After a great week staying at Hotel du Lac in Combourg and cycling around the pretty French countryside, I was looking forward to visiting Saint-Malo before getting on the ferry for home.
This is because like last year we would have some time to kill before we sailed to explore Saint-Malo. The cobbled streets are not great to cycle on, particularly when laden down with heavy pannier bags, it was a little like doing the Paris-Roubaix – it’s a cycling thing 😉 Plus it gets a bit busy with tourists milling around and lots of one-way streets. In the end, we ended up walking and pushing the bikes instead.
One reason why I was looking forward to going to Saint-Malo was because last year I had come, quite by chance, upon a little chocolate/macaron shop by the name of Philippe Bouvier. I bought the smallest box of chocolates which were excellent and not terribly expensive. This time I bought the next size up box. I asked the very nice young gentleman in the shop if he could perhaps recommend a place to eat for lunch.
As it so happened, he knew of a fantastic place but to give it another hour or so as they would be very busy at that time of the day. He came outside and instructed me on where to go and the name of the establishment. Bergamote Salon de thé and crêperie right opposite the cathedral.
He was right, it was packed and no tables were available so I asked a very nice waiter if we could book for later. No problem, come back in three quarters of an hour says he. So we had a mooch around, which again was difficult with the bikes but managed to heave them up on to the town’s walls to watch the incredibly windy and choppy waters which we were soon to be sailing on. Gulp.
The waiters at Bergamote were all very friendly, as the man in the shop told me they would be. We sat outside which is where I originally asked for. The side of the restaurant opened up which made us feel as if we were all in the same room.
As it’s more of a creperie and galette kind of place we didn’t order any. Haha. Crazy I suppose but they’re not our favourite thing. Luckily they have other meals available such as omelettes, salads and tarts too. I chose the special of the day which was ‘tart végétarienne and Geoff, the bacon and eggs.
I had a nice glass of white wine whereas Geoff just had a coke. Also a bottle of tap water as we had been cycling for much of the day and it had been wonderfully hot for an October day.
My tart contained all the vegetables which I hadn’t had all week. Although we had very nice meals at our hotel, plus at other eating establishments at lunch time in various little country villages, they all lacked vegetables. We saw fields and fields of vegetables while out cycling so it makes you wonder.
The pastry was very nice although there didn’t appear to be much of it as I think all the veg had soaked into it – this is not a complaint, just an observation. The tart contained courgettes, red and yellow peppers, thyme and even raisins. But with this came a lovely large salad with grated carrot and fresh mixed salad leaves and cherry tomatoes. It was all very tasty.
Geoff’s bacon and fried egg were served upon slices of thin toast, a bit like bruschetta, plus much to his horror a large salad, he’s not a salad eater so I had to have some of it.
Inside Bergamote it looks typically French with mahogany furniture and a large counter, large mirrors etc., Fresh lillies in glass vases upon the tables and the waiters all looked like… French waiters. At 4pm it was still chockablock, so it seems quite popular.
The desserts looked smashing when we saw what the people on the table behind us were having. I chose le fondant au chocolat. This was a very moist (but not soggy and not heavy) chocolate sponge which was very light, topped with a thin layer of rich dark chocolate which was smooth and creamy. A shot glass on the plate contained whipped cream with a crispy piece of crêpe stuck in it and the whole thing was drizzled with a caramel sauce.
Geoff chose délice aux framboise. This was a soggy sponge base topped with mousse and fresh raspberries and a thick layer of soft and fluffy meringue and dusted with icing sugar. They also had scones and of course there were umpteen different crêpes available.
I had a nice coffee at the end of the meal. It was rather a nice place to eat at and I was glad that I had been recommended it. Although of course, there are many, many places to eat at in Saint-Malo, this will be my go-to restaurant.
Then it was time to head to the ferry terminal which is very close by and once on board we had our annual treat of a very nice meal in the restaurant.
Loving life, loving cake