|Plozevet Townhouse 1km from the Sea||Self Catering||Flexible||5||8||3||There are 2 child beds in their own bedroom|
This is a spacious, stylish house in the heart of a village in the Haut Pays Bigouden.
It is situated on an "Impasse" so there is no through-traffic and the 2 top floors of the house looks out over the sea, one or two kilometres away.
The kitchen is new and equipped with hob, oven, microwave, washing machine, tumble drier, fridge-freezer and dishwasher. There is a small table with chairs for 4 people
The dining room is next to the kitchen and contains an oak table and chairs for 8.
The main living room and dining room are open-plan, creating a light and airy feeling on the ground floor. The living room contains 3 sofas, an armchair, large tv (for dvds - many provided), and a wood burning stove.
The 5 double bedrooms all have a view over the sea.
On the first floor, there are 3 bedrooms, all with king size double beds, although in one room, it is possible to split the bed into 2 singles.
The huge master bedroom is on the top floor. It has a commanding views and an en suite shower room. There is a room for children next door, containing 2 single beds.
There are 3 bathrooms in total, all of which contain showers. One is en suite with the master bedroom. The other 2 are on the first floor.
The house benefits from a log-burning stove in the living room, radiators in most of the rooms, and plug-in heaters for other areas.
There is a large tv and dvd player with small dvd library. There are also speakers to which your MP3 player can be attached. The house has wi-fi.
If your tastes are less digital, there are some books, games and jigsaws.
There is a small garden in front of the house, which is perfect for breakfast, evening drinks or a barbecue.
There is space by the house for 3 cars. There is lots more parking on the road if it is required.
Hi there! We are Ginny & Jim Knox. We live in the south of England and we bought this house when our children were quite small for family holidays with friends. The boys are both adults now but we all still love Brittany & the rhythm of French life. I think Jim and I enjoy it as much out-of-season, walking on coastal paths in the wild winds & retiring home to the cosy wood-burning stove, as we do in the summer when we can lie lazily on the beaches and go body-boarding till we're exhausted!
|Year property purchased||2005|
|Why this location?||We love this part of Finistere with its beautiful coastline in most directions & because it is relatively empty and unspoiled. In summer, the white sand beaches are fabulous for sunbathing, swimming, bodyboarding & surfing. Alternatively, there are wonderful walks with dramatic scenery along the coastal paths, including at the Pointe du Raz, the most westerly point in France. Culturally, Plozevet is one of the 10 communities in the "Haut Pays Bigouden", where many old Breton traditions are still followed, including numerous fetes & dances (with traditional, Breton bagpipes), which are great fun and open to all. Star billing goes to the "Folk Mondial Festival" in August. The restaurants and markets are bursting with super-fresh, locally landed fish & "fruit de mer". Locally there are several restaurants, while the beautiful harbour town of Audierne is just 15 minutes away boasting lots of good restaurants & creperies. The bustling, regional centre of Quimper is only 30 minutes away.|
|Unique benefits of property||Our house is about 100 years old - spacious and stylishly contemporary inside - and it is situated close to the centre of the village. It's just a couple of minutes walk to one of two bakeries for your morning croissants - or a couple more to Intermarche, for almost anything you desire (including fresh crabs & langoustines). On the other hand, we are situated on an "impasse", so there is no through traffic, and the house looks out to sea - visible from first and second floors, just over 1 km away. Inside, the house has recently been updated with a new kitchen (including an induction hob, microwave, washing machine, tumble drier etc) and 3 bath/shower rooms. There is private parking for up to 3 cars and more space on the road should it be required. The garden is small, but perfectly formed for a barbecue and drinks in the evening. This house will comfortably accommodate two families or four couples.|
Pors Poulhan is a tiny, picturesque village/harbour a couple of km from Plozevet along the coast road. The bar has a huge terrace overlooking the harbour and it is the perfect place for a restorative cider/ice cream/coffee in the late afternoon after a hard day at the beach. Even better, there is a very good crepe van parked up in the terrace too, which stays open till late, if you can't be bothered to go home and cook!
This takes place in the main square every week, and is excellent. There are fabulous stalls selling fruit, vegetables, cheese, meats, exotic breads, all manner of seafood, (including HUGE lobsters!) - as well as great value leather goods, household goods and clothes - and of course, many purveyors of stripy T-shirts: the essential souvenir of a holiday in Brittany! In the summer we like to pick up a picnic from the market and then head out to a beach with it.
We have spent hours and hours on the wonderful, white sand beaches in this area. There are very many more than these, but our local favourite is the Plage de Mesperleuc, between Pors Peron and Plouhinec, which can be great for body boarding, as well as sandcastles. Just past Audierne is the beautiful, deserted beach of St Tugen. Near the Pointe du Raz is the huge and dramatic Baie des Trepasses (Bay of the Dead), good for body boarding and surfing. On the more cliffy north coast, we favour Pors Peron, a real gem of a beach, (try the buvette at Pors Theolan afterwards, for the best views).
Lots of people come to this part of Brittany, just for the surf, as the many vans with boards strapped to the roof attest. All the main surfing beaches have surf schools attached to them, for children and for adults, not least the following: the Baie de Trepasses, Plage de la Torche and Plage de Penhors.
The Crepes in Brittany are second to none, the savoury ones are all made with "ble noir" or buckwheat and at their best, they are thin, crisp and buttery. We think the "Creperie des Sonneurs" in Plozevet, though it may look like your aunt's front room, serves some of the best crepes in Brittany! More stylish interiors (though probably not better crepes) can be found at An Teuzar and Creperie Ty Clech in Audierne. During any of the many village festivals you may visit, there is always a tent where the ladies of the village are beavering away, making fresh crepes for sale. During the summer months, the Tourist Information service in Plozevet runs crepe making classes which are really good fun. It is MUCH harder than it looks to make them, but you are kept well oiled with local cider, which helps!
The Pointe du Raz is the most westerly point in France and attracts many visitors because of it. Thank heavens, it is much less developed / spoilt than Lands End, though the car park does cost money (unusually for the area) and there are a number of souvenir shops and food outlets near the car park. However, once you leave this area and make the walk to the Point, natural, wild and windy beauty takes over. It is well worth going down to the end and looking at the swirling whirlpools of water where improbably, fishing boats dance around in the hunt for sea bass. You can of course get to this area for free, if you park at one of the nearby beaches and walk along the coastal path to the Point. It takes longer, but you will feel it was more of an achievement!
Just bring your trainers, as the sandy soils round here, mean practically no mud! There is a well maintained and signposted coastal path all round Brittany, known as "Le Sentier Cotier" or Route GR34, which allows you access to all kinds of amazing landscapes: cliffs, rocks and white water if you head north of Pont-Croix, or sand, waves and rolling countryside nearer to Plozevet. We have many local maps in the house, for you to pick your ideal route. If you don't fancy the coastline, there is a lovely route following the Goyen river upstream from Audierne to Pont-Croix, where you can cross the river, explore this charming, medieval village and have lunch, before returning on the opposite bank to Audierne.
This is the land of Asterix and Obelix, so there are many interesting prehistoric sites and standing stones. A couple of kilometres away, at Pors Poulhan, there is an impressive "allee couverte" and a many chambered cairn a few hundred metres further at Menez Dregan, which has some informative literature. If you are really interested in this, you may think it is worth the drive to Carnac, (c. 1.5 hours away) where there is an exceptionally dense and dramatic collection of megalithic sites consisting of alignments, dolmens, tumuli and single menhirs.
The Ile de Seine is a small, but inhabited island, sometimes, but not always visible from land, to the west of the Pointe du Raz. It has a very pretty harbour, (often pictured on postcards), some good beaches and lunchtime restaurants. It also has an interesting wartime history. You can take the boat there for the day from Esquibien, near Audierne.
There is a canoe school in Plouhinec/Audierne, from which you can hire 2-man canoes and paddle up the Goyen with the tide, to Pont Croix. The scenery is bucolic and fish leap out of the river around you, as you pass masses of oyster beds. At Pont Croix there is a pretty pontoon and picnic area where you can tie up and have a rest, before paddling back once the tide has changed. Make sure you get the tides right though! It is murder paddling against the tide, and if you leave it too late to head back from Pont Croix, (as our neighbour once did), the water can rush out before you and leave you high and dry in the middle of the muddy river bed!
The Kerne Ciderie is a few kilometres away in Pouldreuzic. The visitor centre has recently been upgraded and is now very smart. There, you can ask to taste any of their excellent ciders, also "Pommeau" and "Lambig" (the Breton version of Calvados). All of these products, plus their absolutely delicious apple juice, a number of local beers and other specialities can be bought in single bottles or by the case for very reasonable prices. During the apple season, they reputedly do tours of the cider factory, though we have never managed to get our timing right for that.
If you have time to spare and you are still in gastronomic mood, you can visit the Henaff Pate Museum, which is also in Pouldreuzic.
Crabs, lobsters, oysters, langouste, langoustine, shrimps, scallops, mussels, clams... I could go on! All of these delicious items are landed in local harbours, so can be eaten absolutely at their best. For unforgettable choice and quality, try buying seafood from the fishmongers on the dockside in Douarnenez (HUGE langoustines) or off the boat at Lesconil. Super-convenient is the (live) lobster and crab stall which pops up in Pors Poulhan harbour on summer Sunday afternoons at 4pm. Almost anything you want in the way of seafood is available at Audierne market on Saturday mornings, and of course, there are numerous excellent fishmongers all around, including in the supermarkets. We now have an enormous lobster-boiling pot in the house, so don't hold back!
....Alternatively, you may wish to encounter your fruit de mer a little more "dealt with"! The Cafe du Quai in Audierne has very good value offering in this line, and many of the humblest restaurants do a brilliant "moules frites" or "crabe mayonnaise". Other favourite fish restaurants for us are "Le Doris" at Penmarch and the "Hôtel La Baie des Trépassés". If you want lobster specialists, there is a great (though pricey) lobster menu at the Hôtel Restaurant Le Goyen in Audierne or at L'Etrave, Cleden-Cap-Sizun (book well in advance)
The cathedral city of Quimper is about 30 minutes away with its old quarter of narrow streets and excellent shopping. Saint-Corentin cathedral is worth going round and the Musée des Beaux Arts is one of the best regional art galleries in France. It houses a number of beautiful 19th and early 20th century impressionistic paintings of the region. It is reasonably easy to park in Quimper and the streets around the cathedral and gallery have many interesting shops and restaurants. Whilst you're in the town, you might want to visit Faïencerie Henriot-Quimper, home of the famous Breton pottery.
If you enjoy cycling, do bring your bike to Brittany. The country roads around Plozevet are well-surfaced and pretty empty - and there is so much to explore! Tiny, stone-built chapels in the middle of nowhere, picturesque villages and dramatic coastline. The views from a bike are fantastic. Tourist information in Plozevet provides maps for a number of cycle routes, but you may prefer to devise your own.
There are a number of very dodgy museums in Brittany - and for years we joked that "La Maison du Pâté Hénaff " was one of them. How wrong we were! Having finally got there, we discovered that the history of the production of the famous pâté, (sold throughout France) is intricately connected with much of the social, economic and political history of the region. The museum is actually, really fascinating! Furthermore, the design of Hénaff pâté tins is iconic in a similar way to Marmite jars in the UK, and has spawned some interesting artistic things too. NB: Do not mistake the Hénaff Pâté shop for the museum, as we initially did.
(Whilst in Pouldreuzic, and in gastronomic mood, you may also wish to visit the Kerne ciderie)
Whilst there are many OK and good restaurants in the area, a few stand out for those really celebratory dinners. Chief amongst them is L'Iroise on the quay in Audierne, which has an enormous (though expensive) wine list and consistently good food, whichever menu you opt for. Try to ensure that at least one in your party leaves enough room for the cheese course, as their "chariot de fromage" has to be seen to be believed! Or a little way along the quay, you might want to try the restaurant in the Hotel Goyen, which has lovely views over the harbour. Meanwhile, inland in Plogastel-Saint-Germain - and very different in tone, Ty Pin (The Pines) is also a firm favourite, with more of a woodland menu.
If you are exclusively interested in fish or seafood, see our seafood recommendations.
"Le Port-musée" in Douarnenez is another museum which exceeded our expectations. Situated in the "Port-Rhu", near Douarnenez, it includes over 200 vessels reflecting the maritime culture of Brittany and its connections with the wider world. The main part of the museum is inside, but outside in the port, there are a number of old vessels to explore. (Great for kids). Every other July there is a fabulous week-long maritime festival in Douarnenez, when the harbour fills up with beautiful old boats, sailors from around the world, music, art and festival foods. Do try to catch it if you're in Finistere.
This week-long festival takes place in multiple locations throughout our village, and with most activities happening in the afternoon and evening. Acts do genuinely come from around the world, most are free and many are pretty good. Our favourites are still the Breton pipes though. The central square next to the church is transformed into a stage and communal dance floor, whilst the ladies of the village set up a mass catering operation, dishing up thousands of crepes, moules frites and merguez (sausage) frites. There is also an open air bar, selling bottles of cheap wine, cider and local beer - and communal tables for al fresco dinner. It is great fun and attended at least as much by the locals as by the tourists.
It is quite hard to know how to headline these shops! There are 4-5 old furniture factories at one end of Plozevet which have been turned into house-clearance places, selling second-hand furniture, china, glassware, clothes, pictures, etc etc! The one on the road (near a sign which says "O'Puces" or "Fleas") is open every afternoon, whereas many of the ones behind it are only open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. They are fun places to mooch, but do remember to ask for a deal. You rarely have to pay the ticket price, - though you do have to pay in cash.