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Friday, 29 June 2012

French Friday - up the coast at Port Mer

This week we've had a mini heatwave which lasted all of three days. But three days of heat was enough for us to down tools and head for the coast, as the forecast looked like it was going to change 'back to normal' (whatever that is this year) again so hardly beachy weather. It was cloudy at home on Wednesday and slightly misty by the sea, but it was cooler and it was just great to get up the coast at long last - summer has seemed such a long time coming.

Port Mer is just north of Cancale and south of Pointe du Grouin and is the first sandy beach that you come to on this strip of coast coming from the direction of Mont St Michel. After that going west the rest of Brittany is full of sandy beaches but the bay of Mont St Michel is a big tidal mud flat full of oyster and mussel beds.

Naturally seafood figures high on the menus in all these coastal places with moules frites being a cheap and popular dish, but just to be contrary we both had something different!

I'm not going to waffle on any more; I'll just post photos with captions.

He had: duck breast and frites
I had: cassolette of moules and prawns in a creamy saffron sauce
Excuse my franglais

He had: fromage blanc with coulis de fruits rouges
I had: tarte au citron renverse, which intrigued me.
Was it going to be like tarte tatin or pineapple upside down cake?
It was a sort of upside down tarte - that was bits of sweet pastry
sticking into the lemon mixture, with little meringues.

This is what Port Mer looks like on a sunny day. It has 3 restaurant/cafe/bars and that's it.

I've had that ruddy Mull of Kintyre song stuck in my head since I saw this.
The mist did come and go and wasn't as bad as it looks. It was just over the big
posh house on the green hill you see above on the left. Serves them right for
having a big posh house overlooking a beautiful beach.

So after lunch we went for a walk and admired all the floral displays.
I'm just amazed by all the tender plants which grow happily here that would be
frosted in an instant chez moi. What a difference one hour north makes!

This looks like two different kinds of what Mum and I call "the Greek plant".
They are fleshy type plants which grow all over seaside places with
bright daisy like flowers. I think one of them may be Delosperma which they
sell in all the garden centres here, but which won't survive in my garden.

There was Agapanthus galore

It's such a pretty plant, but oh so tender!

I loved all the red here with the balcony geraniums and what I think is a sage beneath.

Now I can grow house leeks and ivy, but the spiky thing probably
wouldn't like it inland, and I did have a hebe once which my mum gave me.
That didn't survive winter!

Whilst walking along the coastal path we saw a Little Egret
wading around in the seaweed, which was rather fun.

I have these at home too and they are just coming into flower for the first time.
It's a sedum (stonecrop) of some sort.  
(I don't have to be all knowledgeable and look up names when it's not my garden!!)
Edit: Sedum reflexum

This one goes into the "I haven't got a clue" category. I don't know if it is a garden escapee,
but it was growing wild all over the place, very pretty and the bugs liked it.
Edit: thanks to Miss M it is Jasione, either montana or maritima

Why bother having a lawn when you can have this instead?

I ought to know what these are but I don't. I recognise them though.
Edit: It's Sea Campion

Looking back towards the beach through a forest of Mimosa trees.
Quite common inland but anyone following my blog will know that my tree
is no more, after being frosted 3 out of the last 4 years :-(

Very common around all these coastal parts and all through Normandy,
a WWII German concrete gun emplacement.

Someone had added some very colourful graffiti! No idea what it means but I think
it looks really cool!

Less cool with manky white legs and feet out. My OH gets annoyed
when I want to check the photos he's taken of me and get him to do it
again, and again, until one passes muster. So this time I accepted whatever
rubbish came off the camera. Don't click on me.

This is coming up the hill from the beach to the car parking area (but looking down. Obviously).
Have you ever seen such a perfectly clipped hedge before?!!

That's all folks. Bon weekend!


  1. Pam @ Digging loves growing spiky things. With frost.

    1. Thanks Diana, I had a look at her blog and her garden looks very interesting. I do have yuccas here which cope fine with sub zero temps but I haven't seen any of those 'spiky things' inland. It did amaze me that there were so many tender plants happily growing out all year round. My neighbour manages agapanthus but in a sheltered spot by a wall and she covers them over when it is very cold. She gave me one but it died. I can't be bothered with protecting things - they need to survive the cold or just not be here!

  2. Some lovely photos as always, of course putting a comment like "don't click on me" guarantees a click :)

    1. Haaa I know, but I'm so fussy as I hate most photos of me. The annoying this is I have downloaded all 5 photos which my OH took (as opposed to the 60 odd that I took) and there are some better ones of me on it - boo!

  3. Stonecrop looks like a variety I grow S. reflexum 'Iceberg'. Would have to research the blues but they are Asteraceae, pretty sure. White flowers are Campion (or campion related), appearing to be double which is a tad funky.

    Nice visit, thanks !

    1. Thanks Miss M for the help - so we have established it is a Bladder Campion but with slightly different flowers. What's interesting is that according to Wikipedia it is commonly eaten in Spain and Cyprus! I don't have this growing in my garden though or I'd have a nibble! Though it's far too pretty to eat. When I am back here again hopefully later this month if I see some seed heads on that blue flower I will take a few and see what happens.... :-)

  4. Nice Agapanthus.

    PS an hour of sunshine today - out on the bikes for breezy 12 miles.

  5. Never mind all the flowers (lovely as they are). Seafood? Creamy sauce? Chips? Deconstructed lemon meringue pie (my favourite pudding)? VERY. HUNGRY. NOW. And that hedge looks like a big green sponge, impressive as it is... Weather here back to cold and drizzle after sunny intervals and showers (like April) at the weekend. What a joke!!

    1. Yes same here pretty much and I'm so fed up with so much wind the last few months, so even when we do get a 'nice' sunny day the bloomin' wind just blasts everything over :-(

      I hadn't thought about it being lemon meringue pie deconstructed! I wondered why they had put little meringues in (cos you don't get that with tarte au citron). It was rather a strange but fun way to eat it!

  6. Replies
    1. I know who you are, it's obvious from that question! No I jolly didn't, I knew the sea would be cold so I tested with my index finger which said "Owwwwwwww"! There were mad people swimming, both adults and kids but my OH heard one kid squealing that it was too cold - must be going to grow up to be like me. I'm still putting my electric blanket on at night. :-)

  7. Well that made me look twice, I thought that it was just a painted part of the wall! Someone has more time than I could ever afford, or want to afford on their hedge! Lovely photos x

  8. Your garden and produce looks amazing, very very jealous. Superb piccies as ever. Oh, by the way, I did click on your photo - very nice!