The time has come that summer scoots off for it’s hiberation. Holidays are up, funs over, kids. But, still I managed to squeeze in a little weekend break in France. Where? In my favourite place ever, obviously – Brittany.
I love taking some time out of my own little bubble to live in a different culture, even if it’s just a few days. It makes you realise what us Brit’s have and haven’t quite got right! Here’s my quick fire 10 best bits from Brittany.
The 10 Best Bits from Brittany
1) There are NO chain restaraunts
Really, there are no chain restaraunts in any small towns. And I can tell you, they are not missing out. Every typically French restaraunt you will end up in is absolutely divine. Check out L’Olliada in Grace Uzel. A little family run gem, hidden away in a cosy converted barn next to their home. French through and through.
2) Their bars serve you more than just a pint
Wander around and keep an eye out for a ‘Tabac’ sign, it will usually lead you into the local bar. Think of a place you can rock up for a coffee in the morning, or a beer later in the day. Add to that you can pick up your lottery ticket, smokes and even your baguette on a Sunday. Painfully and wonderfully French! Check out Edelweiss in Plessala for a friendly local bar with regular music nights. With a little feline reguluar too..
3) It’s beautiful countryside
It’s a far cry from the London suburbs. You can go walking for miles. There’s fields of corn, cows grazing and every little village must have maintenance men that would be up to Kew Gardens standards, as all the plants are blooming beautiful. Not a motorway in sight (or in sound – bloody M25 on my doorstep!).
4) All the wine is amazing
I am a wine drinking expert, but wine choosing expert? Not so much. So, it was a pleasant surprise that every glass was of seriously good quality. We didn’t bring back much honest..
5) There’s a lot to visit too
Okay, so when you do eventually want to break out of the sleepy countryside, there are so many cool towns to see and explore. Try Dinan (pictured below) for some charming old buildings, Pontivy for a spot of history, or St Brieuc for some shopping. There’s also the Mont St Michael to see on the way home.
6) The boulangeries – They had a bread vending machine!
Bread is of serious importance in France. Out of hours? No problem, an actual baguette vending machine is located outside your closed Boulangerie! I love that I am not the only visitor to be amazed by this, as this French enthusiast blogger has made note too! Big up the a-m-a-z-i-n-g patisserie also.
7) Strawberry Kronenbourg. Say no more
It’s a thing and it’s soooooo good. Kronenbourg avec fraise syrup.
8) The friendliest locals
Strip away the stereotype about the French. I’ve made friends in France far quicker than any back home. Brittany has loads of ex-pat’s living the dream too, so most local villages expect a Brit or two. It’s a relief that their English is better than my French. The only picture I have is blurry, featuring my beau, red-wine drunk with our French buddies, playing piano (another story..) So, here’s a picture of Pontivy instead!
9) It spins at it’s own pace
Maybe it’s just me, living so close to London inevitably means that things are fast-paced big city style. One of the Breton charms is that you feel completely detached from that. Walking around sleepy villages, you realise that the illusion of busy = better is..well, rubbish. Even in the larger towns they seem more relaxed. Take the 12-2 lunch thing, annoying at first, but on closer inspection, it’s great. I bet their office workers never skip lunch!
10) The best bit? It’s only an hour away
Legit, you can fly to Brittany from London in less time that in takes me to commute to East London. It’s a 55 minute flight. In under an hour you can be in the bliss of the French countryside. Sorry to my international readers as that may not be quite so accurate..
Get up off the couch and book that trip! If my guide hasn’t tempted you enough than just think of all the airport toblerone you will have to bring back too (yep, munching as I write..).
I consider myself rather priviledged that I live just a 30 minute journey away from Central London. So here are my top 3 picks of London summer events. Tried & tested by yours truly. Plus one is budget friendly (I know, practically unheard of in London!). If you’re planning a trip to the capital and looking for some quality entertainment then this is the guide for you.
My Top 3 London Summer Events 2018
Of course, the world famous Wimbledon has just got to be featured on my list. Whilst you hear stories of how tough it is to get a ticket there are a few hacks I have picked up. Pick one of the quieter days match-wise and you’ll be in within an hour or two. Provided you don’t mind an early morning and a good ole’ British queue. Once through, you are free to wander all the courts, or take a seat on Henman Hill to watch the big screen. Everyone looks great, the Pimm’s is flowing and you’ll be bound to see some great tennis action no matter which court you’re sat in. Quintessentially British. Even for those of you who don’t watch tennis, it’s just a great day out.
2. Regents Park Open Air Theatre
Now, it took some convincing to get me here as I’m not the biggest fan of musicals. How glad I am I that I said yes. I even went back the next year. Set inside London’s famous Regents Park, this theatre experience is like no other. Once through the gates you are free to wonder the lovely indoor-outdoor style grounds. With seasonal plants trailing along the structure and a very enticing looking bar, I’d encourage everyone to turn up with some time to spare just to soak it all in. Plus, you can have a bite to eat too.
When it comes to the performances, the shows and cast always bring a fresh and exciting take on whatever title you may be seeing. Great choreography and stage craft. You’re guaranteed a great view pretty much no matter where you are seated also.
3. Pop – Up Screens – Outdoor Cinema
Pop-Up Screens host outdoor screenings of all our favourite films in parks throughout London. I went along last year to their showing of the classic Dirty Dancing in Hammersmith’s Ravenscourt Park. It’s a simple, yet effective, idea with a great atmosphere. We parked ourselves in a nice spot in front of the screen. Then dived straight into our picnic, with a glass of bubbles. Very civilized. As the sun goes down and the final film-goers take seat the movie starts. It’s like a regular cinema, just more relaxed and outside!
The audience participation is what makes it. With any famous line coming out of handsome Mr Swayze’s mouth, literally the entire audience would swoon and egg him on!
Prices range from £12.50-£20.00
Bargain. (and you can keep it cheap by bringing your own picnic).
So, what are you waiting for? The city awaits and these London summer events will guarantee a good time.Yum