Annick’s cafe


The brochure in our hotel said: In Carnac you will be able to live intensly (sic) boardsports in whatsoever forms. We chose to forego this and went to view the Neolithic alignments of menhirs on the edge of the town. They are an impressive sight especially in the early morning light.

After breakfast we had a 9.30am deadline in order to take the boat from Locmariaquer to Port Navalo to achieve a good short cut. We made it with only minutes to spare, thanks to one of the crew who keeps a lookout for cyclists. It was a tiny boat with a full load of passengers and 6 bikes.

The next section comprised some double strength kilometres – the sort where you do them but make little overall progress towards your daily goal. We dealt with this matter by drinking coffee in Sarzeau and changing the goalposts. Things also improved when we found alternatives to a busy main road.

Herbignac is where we stopped for the day, a small town with a huge church, patisserie, two boulangeries, and other essential ingredients. We sought a place in which to have a beer and had the good fortune to discover Annick’s Cafe, a tiny, understated establishment where the beer comes out of the fridge in small sized bottles, the half dozen small tables all have fresh flowers and the regular clients (old French codgers) greet everyone, us included, with a handshake. Annick proudly showed us a recently published book, Bistrot Breizh, celebrating the old-style cafes of the region and featuring hers. The whole crowd expressed their admiration for our expedition à vélo and wished us bon voyage.

We stayed at Hotel Restaurant Les Brieres where we were just about the only guests. Our friendly proprietor, who spoke no English, advised us that the dinner would be ‘très  très simple’. It turned out to be très excellent, comprising four courses: a salad plate, hearty meat stew with rice, fruit cake and a cheese plate with a great slab of brie and other varieties.

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