Lamballe

We seem to have settled into a pattern of alternating big days out and rest days with less vigorous but still interesting activities. After our day in the Loire we were due for a rest day so there was no early rising this morning.

I rolled out of bed a bit after 7:00 am. Majella followed after I had showered. By the time we were all done and had breakfast it was after 8:00 am and our load of laundry was almost ready for hanging. Pauline and John’s load followed.

We relaxed in our own ways until mid-morning when we paused for coffee. More relaxation followed until midday at which time we retrieved the laundry and set out to drive the 17 km to Lamballe where we planned to eat lunch, visit Cidrerie du Prest, and do some essential supermarket shopping.

I managed to wend my way through the series of narrow one-way streets into the centre of Lamballe and find parking in an open car park near the city centre. We walked the 200 m or so into the town square which was blocked to traffic and found that the streets in the centre were given over to pedestrians and market stalls.

LamballeAfter some exploration of the stalls we settled on La Parenthése for lunch. I settled for the salade du jour with espresso because I was driving. The others had various seafood dishes – scallops and pasta (Majella), fish pasta (John), and prawns with vegetables (Pauline) – accompanied by cider or red wine. All the meals were substantial and tasty so we needed no dessert and were able to plan for a light meal tonight.

Lunch was followed by a walk around town to explore more of the stalls and some of the shops. We visited the shop at a gallery displaying prints by engraver, Mathurin Méheut, and enjoyed what we saw sufficiently that Majella bought a card featuring a print. She could not resist a fabric store where she bought a couple of small pieces that will feature in future quilting projects. We discovered that the shops treat this market day as ‘bric a brac’ day when they try to clear older stock. Pauline found a white rain jacket with a nautical Breton look that proved irresistible.

The last item had taken us to the end of the market in a stree below the square. We found some stairs that went up steeply but offered a shorter and different route back to our car. Over the hill and down by another set of stairs we reached the car, deposited some packages, and headed off the short distance to the Haras Nationelle de Lamballe, a horse stud, which also housed the office de tourisme at its entrance.

LamballeAfter gathering some information there we explored the artisan market in the grounds of the Haras. In various stalls we found nougat and cheese that were added to the menu for dinner tonight. There were many other interesting items in the stalls but we resisted temptation to buy more. We did appreciate the variety of flowers arrayed in beds throughout the grounds. They were vibrantly coloured and massed in mixed beds.

From the Haras we drove to visit the cider farm at Prest, just out of Lamballe, where we bought a couple of bottles of cider and some other items including a small bottle of Eau de Vie de Cidre and a bottle of Cerises à l’ Eau de Vie (cherries in cider liquor). On the way out we paused to admire and photograph the view across town and noted a windmill on a hilltop on the other side of town. We had seen it mentioned somewhere and decided to try to reach it.

LamballeDriving to the supermarket took us back through town and out the other side. Shopping done, we headed for Trébry and were lucky enough to pass close by the windmill. We missed the correct turn but went up the next street and found a parking spot near a path that led back to the windmill. The path was lined with blackberry bushes so we harvested a good few of those to add to our dinner menu.

Back in Trébry we enjoyed a simple dinner of fresh bread, cheese, sausage, dates, olives, blackberries, nougat and red wine or cider as we preferred. After a fine lunch we needed nothing more complicated to complete another enjoyable day.

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