The Old Ivy: Reminiac
Brittany restaurants are world famous for their cusine, and luckily The Old Ivy auberge is very close to our gites in Brittany. It's just two minutes quiet walk from Maison Creme, a minutes walk from Violette and Rose and two minutes drive (or thirty minutes walk) from Blanche and Orange. It's a traditional Breton restaurant and a great place to sample the local delicacies. The menu changes all the time and includes everything from snails and langoustines to steak and venison. All perfectly prepared and served in a fantastic friendly atmosphere
You can call to reserve a table if you like on 00 33 2 97 93 27 87, if not then just walk in. You can usually get a table. The full menu is chalked up on a blackboard inside and out and you choose a main, starter and pudding from the selection If you'd rather just have a cool drink then why not enjoy a cold beer or lemonade on their newly installed outside terrace
The Megaliths Restaurant: Monteneuf
The Megaliths restaurant is in the heart of Monteneuf- just a minute or two from the gites. This charming traditional auberge serves a selection great fresh seasonal food. Inside one wall is decorated with a huge fresco of the local Bronze Age standing stones and the whole place is friendly and welcoming
In the tiny village of Treal, just a couple of hundred yards from La Maison Bleue you'll discover this hidden away auberge.
This is as 'real Brittany' as you are going to get. The restaurant is open every lunchtime but there's no clues on your way in via the small shop. Follow the dark passage to the rear of the bar and you'll find yourself in a large room full of tables with winreand cider on them. There's no menu or choice and only one price. Sit back, enjoy a drink -it's all included in the 11 Euros- and wait and see what comes your way. There's usually four or five courses including the cheese. This is a real 'workers' restaurant and is designed to fill you up. You'll see lots of artisans in there but also many of the local Treal residents enjoying the food
The town of Malestroit twelve kilometres away has a great choice of restaurants and cafe's. Whether you just want a drink and a snack sitting outside in the cobbled town centre overlooking the church or you want a full meal then Malestroit is a great place to go. Try the really nice Pizzeria in the square which has got a huge menu from ranging from pizzas to seafood and steaks.
Alternatively check out one of the towns great auberges which are a must to try. The Mill au Poivre has a large 'help yourself' starter buffet and a really warm friendly atmosphere. The Grain de Sel is quite trendy and offers a really nice choice. Order the frogs legs. Alternatively nip in to the Cantonier round the corner and work your way through the menu there. If you'd prefer to eat near the canal then check out the rear terrace at Le Pont 9 restaurant
Don't forget the Creperie Mael Trech. Have a seafood galette for the main course followed by a banana and melted chocolate crepe for pudding. There's a big choice to be had !! It's a very casual place and you can sit outside in the square if you like - see below right photo
Ruffiac: La Grange
La Grange is a great little restaurant just five minutes drive from the cottages - It's open every lunchtime and most evenings as well. The place is really friendly and the food is lovely. There's always a good choice of set menus and it's all freshly cooked by the owner to order. Starters are a serve yourself buffet so you can choose exactly what you fancy. Select from half a dozen main courses, then puddings. With drinks it's usually about fourteen euros each and we often eat there ourselves
The Bonnes Joues: Monterrein
The Bonnes Joues is a traditional French auberge set in the corner of the church square in nearby Monterrein. Everything about it is fantastic from the interior decor to the warm welcome you'll receive from the English speaking owners right through to the regional food they serve. As you can see from the pictures below the place has real charm, character and a lovely atmosphere
The menu starts at about twelve pounds for a three course 'plat du jour' or you could treat yourself to one of the other menus (about 16 pounds a head for four courses) There's a great selection of things to try including -should you be feeling brave- a very nice snail pie
To find it go to Monterrein then head for the church and you'll see the restaurant on the far side. There's a green sign on the wall If you'd like to book in advance (although it's not usually necessary) ring 00 33 2 97 93 74 63 53 and ask for 'Magali' as she speaks fluent English and is very friendly
There is another restaurant in Monterrein called the D8 which does 'workers' lunches only and it's worth a visit at lunchtime, set meals at low prices
This is a really nice place with a great selection of traditional food plus a speciality pizza oven. The owner is the mayor of Augan as well so you'll be in safe hands. There's a bar to the front of what looks like a very old building but don't be put off by that as inside it's very friendly and welcoming
Little Italy restaurant in Guer (just ten minutes from our gites) is a pizza parlor. However, they also offer all types of Italian food as well. There's a great takeaway menu and we definitely recommend the pizzas which are about eight Euros each. Another great pizza place in Guer is Lazarro, which is bright and modern with great service and open seven days a week morning and night.
Le Relais du Maquis: St Marcel
Just up the road from Malestroit is St Marcel where the Brittany Resistance Museum is located (see museum page in things to do). There's a great auberge here on the corner of the square. At lunch time you pay eleven Euros then help yourself to as much as you can eat from the huge buffet (seafood, beef, fish, you name it and it's probably there) and that's just the starter ! Next comes a set main course, cheese and then a pudding. There's also a litre of wine...all for the eleven Euros
Le Petit Keriquel: Chapelle Caro
At Chapelle Caro you'll find the Petit Keriquel. This small restaurant opposite the church has a great selection of half a dozen menus which start at twenty Euros. There is also an a la carte and children's menu -nine Euros. The choice is excellent, from filet of sole to scallops, oysters, pheasant and rabbit. There's loads of options. The owner is a very good chef and makes use of mostly organic products on his menu. If you'd like something different then this is definitely the place to go
L'Escale aux Saveurs: Ambon
This restaurant is really nice and we try to visit as often as possible. It's location in Ambon is perfect as it's only ten minutes from the beach at Damgan -see 'the beach' page. We tend to go to L'Escale on the way to the coast, have lunch then move onto the beach itself afterwards
The restaurant itself is a traditional auberge but with a modern twist and the surroundings and ambiance are spot on. The decor is really well done to feel cosy but bright and contemporary at the same time. The most important bit -the food- is great. The menus are extensive. You can opt for a set menu of three courses including wine for only twelve Euros a head where you choose from the cold buffet for starters -eat as much as you like. Then select from the choice of three main courses -one of which could be a wood fired pizzas. Finish up with a selection from the dessert tray and a pitcher of wine or soft drink all included. We tend to go for this choice and come away stuffed- but if that's not enough then try the eighteen euro menu...snails, venison and all sorts of other choices. Then there's the 'a la carte' offering everything from the humble omelette right up to large seafood platters. The choice is huge and it's all fresh, there's definitely something for everyone
To find it head for Damgan from Malestroit and Questembert. After a while you will come to Ambon: about three miles from Damgan. Ambon is a small town and you'll arrive at the top of the hill at a roundabout. Straight on is Damgan. To get to the Escale aux Saveurs turn right instead of going straight on and you'll see it after about hundred yards on your right. If you arrive at midday or early in the evening then you wont need to book but if you prefer to you can call the owner -Fabrice- who speaks English on 02 97 41 11 67 and reserve a table. Believe me it's well worth a visit, especially if you're going to the seaside
Also at Ambon is Le Fournil creperie (photo below) a really nice traditional creperie. There's dozens from the simple ham and cheese up to scallops and snails
On the River: La Roche Bernard and Lizio
Go to La Roche Bernard and take one of the restaurant boats down the river Get an excellent meal and a boat trip all rolled into one A five course dinner plus a four hour cruise is about 35 Euros. If not then maybe try the fantastic auberge in the town centre square. There's plenty of other restaurants to choose from here as well
In the nearby mediaeval town of Lizio you'll find Le Restaurant Leglaneur. This is a traditional Auberge with a great selection of local Brittany specialities. Menus range from nine Euros for a simple lunch right up to twenty seven Euros for the full works. Here's a sample menu.. Kir maison, Gourmandise perigourdine du Glaneur et feuille de St Jacques, Cote de boeuf grillee a la cheminee, Grillade de porcelet, Garniture de legumes, Brie sur salade, Delice aux poires, Gateau breton, Vin: Muscadet et Bordeaux. You could try a sample plate of a bit of everything just to make sure you don't miss out !
Le Jardin des Saveurs: Ploermel
Ploermel is ten minutes from our gites and Le Jardin des Saveurs is a really nice restaurant serving such things as snails, smoked duck, scallops and Creme brûlée. If you just fancy a quick snack or a coffee then pop into the Cafe de La Tour Brasserie in the square
Also in Ploermel is the Retour de Peche. This restaurant is open every evening and Sunday lunchtime. You choose from a huge starter buffet packed full of everything you can imagine. Then you decide on your main course which is grilled over an open fire in front of you. The options are 'meat' i.e steak, lamb, kebabs etc or a selection of various whole fish. Then it's back to a different buffet table to select your cheese course and onto another large buffet for the puddings. You can eat as much as you like and go back as often as you want. In fact they encourage you to do so
If you're after something a bit less French you can always try the Vietnamese & Thai restaurants in Ploermel- they are both very good
There's also the more 'American' Buffalo Grill which does a great steak. Plus It's open seven days a week 11 am to 11 pm
Le Ferme aux Moines: St Grave
La Grange aux Moines is a traditional auberge which specialises in fantastic home cooked food.....Also in St Grave the auberge 'Chez Antoine' which is a really nice restaurant that isn't expensive... good for a lunchtime stopover !
Le Pelican: Rochefort en Terre
Rochefort en Terre is full of great restaurants and a really nice mediaval town- it won the prize for the most beautiful village in Brittany a few years ago. You could go for the rather sophisticated Pelican restaurant in the centre or the lovely Restaurant les Ardoisiers just down the cobbled hill
If you prefer something really laid back then go to the Pont d'Arz, on the way into the town. It's great value and always really busy. Alternatively drive on to La Gacilly and check out the Pizza Rooms or you could always sample Le Gacilien and eat outside down near the river
Penerf and Damgan
If you're at the coast then you really must visit the Bistro in Penerf. Try the freshly caught mussels or the salad. There's also Le Pecher at Penerf and Le Chocolatier. They are only a couple of hundred yards apart so you wander between them, check out the menus and see what you fancy !
Auray, Rennes and yet more Brittany restaurants.........
When you're at Auray -see local towns- visiting the beautiful old port then you might be rather overwhelmed by the choice of restaurants all around the quay side. Just try any of them; we've sampled most and they've all been great. Lots of choice of well presented food at really good prices. - mussels and chips are about ten Euros. If you want something more simple you can opt for a seafood omelette or just a plain club sandwich
Should you be in Brittanys capital, Rennes -less than 40 minutes drive from our gites- we recommend La Brasserie, just down the side street opposite Galerie Lafayette. It's a great little place with a fantastic menu and is what real France is all about- it's authentic and has a real buzz about it with locals coming and going all the time and a real atmosphere. Also in Rennes we like the more contemporary restaurant L'Amiral which specialises in seafood
Slightly further afield La Creperie at Larmor Baden is a lovely eatery and you can sit outside in the village square with your lunch
Still hungry ? Try: Josselin - Hotel de France, Ploermel -La Table Rond, Neant Yvel -Bonne Table, Mauron -Le Brambily, Serent - La Taverne, Carrentoir -The Old Oak Caro -Les Bruyers, Guer - Le Bistro Gourmande.... there's so many others to choose from we can''t list them all here
There are also the famous Brittany crepes. Every town has a creperie and you can even buy them hot at the markets and on roadside stalls The creperie ' Chez Marie' at Carnac is not to be missed. Visit La Riveraine at Malestroit as well. Failing that, just pick one up from a stall on market day or at a fete and eat it on the hoof
Beer, Cider and Wine... a few pointers........
Brittany has many small breweries and you can visit some of them such as Lancelot in Le Roc St Andre -which is only about fifteen minutes from our gites). The 'biere'( lager) is divided up into three main sections; black, brown and white (Noir, Bruin and Blanche). White is normally lager (i.e Stella or 1664) although it can sometimes be like some of the specialty white German frothy beers. Brown is the closest they have to bitter although it's not exactly the same. Black tends to be more stout like but not as heavy. It does tend to be strong though and is traditionally brewed with various bits floating in it
On tap you will usually only get lager but bear in mind that if you do want it on tap as opposed to in a bottle you must specifically ask for it. Ask for 'biere pression' (pronounced 'be air press e on') or 'un demi'
Cider is also a local rage with a lot of it about. It's nearly always sold in jugs in restaurants and can be quite nice. It's also very cheap
Wine is not really made much in Brittany but naturally there is an unending supply from elsewhere in France. Bottles start at about 80p and go up to about £7 normally. A good Bordeaux red will set you back about £2.50. Best bet is to try a few and see what you think