Cold and frosty mornings.

Frosty morning at our Gites in Brittany

Cold and frosty morning in Brittany


All is quiet at La Tarais this week. No guests means getting stuck-in in the garden. Cutting the trees and hedges, clearing the flower beds and continuing to fight with the brambles. It’s perfect for a big bonfire today. Working in the garden here is one of my favourite places especially on a beautiful morning like this when the frost covers everything and all is quiet.

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Le Rosier – Finished/New photo’s

rosier-cottage-kitchen-1-dsHi, I’ve finally finished Le Rosier just in time for our first guests who arrive today. I hope they like it. I’m pleased with the results.

The gite/cottage has three bedrooms, two bathrooms.  The children’s play area and swimming pool is great for kids too.

More photo’s and information here

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Winter work

Cutting wood in the valley close to La Tarais Gites

Now the Breton countryside has taken on the look of deep winter the sound of birds has been replaced by the whirring of chain-saws. It’s wood time again and nobody takes this more seriously than the folk in these parts it seems.

The Bretons often say that wood heats you three times and they are not joking. Once when you cut it, once when you transport/stack it and once when you finally burn it. The winter obsession doesn’t stop here though. Using the right method to stack your wood and getting it nice and orderly is a grand competition. Take a look when you are over in the summer at some of the great jobs people have made of this art.

Most homes here, even new ones, have wood burners of some description or another to boost the general warmth and cosines needed during the long winters. It’s also much cheaper than electricity or gas of course. We generally order our wood during the summer months when our supplier is less busy and we leave the pile to dry out for a month or so before stacking it ready for the winter. An order of 2 cords (1 cord of wood is the equivalent of about three cubic metres) is enough to get us through the winter with a little to spare. We do have some electric heating and we are busy all day so only use the wood burner in the evenings.

When the time comes to clean the glass on your wood burner I have one final tip. Don’t use chemical sprays, they are a waste of time and money and never do the job very well. Get a bowl of hot water and some kitchen roll. Dip a piece of kitchen roll in the hot water, then into the ash in the wood burner and rub the glass. It’ll be as clean as a whistle in no time flat. Good for the environment and as cheap as chips.

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Manoli – La Richardais, Dinard.

Manoli mobile sculpture, Dinard

mobile sculpture

Manoli exhibition in Dinard

Sheep fashioned from tiny propellers

A friend and I took a little peep into the Manoli exhibition this summer.  I wasn’t expecting much as the entrance to the place seemed to be in a cul-de-sac and looked a bit understated.  Having said that, once inside, the exhibition was really worth it and the garden was peaceful.  The amazing sculptures made in iron and welded together were exciting and interesting.  I loved the mobiles in the garden, so brilliantly well balanced.  It’s worth dropping in if you have the time. For more information visit the website at: http://www.manoli.org/

 

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Rosier Cottage progress

Top floor, finished


I am finally getting to the end of re-decorating Le Rosier Cottage. I have finished the top floor and have spent the day putting up beds, moving furniture and taking photo’s. There is still a bit more to do, but i’m hoping to have the most part finished by the end of January.

Up until now, we have lived here ourselves but we have decided to give it a refurbish and rent it out whilst Bernard starts work on an old ruin we have acquired about 30 minutes away.
We will also have to build ourselves some ‘summer’ living accommodation at La Tarais so that we are there during the busy mid and peak seasons. A small office and reception area has always been needed so that we are more available when guests have questions or need us.

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Briantais Beach at Lanciaux

Sunshine on beach in Brittany

Still swimming in November

Section of the GR34

Cliff path at Briantais, Lancieux.

I took the dog for a walk along the cliff path and beach at Briantais (Lanciaux) this morning. The sun is still shining here in Brittany and to my surprise, people were still enjoying the beach. The abandoned clothing and wet towels in this photo indicate that the owners had gone for a swim. My Dalmatian dog enjoyed a quick splash but i’m not sure I would brave it.
The area at Briantais is excellent for walking. Parking is easy (and free) and you walk through the protected dunes to get onto the many paths and beach which is really quiet in the winter. Once on the cliff path you join the GR34 (Grand Randonne 34) which is one of the most beautiful walks you can imagine. This 2,000km cliff path weaves it’s way around the whole of the Brittany coastline. You can learn more about sections of the GR34 on the following page (Walking, Hiking and Cycling).

 

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Briantais Beach – GR34

Sunshine on beach in Brittany

Still swimming in November


Section of the GR34

Cliff path at Briantais, Lancieux.

I took the dog for a walk along the cliff path and beach at Briantais (Lanciaux) this morning. The sun is still shining here in Brittany and to my surprise, people were still enjoying the beach. The abandoned clothing and wet towels in this photo indicate that the owners had gone for a swim. My Dalmatian dog enjoyed a quick splash but i’m not sure I would brave it.

The area at Briantais is excellent for walking. Parking is easy (and free) and you walk through the protected dunes to get onto the many paths and beach which is really quiet in the winter. Once on the cliff path you join the GR34 (Grand Randonne 34) which is one of the most beautiful walks you can imagine.

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Baby Rabbits in the garden

young rabbit in the garden at La Tarais Gites

A baby rabbit came to say hello today.

We have some permanent guests at La Tarais. Families of rabbits have moved in over the years and they are to be seen around the garden all year. I was having a cup of tea this afternoon and one came to say hello. They are irresistibly sweet but, over the years, have forced me to retreat from my vegetable patch and now seem to be invading the terrace.

But, Ahh, what the heck, it’s the countryside after all and they are soo cute.

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St. Briac Sur Mer, Lancieux, Dinard Golf.

GR35, section alongside Dinard Golf Club

Dinard Links

view of the emerald coastline

St. Briac Sur Mer

It’s nearly November and we are still having some really mild weather here in Brittany, even a bit of sunshine now and then.  We decided to take a ride up to the coast yesterday and not miss out on the chance of enjoying this autumn sunshine.

We took the route through Ploubalay, then Lancieux and followed the coast road to St. Briac Sur Mer stopping briefly to take some photo’s.  We then continued around towards Dinard where we stopped and took a healthy walk along a part of the GR34 (Grand Randonee 34).  This section of the path followed the alongside in the famous Dinard Golf Course which is the second oldest golf course in France and was designed by Tom Dunn.  It is a highly acclaimed links course and very popular.  The views of the coastline were spectacular.

 

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October Sunshine

Purple fields in Brittany

Fields of Purple

It’s been a beautiful end to the year in 2011.  The sun is still shining on us even today, nearly the end of October.  I have been busy cutting the hedges surrounding the gardens. It looks a bit of a massacre but it’ll all be back again next year.

I noticed that we have also been blessed with some magnificent fields of purple.   It looks like a type of statice which I assume is used as some kind of soil improvement.  I don’t know all the details, I only know it’s quite stunning.

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Restaurant/Bar “L’Effet Mer” at Port Le Livet on the Rance

l'effet mer at le port livet.Recently a friend came over and we sneaked off for a lovely evening on the terrace of another of my favorite little places. “L’Effet Mer” at Port Le Livet. The restaurant owners are really friendly and it’s a lovely little port area on the Rance that is not on the main tourist drag.
The small marina with grassy banks is the last stop for yachts before the port of Dinan when sailing down the Rance Estuary.

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