Postcard from Brittany: When you're honeymooning in France, you have to make a meal of it

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Indy Lifestyle Online
France is so romantic: Abelard and Helose, Sartre and de Beauvoir, Seberg and Belmondo, Robert Doisneau, champagne at dawn, the language of lurve. We got engaged in Paris, so what better place to spend our honeymoon than the lush hills and wild coast of Brittany?

Took the night ferry from Southampton, arrived in Cherbourg at dawn, drove through the silvery half-light to the ancient city of Fougeres, dominated by a brooding castle.

Ravenously hungry, of course, so found a tiny cafe open for breakfast - coffee and rich, buttery croissants. So delicious we had two each. I had hot chocolate. Can't stand black coffee, actually. You know my sweet tooth.

The rest of the day spent lazing by the side of a lake, near the beautiful village of Chtillon. Shady trees, softly lapping water, skimming kingfishers. We talked dreamily about the wedding and ate a picnic lunch. Bright tomatoes, bursting nectarines, a fresh baguette. And a massive hunk of chaume; you can't get cheese like this in Britain. Some pte. More bread. Too full to talk more.

On to medieval hill town of Moncontour: lush countryside, romantic walk to a tiny church, dramatic midnight thunderstorm. Omelette aux champignons. (Sounds more romantic than mushroom omelette.) And chips. Also fab charcuterie place selling delicious salads. And a ptisserie, selling rich Breton cake resembling bread-and-butter pudding. Even more buttery croissants at our auberge. So buttery we stayed two nights.

Evenings are spent gazing into each other's eyes, comparing rings, murmuring sweet nothings. And poring over the red Michelin guide, looking for the nearest restaurant marked with a red Repas: 'good meals at moderate prices'.

Found one - Amadeus - in the ugly port of St Brieuc. Why stint on the 85F menu when you're on honeymoon? Three courses plus a whole plate of petits fours. Sublime. Can't fit into shorts any more.

On to the forests around Huelgoat. Spent an hour and a half searching for Auberge de la Truite (two spoon and forks in the Michelin guide). Very disappointing. Trout definitely not wild. Cycled to ugly port of Morlaix and discovered best ptisserie and chocolatier in Brittany. Discovered another local speciality, enormously buttery galette biscuits. Life looking up.

Our final night spent on the wild Bretonne Corniche coast, watching the sun sink into the sea. Almost miss sunset due to elaborate plat de fruits de la mer: crab, oysters, crevettes, prawns, shrimps, moules, winkles, cockles. Sea snails? Also chocolate mousse. Later, there was a fete. Fireworks exploded in the starry sky, accompanied by Breton folk music. Eat another local speciality: an even richer, more buttery cake called kuign aman. We couldn't pronounce it. Shiny eyes adequate gesture.

So, yes, wonderful honeymoon. France so romantic. Diet begins next week.

Ruth Picardie

(Photograph omitted)

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