During our holiday in Brittany, seven-year-old Tom focused on just one topic every day: the beach. More specifically when would we go there and how long would we stay.
And to be fair I was right about him because in all honesty the beaches of Brittany are fabulous and with glorious weather like the one we were enjoying, where would you rather be?
All that was needed for Tom’s day on the golden sands was his football. He even accepted being smeared with a factor of 50.
We stayed at Domaine de Kerlann, the largest mobile home park owned by French holiday company Siblu. It’s tucked between the quaint town of Pont Aven, home to a 19th-century artists’ colony drawn by its unspoilt beauty, of which Paul Gauguin is the most famous member, and the south coast of Finistère, France’s westernmost province (once famous for BBC fans Shipping Forecast), overlooking the Atlantic with nothing but the ocean between you and America.
After a smooth crossing with Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to Caen-Ouistreham in a comfortable and cozy cabin, and an equally smooth journey on the excellent and uncrowded French motorway, all that remained was to enjoy ourselves.
We were spoiled for choice for beaches during our stay, with a dozen or more within a short drive, from pristine beaches of golden sand and turquoise waters sheltered beneath rocky cliffs and pine trees, to pretty little towns with chic bars and restaurants along the coast right by the sea.
However, if we didn’t feel like getting in the car, our base at Domaine de Kerlann had everything we needed with a restaurant, takeaway, shop, indoor and outdoor pools, live shows, sports fields and tennis courts on site . Our cottage also had pretty much everything we needed including TV, dishwasher, washing machine, BBQ, sheltered garden with sun loungers and sun deck.
A little further afield we ventured into the regional capital of Quimper (pronounced Kemper), a historic Roman-era town with an impressive cathedral and quaint half-timbered streets to explore, with rows of interesting shops, bars and cafes, and of course those fabulous patisseries , which apparently only exist in France. An hour’s drive east was Carnac, home to Europe’s largest collection of prehistoric standing stones, numbering up to 3,000, stretching a few miles out of town and predating Stonehenge and the Pyramids by a few thousand years. You really are a sight.
The town itself is split in two, with the main village nestled between the rocks and beaches and offering some interesting shops and a museum or two, and the five beaches, harbour, chic bars and restaurants of the nearby Grand Plage a magnet on a are sunny day.
As far as eating and drinking goes, our favorite spot was La Châtaigneraie, a chic but uninviting place in a prime location overlooking the beautiful little beach of Port Manec’h, just a short drive from our HQ. The staff is friendly and helpful, the food delicious – we’ve had mussels, hake in a delicious tomato sauce, a burger, a chicken curry galette and a vegetarian Buddha bowl on our various visits, washed down with drinks including delicious Breton cider.
The French seem to do the simpler food so well too, with perhaps my favorite of the trip being a simple ham salad baguette cooked for me by a smiling chap up front in the chic resort of Bénodet, costing around £4. Just perfect for eating while watching the world go by on the beach. And recharge your batteries for another kickabout with an energetic seven-year-old who is absolutely in his element.
We stayed at Siblus holiday village Domaine de Kerlann in Brittany with prices starting from £777 for seven nights from 20th August. Visit siblu.co.uk or call 0208 610 0186. We traveled with Brittany Ferries who operate the longer routes from Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth direct to Brittany and Normandy. Travel overnight on a luxury cruise ferry in the comfort of your own ensuite cabin or be whisked across the Channel in just three hours. August fares for the Portsmouth to Caen crossing start from £504 return for a car and a family of four. Book on brittany-ferries.co.uk or call 0330 159 7000.