Sunday, 1 November 2009

Cinq jours en Bretagne

Hello again! I'm back blogging as I didn't get a chance to tell you all about our stay in Brittany yesterday. We had a fantastic time, meeting up with some old friends - Isabelle, Catherine and Brigitte, who were very keen to show us their corner of France. The weather was amazing, only one cloudy day, and we spent a lot of time walking on some stunning beaches. Brittany is reknowned for its shellfish - oysters, mussels, scallops to name but a few, and I really wish that I liked these delicacies. Sadly, to me, it's like chewing salty rubber! However, Brittany is equally famous for its salted butter, which is made into the most delicious caramel imaginable. Luckily for me, I do love it!

Brittany beaches

Do you see what I mean about the beaches?

We explored some old towns and villages. Many of the houses have a statue of St Catherine, Mary's mother, above the front door for good luck. We were told how to spot an old house, as opposed to a new house made to look 'old'! The front door is always lower than the windows. Some had the date carved into the stone around the door. The oldest we saw dated back to the 1600's.

Brittany buildings

As well as sampling the local caramel au beurre sale (salted butter caramel), we made sure that we tried the pancakes or galettes, made with buckwheat flour. Every town seemed to have a handful of creperies, so we were spoilt for choice. Mr Josiekitten enjoyed the cidre rustique (local cider), and my mouth watered in the bakeries and patisseries. Feast your eyes on this yummy selection!

Brittany biscuits

We stayed in a lovely B&B on the coast. The house was packed with interesting objects, and was beautifully decorated throughout. Our wardrobe had a place for everything, so of course, I put things where I was told!

Brittany wardrobe

Take a look at our room. See if you can spot anything 'unusual'?!

Brittany B&B

Well? Does anything strike you as odd or missing perhaps? Take another look! The photos show the bedroom and bathroom. The thing we found strange was the lack of a door between the two rooms. Mr Josiekitten took this photo to illustrate the 'problem'. (Hope nobody's offended!)

Brittany 2009 138

No trip could ever be complete with out the opportunity to fondle some yarn, and I'd gone well-prepared! A bit of searching on Ravelry lead me to a wonderful yarn shop in Nantes called Laine et Tricot. I made contact with Gwenola, the owner, beforehand, and persuaded Mr Josiekitten that he'd love to make a one hour detour for me! It's run mainly as an online business from home, so there isn't a 'proper' shop. The yarn is all stored in the garage, which has become Gwenola's office.

Brittany yarn shopping

I had to be restrained, as we didn't have a huge amount of room in our luggage, but I bought 2 skeins of Kouigu KPPPM which called out to me to become another chevron scarf, some Hand Maiden Sea Silk which feels soooooooooo luxurious, and also some Malabrigo lace yarn in the colourway Oceanos, to remind me of the beautiful beaches of Brittany. I also discovered a French brand called Cheval Blanc, and bought 14 balls of Bamboulene, a machine-washable mix of 50% bamboo and 50% wool, in a variety of shades of green and blue. I'd like to make a blanket, maybe crocheted, with it. It was amazingly cheap at only 1 Euro 90 cents a ball. I do like a nice bargain!!! Have a look and see what you think.

Brittany yarn purchases

I did get some knitting done and have managed to finish my October socks, and the Noro snuggly comfort scarf. I'll show you how they turned out next time. I'm pretty sure I've settled on my choice of pattern for November's socks, and I'll try to get started on them today, so that I have something more to show you. It's a miserable day here in North Norfolk - heavy rain - so it's the perfect opportunity for some guilt-free knitting time! Until next time, have fun!


snoopydog said...

Oh my word! Your yarn purchases are scrumptious!!!! That Koigu is just delicious! Hmmmmm...... not sure about seeing Josiekitten having a pee. Not the best view as you sit reading or knitting in bed, I have to admit! Have a good week! XX

Jenny said...

Your room was very pretty but I think you could only share it with someone you love. The yarn shop is wild, like the best stash in the world, you did some great shopping.

Marie-Jolie said...

Lovely photos & lovely yarn. Next time I visit France I want to go to Brittany. Gorgeous!

Batty said...

Such lovely yarn!

The toilet in the middle of the room is... peculiar. A few years ago, my sister and her boyfriend went to Berlin for a couple of days and stayed in a brand new ritzy hotel. Very modern. She sent me a picture because I was having trouble believing that there was a glass shower stall in the middle of her hotel room. She was not kidding, I saw it with my own eyes!