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On my way back from Brittany, I had a couple of hours in Paris before catching the Eurostar home. It wasn’t really enough time to do anything more than have a quick drink and an even quicker dinner, but I was keen to check out Chez Michel, a Breton bistro near the Gare du Nord. I’ve heard good things about it and since I don’t know that part of Paris at all well, a good recommendation was enough to seal the deal. It looks every inch the part, sitting on the corner of a quiet street, slightly prettier than the neighbourhood around it, and with a deeply exciting blackboard menu in the window. Read the rest of this entry »

I spent much of last week in France for work: the medieval chateau de la Bretesche above is where I was working. Yeah, I know, it’s a hard knock life, right? It was absolutely gorgeous, and we walked in the morning from the adjoining 5 star relais hotel across the moat and into a beautifully restored set of apartments in the chateau itself. The Hotel de la Bretesche is pretty stunning, with lush rooms, a gorgeous courtyard, and a breakfast buffet that included a crêpe station. I never stay in places like this and it was a weekend of real luxury. To be fair, I did actually end up working incredibly long days and sadly we didn’t have quite as much time as we might have wanted to explore the surrounding area of Loire Atlantique. In a bit of a comedy of errors, we drove in circles around Guérande looking for the rest of our party and never got to stop off in what I hear is a very pretty medieval town. Similarly, weather that can best be described as typical for the Atlantic coast rendered our tour of the salt flats of Guérande a little perfunctory. Read the rest of this entry »

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