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Hitting the foodie trail in Brittany (and places to stay nearby)

Carmen McCormack Profile Image

Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

5 min read

Brittany is a foodie's dream. Its rugged stretch of coast delivers an abundance of fresh, locally caught seafood that can be feasted upon in every coastal restaurant, café and bar, and bought in foodie markets to cook back at your self-catering cottage. The region’s proud heritage of galettes or crêpes and cidre or apple juice can be found just about everywhere but it’s certainly not so provincial that you can’t find fine dining and rather a lot of Michelin stars too. Here’s our whistle stop guide to some great food experiences plus where to stay nearby.

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Sublime seafood 

Brittany is justifiably proud of its culinary wealth and cuisine. The rugged Breton coast teems with an abundance of seafood and even the smallest villages have neighbourhood restaurants that serve up hearty daily menus packed with all this goodness. Food and dining is taken seriously on this side of the Atlantic and meals are a substantial and leisurely affair, even at lunchtime, when the menu du jour reigns supreme. If you’re an oyster fan, head to the harbour village of Cancale, near St Malo. Oyster beds stretch as far as the eye can see and you can pick up half a dozen from stalls on the seafront or pitch up at an unpretentious restaurant in the pretty port area. Wash them down with a cold glass of crisp Muscadet. 

Stay at: La Chapellerie, an airy converted barn with beautiful woodwork and countryside views near riverside restaurants and St Malo. There’s wonderful walking and cycling along the river into medieval Dinan and Cancale is a 20-minute drive.

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Crêpe vs galette

You can’t holiday in Brittany without tucking into a few delicious pancakes. But do you know your crêpe from your galette? A galette is a savoury pancake made from blé noir (buckwheat flour) and when topped with ham, egg and Emmental cheese, called a ‘complete’. Usually you’ll find a smorgasbord of toppings from cheese, spinach and pine nuts to smoked sausage and mushrooms. A crêpe is the sweet variety, made from white flour, that ranges from very sweet to sugar overload! Expect caramel beurre salé, chocolate, nuts and Chantilly cream to feature in most combinations. Oh, and there are boozy ones too for the ultimate pudding experience. Crêperies are everywhere in Brittany but we love finding one in Quimper’s maze of streets for the authentic experience. 

Stay at: Tor ar Menez Gites. Bihan is a sweet retreat for a nature-loving couple, with soul-searching views and the smell of the sea. Logs and Breton cider are on the house. Bras is a modest family hideaway – comfortable, understated, spotless and authentic. Visit markets, pack a picnic and head for the coast – the beaches are sublime and you can sail on the stunning Crozon Peninsula. 

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Michelin stars everywhere 

It’s entirely possible to eat your way around Brittany in style. The region has over 35 Michelin star restaurants, as well as countless Bib Gourmand and recommended eateries, so you really are spoilt for choice. Brittany’s medieval capital, Rennes, has a particularly vibrant foodie scene. It plays host to France’s second-largest food market where you’ll be entranced by tables laden with local produce. Each season showcases local specialities and much of it finds its way to local restaurants, a few of which have Michelin stars. Elegant Dinard on the north coast has a gorgeous belle-époque charm with neo-Gothic villas and fashionable hotels standing proudly behind a fine sweep of sandy beach. Inside one of these hotels, Hotel Castelbrac, you’ll find the superb Michelin star restaurant, Le Pourquoi Pas. 

Stay at: Binellerie Gites, two homely gîtes in rural farm country. The nearest towns, Châteauneuf and Miniac Morvan, are less than ten minutes by car and have shops, restaurants and markets; cycle the back roads to the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel in an hour.

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Breton cidre

Brittany produces more than 600 varieties of apple including many that have been grown for hundreds of years. Using a traditional apple press, Breton farmers produce cider and juices with a sharp fruity taste and distinctive colour that ranges from pale gold to deep amber. Each area and farm will produce their own brew with a distinctive colour and taste, the Quimper Cornouaille region is the first to be granted the prestigious AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) award. You can traverse the Cornouaille Cider Route visiting orchards, meeting producers and sampling their wares. The Cidrerie du Leguer near Lannion on the Pink Granite Coast is a small, family-run organic farm, open year round, offering free tours and tastings. 

Stay at: Langren, a mid 1800s converted farmhouse and a cottage in a quiet hamlet with private gardens and lovely grounds, just 15 minutes from the coast. You’re a ten-minute drive to Ploumilleau for a great crêperie and 20 minutes to Locquirec for more good restaurants and a summer pop up bar on the estuary.

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Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

Carmen is a freelance writer specialising in travel. She once lived in a bus in north Wales, skipped off to study in Barcelona, and now calls Bristol home. When she’s not tapping away on her laptop, she can be found reading (a lot), lake swimming (a little), and pottering on the allotment with husband and two kiddos. She’s currently dreaming about cold cerveza and torta in Mexico.

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