimming pool, you can walk 2km along the River Rance, to the Medieval town of Dinan. The walk is shaded by trees full of mistletoe, and along the way is a cottage, where you may find a lady carving intricate Pre-Raphaelite figures into sicks of chalk. The river flows through a gorge as you reach Dinan, and you pass under the majestic viaduct. From here, you can walk up the steep cobbled streets into the walled town, or stop at the waterfront restaurants, and hire a boat from the little port.
Google map: bit.ly/riW1w0
Mont St Michel is much visited and for very good reason, but visiting with three small children we had to find a new twist to add to its appeal. So we used the Disney-line: the excitement of catching glimpses of the mount as we approached as this was the very location of Mickey Mouse's dungeon from The Three Musketeers; the crowded streets the place to buy beignets like Tiana made in The Princess and the Frog. But the best find of all were the mussel and oyster bars which stretch along the coastal road along the edge of the Bay of Mont St Michel. Cheap, child-friendly and with fantastic views of Mont St Michel - our three devoured bowlfuls of mussels and oysters dug fresh from the sandy bay - without even a mention of what Sebastian from The Little Mermaid might make of it all!
Take the D155 from St Malo, then onto the D797 at Le Vivier-sur-Mer heading towards Mont St Michel.
Google map: bit.ly/ojp0gQ
Rennes has got its own local version of the hot-dog: the galette saucisse. Not really French cuisine as you would picture it but perfect before a football match in the Route de Lorient stadium.
Any town/sports event in Rennes and its region
Throughout Brittany, during the summer months, there are local dance festivals called Fest Deiz or Fest Noz (day or night festivals). These take place in village halls, leisure centres or even in even school playgrounds where you can join in dancing beneath the stars, eating crepes and drink cidre or lemonade. Different localities have local dance steps and dances are often in lines or couples to live music. Everyone dances, young and old. The Fest Noz make a really excellent family activity to finish off the day and are worth seeking out for a memorable holiday. Quimper is renowned as a major centre for Breton dance and music.
There is a very useful website here for locating the Fest Noz and Fest Deiz www.tamm-kreiz.com/
During summer afternoons, four circuits of churches and chapels in central Brittany in which contemporary artists have installed their work. Visit by car. Free. Triple pleasure of lovely countryside, quaint chapels and astonishing art. The red circuit is particularly charming. Look out for acephalic Breton saints such as the cleavered St Bieuzy and the spring located near each chapel. The signposting of the circuits is a bit minimal, so keep a sharp eye open.
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
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
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!
On the buzzing Rue Faubourg Saint-Denis, this bar is a lively and fun local. It's opposite the now uber-trendy Chez Jeanette, but offers a much more chilled out and party atmosphere than its neighbour. And much friendlier staff! Prices are reasonable, the music is great and you can even order a curry from the many Indian restaurants in Passage Brady next to door and have it served to you in the bar!
Always packed with young locals, this is the bar (and street) that the dispels the myth that Paris's nightlife is dead.
46 Rue Faubourg St Denis, 75010, Paris
+33(0)1 44 79 06 42
Google map: bit.ly/kR5Gkd
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org