Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Warm Welcome at Au Bon Acceuil

When planning to visit Mont St Michel, I had to choose a place to stay.  In my search I discovered a little B and B in the village of Saint Marcan.  It was called Au Bon Acceuil, which means 'a good welcome' and it sounded perfect. For a start, there were English speaking hosts who would greet you with a cup of tea. That sounded good to me.  Also they would pick me up from the train station and drive me to and from Mont St Michel, a short fifteen minute ride away.  
This sounded too good to be true and I booked it up.
As it turns out, it was just as described.  Paul met me at the station and drove me to Au Bon Acceuil, past the country fields and trees. 
Jane was ready with a hot cup of tea when I arrived and we had a lovely chat about how they came to be in France.
My room was lovely.
I had my own bathroom and great wifi, everything I needed.
The first night we all went up the hill to a pub called the Oyster Catcher.  It was run by a man from Manchester. I could not believe all these English people in a tiny village in Brittany.  It was very surprising to me.  
There was a warm fire burning in the grate and we all had a hearty meal.  I had cider with my dinner, and  I discovered that drinks came in smaller glasses in France.  Being in Europe really drove home to me how large the drinks are in Canada. In France the wine glasses were smaller, and the coffee cups were so much smaller that you get in Canada. Food for thought :-)
Here is The Oyster Catcher, which was a short walk up the hill. The clientele was all local and there was a very relaxed atmosphere. I actually came back here for supper the following night. 
Back at Au Bon Acceuil, the dining room was so warm and welcoming the next morning for breakfast.
I went to Mont St Michel on the next day, and on the Wednesday, I had a 'taking care of business' day.' I did my washing by hand and updated my instagram.  I also was busy uploading pictures onto facebook to make room on my phone for more pictures.  This activity came to dominate much of my free time as I saw more wonderful sights and took more pictures. lol.  
Thursday was my last day in the village of Saint Marcan and I wanted to go up the hill and experience the traditional foods of the region as served at the Telegraph restaurant.
Wlking up the hill I passed the river.
One reason I chose Saint Marcan was because I wanted a rural setting where I could walk the lanes of the countryside.  This was just perfect, as I passed the fields and farmland.
Eventually I arrived at the top of the hill. This restaurant is called Le Telegraphe because it is right next to a building built to send semaphore messages during the time of Napoleon.

I entered the cafe, and I was the only patron there.  The owner was so gracious and welcoming. I ordered the set menu for ten euros.  
It included a main course of a gallette,  a dessert of a crepe and a half litre of wine as well as a coffee.
However, she also gave me a free apperatif.  Such kindness.  
This gallette was a buckwheat crepe with a mushroom, ham and cheese filling and an egg in the middle. You can have a choice of filling. 
It was absolutely delicious. I had never had anything like this before and I was so glad I took the opportunity to check out the local food.
The owner kindly offered to take my picture. :-)
Next came the crepe.  My mum used to make these for us every year on Pancake Tuesday.  We always used to squeeze orange juice onto our crepes and then sprinkle on some sugar.  This is also what they do in Brittany.  You can choose other options, but I went for the citron choice.  
Next came the coffee, and once again the tiny cups

It was a very special meal and I was so grateful to the kind hostess for being so gracious to me. 
Once outside I walked up to view the telegraph building.
Claude Chappe who lived from December 25, 1763 – January 23, 1805), was a French inventor who in 1792 created a semaphore system that eventually spanned all of Feance at the time of the French Revolution. This was the first example of a telecommunications system in the Industrial Age.
It was quite ingenious to think of a machine to send semaphore.  I learnt semaphore in Brownies, that is how old I am, lol.  We used our arms and two flags to do it.
Here is one of the windows in this historic building.
Walking back to the B and B I decided to take a detour and check out the church.

It is a sleepy little village in the countryside of Brittany and I just loved it.
I headed off back down the hill to Au Bon Acceuil.
I took a pic of  the view into the distance. There are flat lands here that they call Polders, just like we have back home in Pitt Meadows.  Just like Pitt Meadows, the land was all reclaimed by the Dutch, with a system of dikes.
Au Bon Acceuil is an old building which Jane and Paul have renovated with a lot of hard work and love.

Here is the front of the B and B.
On my last morning I took a few more pics of the lovely furnishings in the dining room.

And it was time to bid Jane and Paul a fond farewell.
I was off to Dol de Bretagne to catch the train to Paris and beyond, 
But that my friends is another story.


Beth said...

What a great post. I love the photos of the crepes! It sounds like everyone has been so lovely.

Pam Carr said...

Thanks Beth. I have been so lucky. Great people everywhere I go.