Oh my! I have never seen so much seafood in my life!
We had a fantastic afternoon with fantastic people. We chatted to the waiter (who asked if we were French!) but he could speak fluent English and a little Spanish as well.
We set off just after 11am for a drive that was just over an hour. Bless our friends they took us the scenic route so we could see all of the little French villages, the marshes as we approached the sea, and Mont St Michel in the distance. The sun came out and it was truly beautiful.
We arrived in the pretty little fishing town of Cancale in the early afternoon and it was bustling. The sun was out and although breezy (coming from a seaside town before moving here you come to expect that!) it was not cold. (People watching though you would have thought you were in the Arctic, after living in Herne Bay you do recognise he people who do not live by the sea! They are wrapped up to the max, scarves, hoods up, gloves. Rich did not even put his jacket on!)
The town is everything you expect from a quintessential tiny French harbour town, with the oyster beds (the town’s specialty) lots of restaurants, some basic with the offer of six oysters and a glass of wine, or bottle of cider for 10 euro. They give it to you with lemon and a serviette and away you go, simple good food.
The restaurant was very upmarket and in some ways Parisienne. A table had been booked right by the window where we could look out to see and watch as the tide came in, with the sun sparkling off the water and mud flats, with tractors driving down the busy tiny street loaded with oysters, lobsters and crab. If you look very closely at the picture you will see the building to the left of the picture with the blue windows, that was our restaurant, and the third window on the right was exactly where we were sitting. The sun was so bright at times poor old glaucoma girl (me!) had to put her sunglasses on.
Aperitifs were served, Kir with white wine, bruschetta and a fresh fish paste with curry. Our dear friends did all of the ordering and wow! Out come the biggest fish dish to share I have ever seen. Sorry I did not take photos but this image is exactly what it was like only we had another tier with four crab on it!
There were langoustines,(my personal favourite) about four different types of oysters, which I have tried but would not necessarily order before, but having tried them here I would now, they were sweeter and smaller than the ones I had eaten in Whitstable. There were clams which I had never tried, very fishy but nice (I know they are fish of course they are fishy!), shrimp, snails, and small sea snails which I really liked. There were four different types of prawns, sorry don’t know all their names, various sauces including a vinegar and shallot mix for the oysters, and a delicious home made mayonnaise. Oh and let’s not forget the crab, one of which was knocked off and landed on Rich’s head! French people are very polite and our poor friend was mortified that he had nearly knocked Rich out! The bread rolls kept coming and we sat for over four hours, in the sunshine, putting the world to rights, as we drank a lovely bottle of rose and a bottle of white. All washed down with a Creme Brulee (it has to be done we are in France!)
After lunch we took a leisurely stroll along the seafront and our dear friend proceeded to buy himself some more oysters from the stall holders along the seafront. It was like being on holiday, and I will confess made me feel a little yearning for living near the sea, (in France, of course!)
After we go back we had a further aperitif and then had to leave to get back to our puppies. We snuggled down in front of the fire, in our jim jams with a few glasses of red. I don’t know whether it was the sea air, but I was worn out and was snoring before Rich came to bed. Life does not get better than that.
A big thank you to our friends, I have said many time before it is the kindness of others that makes the world go round, and I have a strong feeling that “times they are a changin” in the words of the great Bob Dylan, and I have a feeling that they are a changin for the better because of the good people we have in our lives.
It is the small things.
Promise I will post some more this week.
Please share my blog, I want to get it out there, in addition to all those people who are already reading it all over the world. Thank you all.