A Holiday in Brittany
We’ve just returned from our family holiday to Brittany. We stayed one mile from a quaint town called Cancale located on the North Brittany coast, a great spot if you want to explore beyond Normandy yet not rack up too many péage miles with small children in tow.
I’d researched the area extensively and came across Ferme de la Vieuville which was the loveliest and thriftiest gite in the area. Never one to opt for run-of-the-mill lodgings – beds, tables, toilets, who needs ‘em? Instead, we stayed in La Poulailler, The Chicken Shed. Of course I’m joking, La Poulailler has been swept out and renovated since it once housed feathery guests.
A French Gite and Bed & Breakfast
Owners Armelle and her husband Vincent, live in the main, larger farmhouse, which also doubles up as a Bed and Breakfast. In addition to La Poulailler, there is also a choice of four other beautiful larger self-contained properties on the farm, which can sleep up to 9 guests.
Complimentary Homemade French Jam
On arrival, Armelle left us with a jar of her husband homemade apricot jam, which was extraordinary and the best conserve I have ever tasted. Not too sweet and perfumed with something indescribable. Two breakfasts later, I had to quiz Armelle.
Apparently it’s made with tonka nuts, which is a flat, wrinkled legume from South America but when dried and then grated and added to sugar tastes of vanilla caramel with dark honey and can be used for desserts or sweet baked items and sometimes savoury dishes too.
The Chicken Coop in a (Tonka) Nutshell
The Chicken Coop is a quirky and cute little cottage nestled in the grounds of a beautiful and traditional French farm. This self-contained gite spans over three floors and has it’s own private garden, which extends onto the main farmhouse’s garden.
- Relaxed: The hosts are very laid back – although you rarely see them, unless you seek them out, and then they are very keen to pass on local knowledge.
- Great Communications: Armelle’s English is very good which meant I didn’t have to rinse out too much AS-level French!
- Cheap: We paid €410 for one week. Including our ferry crossing the entire trip cost just over £550 for 8 nights (including a stopover in Normandy)
- Peaceful: It’s very, very quiet – no road noises but for an occasional passing horse
- Good location: It’s 5 mins from Cancale, 15 mins from Saint-Malo and 30 mins to Dinan and 50 mins from Mont Saint Michel
- Rustic charm: The accommodation is simple, rustic yet very clean and inviting
- Did I mention the jam? On arrival Armelle presented us with some homemade apricot jam – almost worth the trip for this alone!
- The Chicken Coop sleeps 67 hens, or 4 adults. Or two adults and two children
- There’s an indoor heated swimming pool on the property
- A large garden with a (toy) fishing boat and swings
- Fully equipped kitchen including hand blender, coffee maker, a large quiche tin (obvs), other baking tins, oven proof dishes and lots of other kitchen utensils
- With two fairly steep staircases, the top set has a set of stair-gates, which is more than sufficient
- There’s a cot and high chair available should you need them
- There’s a stair gate on the top floor and we also brought a travel stair gate for the second set of stairs.
Ferme de la Vieuville 35260 CANCALE
Tél/fax :+33 (0)2 23 15 19 30 GSM : 06 20 87 54 26