By Laura Mackay
By Laura Mackay
If your holiday style is Cornwall but want to travel a little further afield it is worth putting Brittany on your holiday shopping list. Whilst the Breton weather won’t always shine favourably on you, the beauty of the countryside will captivate in other ways. With great rain comes great beauty!
There are few places more comfortable than Hotel de La Plage in the tiny hamlet of Sainte Anne La Palud (one church, a bakery and two houses!) on the Baie de Douarnenez. Quite literally on the beach, the views from the bedrooms are of the huge beach, surrounding woodland and the dramatic headland of Crozon in the far distance. If you time your dinner right sitting by the floor to ceiling glass conservatory affords a breathtaking view of the enormous orange orb of the setting sun; the restaurant falls silent and it feels as if there is an enormous collective intake of breath at the magnificence of the theatre being played out in front of your very eyes. I have no shame in admitting it has reduced me to tears the first time I see it each year.
At this point I should confess that as a family we are Hotel de La Plage addicts, returning year after year with our children who have gone from eager architects of sandcastles of ever greater extravagance to teenagers at first embarrassed at being offered a glass of wine with their dinner to young sophisticates who chat happily to all the staff with whom they feel they have grown up.
During the day this wonderful hotel is a beach hotel through and through (the patter of sandy bare feet abounds) and yet something magical happens in the early evening. Cinderella-like shorts and T shirts are abandoned for something more special, the bar fills with happiness, cocktails are poured and dinner is a three-course affair that even the most dedicated of gastronomes find hard to put words to – especially after the two storey cheese trolley arrives! I promise myself each year I will ignore it. I fail.
The passion in striving for excellence and beauty on a plate is unrivalled – to eat it is almost as destructive as walking on virgin snow. But eat it you should as the fish is the freshest you will encounter, lobster night is a night of pure entertainment and the puddings will soften even the hardest dietary heart. The wine list comprehensive suited all pockets and comes with knowledgeable, passionate advice and supreme charm.
Perhaps by writing this is am doing our family out of a room next summer, but it would be churlish not to share this delightful, wonderful family hotel in which memories are made and treasured.
Bucket and Spade Hotel – Tick.
Bucket List Hotel – Tick.
Hôtel de la Plage