Mont Saint Michel: A Weekend in Medieval France

I've been obsessed with medieval castles for as long as I can remember, so when our friends in Rennes asked us to go and pay them a visit, we replied with a quick and resounding YES.

Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France

The little town is a dream. You can walk everywhere and the place is peppered with ancient buildings. After a first night of a well-deserved pub crawl, we got to an early start on the Saturday to hit the farmer’s market.


We’d been made in charge of the cheese board for Christmas (just gone) and I thought that was the perfect opportunity to buy the tastiest, smelliest cheese possible. We spent the morning buying olives, cheeses, saucisson, bread and wines. We even tried traditional sausage crepes in there! When we were happily heaped with bags of smelly stuff, we headed towards a pub and sat outside with our mates and their mates, to enjoy a traditional French lunch: bread and cheese alfresco.

St Malo

That afternoon we went to Saint Malo, a town by the sea with a fortified area. We walked by the Yatch club and through the beach to get to the fortress.



The walk around the walls of the fortress was out of this world. As the sun began to set, the colours of the sky and the stone the fortress is made of intensified. The sky was partly grey, an ominous sign of the rain to come, and the mix between rays of sun and the heavy clouds was eerie.

Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France

We didn’t fancy getting wet, and as it was getting colder, we nipped back in and found some sweet stuff to eat.



Our local friends pointed at rolls made of butter, sugar and flour. They’re called Kouign Amman.




They’re the food of the Gods!!! Melts in your mouth – delicious.

Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
I would have devoured more than one if I could have. I must find a recipe for those...

We ended the stay in Saint Malo with a good couple of pints of the good stuff at a pub that was decorated like a jungle. They were playing Christmas reggae carols. Sweet.

There’s always room for trying new things and so, an hour or two later when we were back in Rennes, we were taken to try some more savoury crepes. I decided to be brave and try one made of pork’s insides. No specification as to what the “insides” may entail. Well what I got looked like this:


It stunk of cat food but tasted quite nice. It was a complex situation as I smelled it and went… Porrrrrrrr!! And then ate it and went… Hmmmmm! It was kind of a Porrrr-mmmm situation we shall call it.

Cancale

The third day was my favourite. The sensory overload of things I love was just non-stop. Starting with a roadtrip to the town of Cancale North of Rennes.




As we arrived I noticed stands next to the sea selling mussels and Oysters!



We bought a dozen and sat by the lighthouse taking in the washed-out horizon that we imagined looked better in the sun. The silhouette of Mount St Michel could be made out through the haze. We’d be going there a bit later on.

Throughout the short trip our mates had introduced us to countless of their mates, and we’d hung out together. It was no different today, when BonBon (let’s call him that) sat there teaching me how to properly open an Oyster before drizzling lemon juice over it and slurping it down!




We then hit one of the seaside restaurants for mussels and chips before setting off to Mount Saint Michel.

Now I kid you not, we saw kangaroos on the fields on our way from Cancales to Mount Saint Michel. If anyone can explain that, that would be fantastic.


Le Mont Saint Michel

Freshly arrived at Le Mont Saint Michel, we started walking towards it. It was impressive beyond belief. As a child, one hears of things like these in fairy-tales and films of princesses and castles. But one never imagines they’re real, and they’re standing right before one’s eyes.

Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France

If you go to Paris, you must at least give yourself a day to visit Le Mont Saint Michel. It would be completely ludicrous not to. This is real France.

Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France

Anyhoo – no day would be complete with cheese and bread, so when we got back home we had bread, cheese, more oysters (that I’d run back to buy before we left Cancale) and wine. A new tip on wine I learnt from my friend: pour it all into a decanter an hour or two before serving and it will bring the taste out much better.

Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France

On our very last day our mate still found the time to take us on walking trip around Rennes (as we’d spent most of our days outside Rennes!).

Dinan

On our way to the airport we stopped in a town called Dinan that was just the cutest little thing. I truly felt transported to the medieval times – I felt like Drew Barrymore in Ever After. The fortress we’d seen had been impressive but this was a whole town, older than your granddad’s long johns! I’d have to have gone to uni and done a degree in, like, written-flourished-embellishment-skills, but I haven’t. So I can only say that being in that town felt like magic.

Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France
Mont Saint Michel & Medieval French Towns of Dinan, Rennes and Cancale: A Weekend in Medieval France

Less than an hour later we were back in London. And I have to be honest, it feels good living somewhere where, no matter where in the world you’ve been, you’re still amazed by how pretty your city is. If you don’t believe me just look at the London night lights.

















2 comments

  1. This looks like a dream to me - that place!! And you made me want those salty caramel crepes now.

    Wonderful pictures Caterina! I have only been to France for one day very shortly, and I def need to make time to discover all those lovely places myself!
    Svenjaxx

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    1. I promise it's worth your while to go. :) xx

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