During our recent vacances en France, we decided to take a little road trip and visit the island of Noirmoutier in the Vendée region. My mother came along and we met with one of my cousins, his wife and little boy, at le Gois on the continent side. I have mentioned this famous submersible road that is le Gois recently on my photography blog. And at that time of the morning, the road was indeed submersed so we drove towards the bridge and made our way to the island. There we were in Noirmoutier!
For the last chapter of my day in Nantes this Summer, I bring you for lunch at Le Select.
After our lovely breakfast at La Cigale, buying books and some chocolate browsing at Maison Larnicol, we headed out towards the Cathédrale de Nantes where we were meeting my cousin. I had let her decide on where to go for lunch as she lives in Nantes and knows some really good places.
She took us towards place du Pilori and her favourite street for eating out and shopping: la rue du Château. She had mentioned a place in particular that I was eager to try, cafe Le Select.
After our little breakfast expedition to La Cigale in Nantes, E. and I made our way towards la FNAC (a big retailer for entertainment, the one in Nantes is on Place du Commerce) as I wanted to get a few books (a small pile of books is more like it...).
To go from Place Graslin to Place du Commerce in Nantes, the nicest way for me is to walk down the beautiful Passage Pommeraye. And the thing about going this way is that you will evidently pass in front of the chocolaterie Maison Larnicol located at one end of the arcade. It is probably a good thing to do so after having eaten a big breakfast like we had just done. Because the temptation to buy a lot of chocolates is all over this pretty chocolaterie.
The Breton Georges Larnicol holds the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France as a chocolatier (he won the title in 1993). He started to sell his chocolates and other sweet treats in Brittany in the 1980's and eventually expanded by opening shops in more than 23 places in France.
Every time I visit my family back in France, I make a point of spending at least one day in Nantes if I am there for at least a few days. I have family members who live in Nantes so it is each time the occasion to see them and have a bit of lunch together. I also studied in Nantes for five years before I moved to Ireland (I studied English and Law at the Nantes University) so this city brings back a lot of memories. It truly is one of my favourite cities in the world. The old buildings, the cathedral and the Château des Duc de Bretagne right in the centre of the city really display some amazing French architecture. The arts and culture are very prominent. There are lots of pretty streets where you can shop and a huge choice of places where to eat. And best of all, it is only one short flight away from Dublin. How great!
The day after our visit of the Challans market and the lovely pastry shop nearby, we took an early train en direction de Nantes. The program was a beautiful breakfast, buying books (I had to refrain from getting a lot of cookbooks...), lunch with my cousin and her husband, some sightseeing, and a few chocolates and refreshments with my lovely aunt.
The sun was shining and everyone was in a great mood, what more could you ask!
As we got off the train, E. and I were absolutely starving. We had skipped breakfast back in Challans as we knew full well where we would end up having it in Nantes: at the world famous brasserie La Cigale!
After a few pints of Guinness and some really good times with our Australian friends who recently visited Ireland, E. and I headed to France to enjoy a long week of family reunions, visits and food, food, food.
My parents live in Challans in the Vendée region in France. So, quite obviously, this is where I go when I visit France.
You might have heard about Challans before if you are very keen about your poultry as le canard de Challans (Challans duck) is very famous in the gastronomic world. I feel very lucky that every time I go back to France, I get to eat a lot of Challans duck in many forms: magrets, fillets, confit legs, whole roasted duck, aiguillettes de canard (mini fillets of duck), steaks and various pates and terrines.
Another thing I love doing when I go to Challans for a holiday is visit the beautiful covered food market. It is opened on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday mornings. On Tuesdays, it is extended outside so you can also buy clothes, jewellery and various kitchen utensils and contraptions (yes, I am still dumbfounded by some of the items I see on display there every time).
It is with great delight that I woke up early on Tuesday last week to take a walk and visit the Challans market. Going there early is quite important if you are not keen on queuing for ages to buy a piece of cheese, some meat, fruit and vegetables.
The visit of the market was followed by a little stop at the local salon de thé (pastry shop) for a relaxing moment over tea, coffee and sweet treats.
Two weeks ago, I was enjoying some sunshine and relaxing time in Vilamoura, Portugal. And both sun and relaxation were had aplenty, as well as turning off the phones and catching up on reading.
I was really looking forward to also discover a new food culture since I had never been to Portugal before. The recommendations that were given to us at our hotel were clearly aimed at tourists and I was not going to have any of it. I do not like the idea of traveling to another country and not try the local cuisine. My idea of a holiday in a South European country is not to end up eating Chinese, Italian, Indian, French or Irish meals.
Thankfully, E. and I were really lucky with our food discoveries.
Hello! I’m Yolene, a French blogger based in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Welcome to my blog Crème de Citron. This is where I share lifestyle, travel and food stories.
I hope you enjoy reading!
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