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Monday, 9 September 2013

Fun with the family

My mum and brother came over for nine days and were so lucky with the weather - blue sky and sunshine just about every day and the only rain was a few drops on the morning they left. We got out and about a number of times and here are some pictures from places we visited.

The first was a restaurant we hadn't been to before. I wouldn't go again as I thought the food was dire but the others seemed to enjoy what they ordered. It was a nice setting beside the river Vilaine, in Cesson-Sévigné which is (or was) a separate town to the east of Rennes, but which has now been swallowed up by the metropolitan area. However the old bit of town around the river is very pleasant. I'm not sure if it is manmade or not, but there are areas where the river flows slowly around little islands of parkland with bridges linking them together.

The terrace was a nice place to sit and watch the ducks.

Bro and mum get stuck in!

We had a wander around a small public garden situated next to an old manor house which was in need of a new coat of paint!

The church seen from the parc du Bourgchevreuil.

Le Manoir du Bourgchevreuil.

I found the planting rather samey.
Too much Cleome which seems to be a favourite for town bedding!

One of the islands in the river.

Someone was feeding the ducks and a lone seagull.

The ducks were getting rather annoyed at the seagull who could jump up for bread!

And of course there was a moorhen more tame than the ones at home!

Another day we went to the coast to our favourite spot at Port Mer, just north of Cancale. The restaurant that we normally go to was shut, no doubt for their annual vacation, so we had to eat at the more expensive but less good restaurant, where there's an old boy (probably the owner) who reminds me of Julie Walters in that sketch with the soup. Luckily there was a younger guy serving as well, or else we would have been there all day.

Low tide and very few sunbathers on the beach as most of the tourists have gone home.

Mum had the kiddy sized moules frites.
I had the medium sized serving!

The sea was incredibly warm and whilst my legs don't look tanned at all,
I've got very stripy feet!

We then went around the corner to the headland at la Pointe du Grouin, which I featured in a post a little while back. This is the third time we've visited this place this summer. The last two times have been good for small butterflies even though there were few wildflowers left. Most of the insects I found were feeding on Yarrow (Achillea millefolium).

Yarrow with Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) butterfly
and a small bee that is probably a Plasterer Bee (Colletes sp.).

A lovely dragonfly that I can't ID so it's driving me crazy!
(Edit)..... I am pretty sure it is a female Southern Darter (Sympetrum meridionale).

Top: Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas).
Bottom: a tatty looking female Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus).

Sneaking this one in from the previous visit
as I didn't manage to capture one this time -
a male Common Blue standing out against the dry grass.

Finishing off a perfect day with an ice cream!

This is our favourite (or rather, only!) Italian restaurant, Il Toscano. It's situated near a busy dual carriageway and is just off 'Furniture Road' (La Route du Meuble) where as you can imagine, there are furniture stores galore, yet is surrounded by fields making it seem very tranquil. It's always busy and the patron always remembers us even if we only come here once a year. He finds time to talk to his clients which makes this place all the more special. And the food and service are excellent! It is the only restaurant which we continue to go to year after year, as so many can seem good until they go downhill by the second or third visit.... to be visited never again. Or we try again after a few years break only to find it's become a pizza place. :-( 

Il Toscano at la Mézière.

It's very trendy and has funky garden furniture and the decor indoors is purple.

Yet round the back is an orchard with sheep,
reminding you that you are in the countryside after all.

And now they have gone home and the weather has turned. I guess summer is over so it was great to get out and enjoy the last of it.


  1. Looks like you had a lovely time and you were so lucky with the weather too!

    Philippa x

    1. Thanks Philippa - my mum always complains that it always rains when she visits - well she's only been about 3 times apart from at Xmas and won't come except in spring or late summer because it might be too hot! So yes we were very lucky as no moaning, haha! ;-)

  2. Interesting as on CoastLand 35 the plants of the last couple of years for the town parks depts are Gaura & Perovskia.......... Even used them meself when I was asked to re-vamp a garden in Dinard and got lots of them @ Chateau Plertwit along with flowering Sage..............

    A Nonny Mouse xx

    1. I meant the annual bedding Mr Nonny - permanent bedding is often perovskia and grasses. Gaura dies here inland as it isn't very hardy! Ditto flowering sage. So many plants I'd like to have but the climate is too cold for them. I have to go to the coast to see these exotics instead. :-)

  3. Looks like a wonderful time with family. Your countryside is so beautiful! I always enjoy your lovely photographs - thanks for sharing.

    Miss LadyBug

    1. Thanks very much Miss Lady Bug! We had a good time and I'm glad you enjoy seeing my pics and life on this side of the pond! :-)

  4. Of course it was good weather. We were in France.

  5. Looks like you had a good time. (Oops, hit the wrong button)

    1. Sounds like you are back home now Nick and you had the same weather no doubt! You all picked the exact right time to be here! :-)

  6. Thanks for sharing your little reunion with us! Loved the Ducks reaction to the gull. So funny. All your images were great but of course I love the critters the most. The dragonfly shot is excellent and I especially loved the one you snuck in from your previous trip. That blue against that beautiful dried grass is gorgeous!

    Always fun to be a fly on the wall during your activities :-)

    1. Thank you Marianne! You and me both with the critters! To be honest I had to keep reminding myself to take or get my OH to take some family photos. I'm not very interested in photographing people. :-)

      That blue butterfly image has an added texture - I haven't learned how to do it the fancy way on Photoshop - just used Befunky which is great for instant effects and they have now added textures which is really fun to play around with.

      You could always come and be here in reality and you could have helped me this week shifting and stacking firewood, planting out brassicas, making tomato sauce and jam and loads of watering my parched garden, all the fairly dull activities in between finding exciting critters etc ;-) But I know what your reply would be. :-)