We drove from the west coast of Brittany to the northeast where Brittany borders Normandy. This was a farm stay booked through Homeaway. Our lovely farm country home was once a shed and dated to the 18th century. It had 2 levels, modern conveniences and a wood burning stove! It was a lot of fun keeping the fire going. The French love their wood stoves and fires! There are immaculately stacked piles of wood all over the countryside of France!
Here is our farmhouse. It is part of a neighborhood of homes, some rented as vacation homes, others inhabited by long term residents. Their 10 sheep and 4 ducks were enchanting.
The owners lived next door in a loft style home built in a barn. In their spacious kitchen they taught us how to separate fresh milk from cream and how to make English style sausages! They also offered soap making classes which we didn’t have time for.
Here is the farm where we picked up the fresh cows milk
Our Homeaway owner Stuart carrying the fresh milk in plastic jugs
In Gabrielle and Stuart’s kitchen separating the cream from the milk.
Gabrielle makes ice cream out of most of the cream! We enjoyed lemon curd flavor!
Gabrielle and Stuart also taught us to make English style sausages. They’re made with pork shoulder that is ground once. Cooked rice and seasonings are added. The meat is carefully stuffed into the casings to a specific size. The sausages are twisted into links. The sausages are then refrigerated several hours to dry out. Then they are ready to grill or fry!
Ground pork and rice in a bowl
Stuffing the casings
Making the links by twisting the sausage at specific lengths
Our hosts were from Britain so we made British sausages with many seasonings. They said the French use only salt and pepper.
Mont St-Michel is the second most visited site in France next to the Eiffel Tower. It was beautiful. This is Normandy, but close to the border of Brittany.
We had lunch at this Christian pilgrimage site over 1000 years old. Lamb is raised on the salty marshes that surround this island. So I ordered the salty lamb stew served with a light tender bean mixture and French fries!
Dave had mussels, a specialty of the sea!
St Malo is an ancient city with ramparts and medieval fortifications that date to the 1100s which is enchanting to walk around
We discovered the market and met a friendly woman selling cheese and farm butter! The salted butter was super salty!
She recommended this very creamy rich cheese that had to be spread on bread or fruit! Like butter!
St Malo had a delish pastry called Kouign Amann. It was strips of bread dough rolled in a spiral and brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar. Yummy right out of the oven!
The weather was cold and rainy again the next day, but we persevered and drove along the north coast of the English Channel west of St Malo. The views were magnificent at Cap Fréhel!
We continued driving and stopped for a quick lunch in St-Jacut-de-la-Mer. What we thought was a little bar was a fine dining restaurant. We stayed for a 2 course lunch
Raw sardines with capers and a marinade. Very beautiful but not my taste
Since I didn’t like this they gave me a substitute, raw oysters, a tiny improvement
Our entree was a filet of beef on a sauce with cauliflower au gratin.Very pretty
After lunch we drove on to Dinard. The sun came out and we walked around this resort town that has a strong British influence. We bought some Coquille St-Jacques, which we call scallops.
The fish monger removed the scallops from the shells for us
I sautéed the scallops in salty French farm butter and made a vinaigrette with olive oil, lemon juice and “Dijon” mustard, all served with lettuce and endive salad
The next day we explored Dinan, the most medieval town of all Brittany! The town has preserved their old city filled with more half timbered buildings that you can see in most any one city. The cobblestone walkways and ancient buildings are well preserved and charming.
After taking the Rick Steves walk around town we found a bar where they were grilling sausages outside. We sat inside and ate sausages wrapped in galettes with a bit of mustard. Hard cider too which is a Breton specialty, usually served in a big ceramic cup. Yum!
The farm was a cool experience. The sheep out back were endearing. Their ducks were laying green yolk eggs because of the green pond plants they were eating. Green eggs are a real thing! And the huge farms were a powerhouse of wheat, pigs, sheep and cattle!
These are huge grain elevators for the pig farm near our farm rental.
Some of their farm ducks were laying green eggs, Dr Seuss style!
The rolling landscape of Brittany flowed on and on and the ancient buildings gave a reminder of time past.