We’re back from what could now start being described as our “yearly vacation in Brittany,” seeing as we’ve done it two years in a row now. K’s parents own a one-time nightmare property which, in its fifteenth or so year of decorating and wrangling-with, has gradually been turned into an idyllic little retreat in the deep, verdant forests inland from the Côte d’Armor. Four of us made the trek over there to enjoy the delights of the region, which mostly consisted of cheese and wine.
Guingamp is scarcely the Moulin Rouge (although the smart-alec in our party did indeed spot an entirely different moulin rouge on our peregrinations) but nightlife was not our reason for going over there. Rather it was quiet, restful, sunny, warm, and involved steam trains and swimming in the sea by the vast bulks of granite rocks: all of these experiences were ones we’d hoped for beforehand. There were also roaring open fires and a selection of DVDs augmented at least in part by glasses Armorik single malt whisky, which Jim Murray rates surprisingly highly, but was very jolly indeed.
French food, outside of the basics, continues to be execrable, as demonstrated this time round by Brittany Ferries (more on that later.) The cottage itself has no landline, no mobile signal, no broadband: most of which was actually a blessing in disguise if we’re honest. And it was the most driving I’ll probably do all year. But it provided us with warmth of all sorts: hot summer, spicy whisky, and good company. Though tomorrow I return to the old routine, I hope to keep some of that warmth deep in my bones for months.