Easing out

Today was our last in Trébry. Tomorrow morning we will be on our way to La Ferme du Manoir near Rouen in Normandy. We intend driving via Bayeux so we will need an early start for what we expect to be 5 to 6 hours of travel plus time out to eat and see sights. Hence we needed today for preparations.

There was no hurry as we ate breakfast. Pauline already had a load of laundry in the machine and Majella got ours in as soon as that was done. Beyond that we relaxed, tidied some of our gear and otherwise filled in the morning. I spent some time tinkering with building a map in Google Maps to show where we had been while in Brittany. In the end the easiest solution was to select some of the photos I have uploaded to my Flickr album with location data, put them in a Google Photos album, and use that to generate the map that appears at the end of this page.

The weather forecast predicted no rain and there was some early blue sky. However, as we have come to expect in Brittany, the weather can be expected to change at any moment. It did change mid-morning and the rain began to sprinkle lightly. We dashed out to rescue the damp laundry and bring it inside to dry.

Around midday Pauline made lunch from the ham, cheese, bread and salad vegetables remaining in our supplies. We had planned to go out for dinner in Moncontour so had no need to retain supplies and little chance of fitting them in the car for the trip tomorrow.

Majella had been wanting to visit a cider farm we had seen signed off the road near Trédaniel. We had tried on our second Sunday in the area but discovered it was closed on Sunday and open most other days. Despite that availability we had not managed to make it back and today was our last chance. Majella and I set off a bit before 3:00 pm and drove to the Cellier de la Ville Loyo where the farmer welcomed us warmly and his dog welcomed us with even greater enthusiasm.

The farm is a family affair that mixes the cider business based on a few hectares of apple orchard with a piggery, wheat, maize and canola. The man who greeted us deals with the piggery but his wife, who mostly deals with the cider, was away for the day and he had to deal with the unfamiliar cash register and other systems. He did well and managed to explain a lot of what was going on to Majella in French. We bought a couple of bottles of cider and some biscuits before heading back to Trébry.

Trébry hydrangeasAs we drove close to our cottage we saw John out for a walk but he was soon back because the rain had picked up again. By 4:00 pm the rain had eased and it seemed lighter outside so I ventured out for a short walk. As usual the rain picked up again, not a downpour but enough to be a nuisance. I didn’t stay out long enough to get my daily step total to my 8000 target but I was able to get some photos of the hydrangeas around our cottage. The colours are so intense and varied, even on the same plant.

When Debbie popped in briefly this morning she had left a bottle of unlabeled cider from a local supplier and we had put that in the refrigerator. By 5:00 pm it seemed reasonable to try that as an aperitif before going out to dinner. It was cool, bubbly and a little different from the commercial product but very enjoyable. John generally finds that cider leaves him with a taste that he does not enjoy but he found this one different and much more quaffable.

Sometime before 6:00 pm we headed off to Moncontour where we planned to have dinner at Le Chaudron Magique (The Magic Cauldron) which promises traditional and medieval dishes. As we arrived we saw a group of people in the carpark nearby and thought we might be out of luck with a crowd already booked. We checked in quickly but were advised that the restaurant did not open until 7:00 pm so we booked a table for later and wandered off. We needed to buy breakfast cereal at the supermarket so we did that and then walked around the town until it was time for dinner.

IMG_1643John and Pauline went to the restaurant ahead for drinks while Majella and I did one last round of the main square. Once we were back and it was 7:00 pm a young server ushered us into our table and left us to contemplate the menu. John, Pauline and I opted for the fixed menu with entree of scallops, steak with vegetables, and choice of dessert. We ran the range of suces with the steaks – pepper for John, Bernaise for Pauline, and blue cheese for me. Majella did not feel capable of downing three courses so she went for steak with pepper sauce and dessert. We managed a couple of bottles of agreeable red wine with the meal. At dessert time, Pauline declined, Majella and John had a fig pudding, and I had Café Gourmand. It was comparable to the dessert we had yesterday at Hôtel Ker Mor, an espresso coffee with five small sweets – miniature chocolate muffin, creme brulée, far breton, jelly with strawberry and creme de menthe, and pudding. Our server had very limited English but Majella was able to manage the exchange of information and the young woman was clearly delighted when, at the end of the meal, Pauline complimented her in French and she was able to respond with ‘thank you’.

That seemed a very fitting end to our time in Brittany. We returned to Trébry ready for bed and looking forward to new adventures tomorrow.

Places we visited in Brittany