Fruits-de-mer

SO told me before we went on our holiday that on his to do list wasn’t much. Just really to eat fruit-de-mer on the seashore as fresh as possible. Normandy and Brittany regions have a lot of oyster, mussel and cockle farms and fisheries so we thought this was going to be simple, but it proved not to be. In part this ahs to do with the restaurant culture in France. Only some of them open for lunch and if they do it is strictly during lunch hours. Others are open at night, but do not get going until 19.00, which is late if you have to drive back for at least an hour. Only few and far between are open all day.

As we were nearing the end of our holiday I took to our trusted Lonely Planet guide to get me some answers and to give SO the one thing he had on his to do list. I did find it and it was somewhere with decent hours and within a decent drive. But first things first. The day of fruit-de-mer was also my birthday.

SO took off in the morning to get some freshly baked pastry at the Boulanger and also bought me roses, as is his birthday tradition. This time it was a white rose for every 10 years and another red one for the years that follow. It was unexpected as we were away and I was speechless with my 4 white roses and 5 red ones. They are beautiful! After our little celebration we took off though for our tour of discovery. Our destination was Cancale in Brittany.

It was a reasonably easy road to get there. It is about 20 km after Mont St Michel. We parked in the village and had earmarked a few possible restaurants. One of them turned out to be closed (as in Ferme) and empty. We walked out of the main square and found we were atop a rock, again. At the bottom there was an oyster farm as far as the eye could see. partially submerged but with the outgoing tide it was fantastic to see how big it was. Not only was there an oyster farm there, there were also oyster stalls.

SO’s face lit up as he came closer and closer. There it is fruit-de-mer heaven for my loved one. He wandered between the stalls with a boyish grin on his face in absolute delight. e bought a dozen oysters had them opened and with a lemon. This all cost us only around €6! Try that at home You pay at least double if not triple. With our plate we walked to the seashore and sat there. SO had his own knife to help him open the shells and cut out the meat. I had enough after my half of that plate, but SO went for another dozen before he said “burp”. The empty shells? Oh you just dump them in front of you. It was so cool to do. So much that feeling that we had sought and finally found there.

We wandered through the old town and really there is not much apart from lots of restaurants where you cn eat oysters prepared for you, but really after the stalls we were like “nah not the real thing” and just had a drink before wandering back to the stalls. There we had a crepe each and simply were. We looked at people, we talked, we had a laugh and we totally enjoyed the incredible light playing on the sand, the blueness and each others company.  Around 17.00 we drove back to our little home away from home and got changed.

Dinner was at the one local restaurant that we do like. A very enjoyable way to spend ones birthday I have to say.

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About Gilraen

My blog is simply about my life. I moved countries for the first time in 1993. I lived in the Netherlands, UK and NZ. The initial idea was to keep my overseas friends up-to-date with what was going on in my life. The blog, like me, is always changing and evolving.
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4 Responses to Fruits-de-mer

  1. draliman says:

    Happy birthday for the other day! Lovely roses.
    I had oysters, or was it mussels once – I’m not a huge fan I’m afraid, but I’m glad you enjoyed them!

    • Gilraen says:

      Oysters and mussels can easily be destroyed and prepared badly. Have another go it is worth it of done right. Though I must admit , as lovely as these oysters were, still prefer the Bluff oysters. They are something else.

  2. miekje says:

    My PhD supervisor retired to a boat. He was going to sail it to France and anchor it in one of the bays in Normandy, where he said “the fruit de mer just jump into your boat” 🙂

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