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The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet - French Country Travel Life Film Maker and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to food, wine travel and Lifestyle Adventure!

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French Country Travel Life Tipster – Part Two



French Country Travel Life Tipster – Part Two is the , (I hope) logical continuation of  THIS POST. If not – blame DA BG for faulty logic. (but not fawlty towers!)

My guest scribbler – for those fast lane dwellers who really don’t have the time to check out the previous installment of this riveting saga (and aren’t they the best kind?) is the “franco-centric” Winsor Dobbin:


The delightful pre-Roman town of Vannes, founded more than 2000 years ago, is far enough off the beaten track in Brittany to ensure it has retained all of its charm.

Stroll its shaded laneways with half-timbered houses and shops built in mediaeval times, or enjoy a coffee overlooking the lively marina quarter with its many waterfront bars and eateries. Located on the Gulf of Morbihan at the mouth of the rivers Marle and Vincin, Vannes is 100 kilometres north-west of bustling Nantes and 450 kilometres south-west of Paris. Many of the locals speak a Breton dialect.

The Gothic cathedral of Saint Peter and the old city fortified walls are among the major attractions, while the gardens overlooking the port are a popular place to relax.

Try the local galettes, a style of pancake served both savoury and sweet, and the famous Breton ciders. The nearby Gulf of Morbihan is home to several spa hotels but the best in town include the Quality Hotel La Marebaudiere, the Hotel de France and the Villa Kerasy Hotel Spa. L’Eden and Roscanvec are considered among the better restaurants in town.

How to get there by train: Vannes has connections to Paris-Montparnasse via Rennes, Nantes and several regional destinations.


A small fishing port in Normandy, Honfleur has strong claims to be regarded as the most picturesque town in France.

On the southern bank of the estuary of the River Seine, the downtown area is notable for its old but handsome terraced houses with slate-covered frontages, which look onto the pretty fishing port and fleet. These ancient houses have been painted by the likes of Claude Monet, and many artists have been based in the town. Cafe terraces, sailing boats returning to the marina, painters immortalising the scene under the watchful eye of curious onlookers, make for an enjoyable leisurely stroll.

The Sainte-Catherine church is the largest wooden church in France and was built in the 15th century, while Maisons Satie is a quirky museum.

Home to fewer than 10,000 people, Honfleur is nonetheless popular with gourmets, who flock here at weekends to enjoy fresh local seafood (shrimps and scallops especially) along with Normandy ciders and the local apple brandy, known as Calvados after the local region.

You’ll eat well just about anywhere here but favourites include L’Endroit, Les Assiette des Mondes and Au Bouillon Normand, while there’s a huge range of hotels, many traditional in style, with La Maison de Lucie a good high-end choice and Hotel L’Ecrin and Hotel Monet more affordable.

How to get there by train: Travel from Paris Gare-Saint-Lazare to Deauville or Lisieux and then take a 15-minute bus ride.

Read more HERE.


What are ya thinkin’?


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20 Responses to “French Country Travel Life Tipster – Part Two”

  1. morgan ellis says:

    more great travel info from DA BG! keep us in the loop!!!

  2. karen winemaster says:

    love the atmospheric of the opening picture….really gets me wanting to pack my bags!

  3. bob taylor says:

    i’m with you 100% there karen!

  4. sue carstairs says:

    it all sounds great to me!..pancakes and cider…whoo hoo!

  5. fran dennis says:

    top marks (again!) for clueing us in on a part of france that doesn’t usually get a lot of press!

  6. art farmer says:

    people.i’ve been to brittany..and if you’re travelling to france;;it’s a definite “must see!”

  7. bette madson says:

    i take note from all of your posts…especially this one. way to go BG!

  8. patrick mcnee says:

    just love all the history you reveal to us..especially the pre-ropamn ones..like these…….any chance of a series?

  9. sal tresster says:

    with ya there patrick…and is there any other country with so much history? roman or pre-roman?

  10. lousie cyfer says:

    sal….the answer is “yes”….china and japan had thousnads of years of it under their belts when europe was still in diapers! (historically speaking, of course)

  11. megan ambrose says:

    the local seafood part sound real good to me!

  12. jim blonder says:

    it seems you have a talent for filling us in with the information that others just gloss over…if they review it at all. keep it up!

  13. al dente says:

    from your description, i get the impression there’s no end of attaractions of all kinds in these two places. good thing i keep a file!

  14. geri walters says:

    been there done that….and am going back…especilly wonderful the chruch of st. peter…highly recommended !…both of these towns are fantastic!

  15. holly mcnamara says:

    i couldn’t agree more geri!….i’m lucky enough to have visited them too…and there is just so much to experience…and the people were so friendly!

  16. kevin wildeman says:

    i love your sense of humor!..”fawlty towers” – too cool!!!

  17. raoul sanchez says:

    very complete info in this post…..hopefully i will be able to visit these places someday….thank you so much for the quality of the info you share with us. i read you every week.

  18. mary mcalwain says:

    did get a chance to visit these towns..and you are totally on the money with your descriptions. so much to see and do….especially loved the regional produce!

  19. ellen riordan says:

    i really appreciate the variety of your posts…and of course your info is the best…toomany other writers focus on the sunny south, riviera, etc…..you give us the great off the beaten track info.
    keep it up!

  20. debbie martinelli says:

    darn you ellen! you just said everything that i was going to!
    (you’re a mind reader….right?)

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