Rachel Khoo, The Daily Telegraph, August 13, 2013
A typical breakfast
In a country that usually gets by with just a croissant or tartine and a black coffee, Brittany is an exception. Here they serve the finest breakfasts I have seen in France. Among the best are the homemade delights dished up at the regions' chambres d'hotes.
At Malik, outside Dinan, breakfast is served on a pretty veranda, warm from the kitchen, the classic prune studded "cake" Far Breton, made from a batter similar to a crepe, and of course fresh orange juice, St Malo yoghurt with homemade compote, and warm homemade breads and jams.
At Le Val de Brangon Nathalie Hubier relishes her role of hostess, plying guests with her homemade goodies, my favourite of which was her strawberry yoghurt, which inspired a recipe in my new book. She also knows a thing or two about Kouign Amman's (Brittany's famous butter cake) and insisted on ordering a local favourite for me to try out.
If you like your breakfast on the go, check out an innovative use of the galette at Rennes or Dinan markets, where food truck vendors wrap up a sausage in a tight galette bundle.
Malik Double room from 82 euros per night, including breakfast (Chemin de l'Étoupe, Plélan le Petit; 0033 2 96 27 62 71; sawdays.co.uk) . Le Val de Brangon Doubles room from 160 per night, includes breakfast (Lieu dit Brangon, Baden, Morbihan; 00 33 2 97 57 06 05; sawdays.co.uk) . Rennes Market Dishes from 3 (Place des Lices, Rennes; every Saturday morning until 1pm)
Cancale is famous for its oysters, and down at La Houle, the pretty town port, there are plenty of places to indulge. Often there are a handful of oyster stands down at the water's edge, right near where they are harvested, or you can pop in to any of the cafés lining the streets.
Modern crêperie Breizh Café, has outposts in both Japan and Paris, but at its waterfront spot in Cancale port, it pairs top ingredients with impeccably prepared crêpes and galettes washed down with a bottle of cider. Often the creations have a Japanese touch, and if it is on the menu, go for the crêpe with yuzu butter, matcha ice cream and gariguette strawberries and you won't be disappointed.
Seafood is in plentiful supply throughout Brittany
The best way to find a good place to eat is to ask a local, Nathalie at Le Val de Brangan was full of excellent suggestions, amongst them was Le Roscanvec in nearby Vannes. For a gourmet meal their lunchtime Menu du Marche is seriously good value.
Port de la Houle (stalls open every day from 9am – 7pm) A dozen fresh oysters from around 5 eruos. Breizh Café (7 Quai Thomas, Cancale; 00 333 2 99 89 61 76; breizhcafe.com ) Crepes from 3.50 euros. Le Roascanvec (17, rue des Halles, Vannes; 00 33 2 97 47 15 96; roscanvec.com ) Menu du Marché from 25 euros for two courses / 30 euros for three courses.
In St Malo, head to Yves Bordier's shop on rue de l'Orme in the cobbled ville intramuros. Yves Bordier's butters reign supreme on the menus of the finest restaurants in France and abroad. The butter looks like little yellow bricks flecked with sea salt, seaweed, smoked salt or even yuzu, and his artisanal approach gives it a dense crumbly texture. The best way to enjoy the butter is simply spread on bread. He also sells some excellent tinned sardines that are cooked and left in the Bordier butter to marinate and a good selection of wines.
There is plenty to drink at La Java Café in St Malo
When the tide is low you can walk out to two small islands adjacent to the town for spectacular views of the St Malo scape, taking some of Bordier's goodies and a baguette and a bottle of Ordovicien. If you want to stay put head to the bistro next to the shop for a glass of Champagne Billecart-Salmon.
La Maison Du Buerre . Yves Bordier butter from 12 euros per kg. Ordovicien costs 21 euros per bottle in the shop. Champagne Billecart-Salmon costs 9 euros per glass in the bistro (9 Rue Orme, 35400 St-Malo; 00 33 2 99 40 88 79; lebeurrebordier.com )
Dining in the picturesque town of Dinan, Fleur de Sel has a slightly eccentric menu, dabbling in creative dishes whilst remaining regional in feel. Set menus around here are by far the most affordable way to eat, and leaves the choice to the experts. Oysters to start, with a little mignonette and blinis, a beef cheek stew in a cocotte with some Asian flavours, followed by desserts of epic proportions, a trio of giant choux filled with ice cream, doused in chocolate sauce. For the freshest of seasonal Breton seafood and an unbeatable view of the Côte Sauvage, Le Vivier in Quiberon, is another local recommendation. This place is "no frills" but worth the drive for shellfish lovers.
Dinan is a great for crêpes and cider
Fleur de Sel (7 Rue Sainte-Claire, Dinan; 00 33 2 96 85 15 14; restaurantlafleurdesel.fr ) Three course set menu 22 euros or 34 euros. Le Vivier (Côte Sauvage, Quiberon; 00 33 2 97 50 12 60) Three courses from around 28.50 eruos.
I've yet to eat there myself, but have heard great things about chef Fumio Kudak and the Franco-Japanese menu at La Table de Breizh Café, upstairs from the crêperie in Cancale.
La Table de Breizh Café (7 Quai Thomas, Cancale; 00 33 2 99 89 61 76; breizhcafe.com ) Three course dinner menu 75 euros or 135 euros.
Rachel stayed at La Val de Brangon in Baden, Les Mouttes in St Suliac and Malik in Plélan le Petit with Sawday's ( sawdays.co.uk) . Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo is published by Michael Joseph at £20.