If you live in Florida, as we do, or just about any other state in the South, getting away during the hot summer months to a cooler climate is almost a necessity. This year for us getting away during July and August was even more essential since our condo was having concrete restoration work done with jackhammering, scaffolding, and every other annoyance you can think of—all going on right outside our windows,. So our long planned trip to the Brittany and Normandy areas of France turned out to be an inspired idea. Think sleeping with open windows with cool breezes blowing through carrying the sound and smell of the sea. It was all that and more.
Our first stop was for four nights in Ste. Marine, close to Combrit and across the estuary from Benodet—certainly not big names on the list of star-studded destinations…and all the better for that. I picked Ste. Marine based on a series of considerations: 1) somewhere we’d not been or stayed on any of our previous trips to the area, 2) a reasonable distance from our touchdown airport of Nantes (turned out to be pretty long actually—but I wasn’t driving), 3) on the water, and 4) with a nice-looking hotel.
Bull’s eye! I picked a winner.
We immediately checked into the Villa Tri Men, a beautiful old but nicely modernized three story place up a hill from the sea with lovely grounds awash in hydraneas (as everything in Brittany and Normandy is) and three-story pines that whispered in the night as the sea breezes ruffled their needles. Priced at 210 euros a night our relatively large double room was reached easily by elevator—something I always check since knee replacement can make crawling the stairs a drag.
Our son Al travelled with us for the first 10 days of the 21 day trip. He checked into another hotel about a block away owned by the same people as our place but at a lower elevation, right on the charming small harbor and at a lower price point—the Hotel du Bac at 120 euros, and 2 flights of stairs. He called his room basic but clean and we all loved its outdoor restaurant with great people watching and limitless views of the harbor, not to mention terrific casual food, friendly staff and fun nautical white and bright blue décor.
So what to do but eat?!