Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Old Dinan on a winter evening
Happy New Year from 'Le Petit Lapin'!

It's definitely winter now here in Brittany-- though it's not really cold and there's not yet been any snow.  The weather stations inform me that it's in fact a normal winter so far, that the chilly storms of 2011 were unusual and that this year's mild temperatures are just what we should expect in this pleasant part of the hexagon.

Nevertheless, after a family Christmas in Paris, I am content to stay close to home for the moment.  Yesterday I planted 36 irises in the courtyard and today I ventured out for an afternoon walk in the sunshine, but come dark, my thoughts veer towards cosy fires and the pleasures of meals out with friends at one of the welcoming restaurants not far from the cottage.

Moules with frites
One of my favourite places to go both in and out of season is Dinan a thirty-minute drive west of 'Le Petit Lapin'. Along the Rance river at the old port there are little crêperies as well as restaurants serving heartier fare-- traditional steak or moules with frites or local fish-of-the day.

I especially enjoy the places with large granite fireplaces whose open fires not only warm the guests but are sometimes used for grilling-- lamb from Mont Saint Michel ('agneau pré salé') and sausages are particularly good this way.

Cider is the traditional drink with either crêpes or moules, but there is always a good choice of wine-- this is France, after all!

Wine is always possible...

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