Hôtel Ty Mad
Hôtel Ty Mad is a cosy and charming late nineteenth-century stone villa. The hotel’s 15 contemporary rooms all enjoy a lot of light and exceptional views of the bay, and there's a fabulous restaurant too. No wonder the name in Breton means 'good house'.
Located in Douarnenez's Tréboul area about a one-hour drive from Brest, and 30 minutes from Quimper. Douarnenez or Douarn – as locals call it, is a quaint old fishing town with Quayside paths and zigzagging narrow streets. Boats come in from the Atlantic to unload their catches of mackerel, sardines, and tuna. Just offshore is the Ile Tristan, which is accessible on foot at low tide and across the Port-Rhu channel is Tréboul, a seaside resort town favoured by French families. It is also the ideal spot to explore the dramatic capes of Pointe du Millier and Pointe du Raz that reside in the west.
The hotel Ty Mad enjoys a spectacular view of the Iroise Sea and sits only a few yards above the tiny bijou beach of Saint-Jean. In its past life, the late nineteenth-century villa belonged to the local diocese before it became a boarding house in 1924. Present owner Armelle Raillard has been running the hotel since 2004 and has managed to match the old-fashioned villa’s layout with a cosy contemporary interior design.
Mrs. Raillard is very knowledgeable about the area and will happily advise visitors on places to go and help arrange days out such as sea-kayaking along the coast and discovering the charming nearby Isle of Tristan.
The indoor pool –– or Japanese 'zen pool' and hammam offer a lovely view of the villa's garden. Massages and spa treatments available by appointment.
The dining room has wrap-around bay windows overviewing the bay where one can enjoy Chef Didier Lecuisinier's menu. Chef celebrates the land of Brittany, selecting the best produce –– organic produce bought from young local producers. All the seafood is wild, the oysters are from the Ile de Sein, and the meat is from animals reared outdoors. Breakfast is a generous buffet with different breads, homemade pastries, cakes and jams, cheeses, fresh fruits, boiled eggs and organic juices. Gluten-free breads and cakes are also available.
From £80 per night
Pet friendly from £9 per night
Please note: The hotel closes during winter from the beginning of November till the end of March.
This old-fashioned seafood restaurant sits at the Pointe du Van, as far west as you can go in France without running into the sea. Family run, and now in its third generation, the L'Etrave, is known for its vaulted, no-frills dining room and legendary creamed lobster.
They use the freshest lobsters which are split down the middle, drowned with the heaviest cream, and then scorched under a broiler to darken the edges of the meat and the surface of the cream before serving on a large metal platter.
Rte. de la Pointe du Van, Cléden-Cap-Sizun
Dinner for two $120
WHAT TO SIP
Cidrerie Paul Coic Cidres
What is Brittany without cider or cidre in French!? This first-generation cider maker produces top-notch brews and distilled lambigs. Sip from four different Ciders: brut, farmhouse, semi-dry and sweet, try the Pommeau de Bretagne a subtle blend of apple juice and brandy, the Lambig de Bretagne a traditional cider brandy from the distillation of cider, aged in oak barrels from 3 to 7 years and the Gwenn: Blanche de Pomme, cider brandy from the distillation of cider, aged in stainless steel vats, which allows it to keep its white colour.
Do not be surprised when instead of a glass, your cider is served in a bolée, a traditional cup made from terracotta. If you are looking for an original souvenir from the Brittany region a bolée, is an excellent choice.
P.S. You won't want to miss the recipe for our Sip of the Month!
Kerscouédic 29710 Plonéis, France
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For More Brittany travel tips our #HCTraveler Patricia Gentry recommends the following links:
Brittany Driving Itinerary by Karen Brown
Brittany Travel Planning by Rick Steves
Doing Brittany's Dinan by Rick Steves