Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Another feast ... this time Oysters

Here, at the Oyster Farm at Larmor-Baden on the coast near Vannes, is the best example of the Breton flag (regional flat of Brittany) flying that I have been able to find. I found a bit of info about the design and meaning here, if you're interested in flags ...

Motorhomes are permitted to stay overnight on the big gravel parking lot at the back of the oyster farm and when we arrived - fairly early as we like to do - we were the only folk there and had our pick of parkings. I like that. I love the space to breathe. Especially in warm weather. As soon as seat belts are released I'm back there opening the sky light, windows and doors to flood the fresh air in.

I have an Irish story which indicates that this fresh air addiction may well be another South African weirdity. Some years ago, good friends of ours from Pietermaritzburg in Kwa-Zulu Natal, where I used to live, came to see us in Ireland. On their way to Connemara, they diverted to Cork for interesting ancestoral reasons. The first thing they did on entering their room at a B&B was to fling the windows wide open - as you do. The landlady rushed in, closed the windows, saying: "I know you're South African, but we like to keep the windows closed to keep the bees out". Yeah, well, habits die hard and I often think of that incident with a chuckle.

We thought we were going to be the only ones there for the night ... ha ha ha. This is how full it ended up being ... that's us squished in the middle. Not really our scene to stay in such an overcrowded space, but the pull of a fresh seafood dinner was too strong!

And there were more motorhomes on the other side of the parking lot too ... I think nine in total parked up for the night. Eeek. France is a very motorhome-friendly country and folk sure make good use of their hospitality.

During our afternoon walk-around we sussed out the restaurant built on the edge of, and a wee bit into, a walled-in oyster pool.

Being eager beavers - and hungry to boot - we arrived early so got the pic of tables. The clouds were looking a little dicey though but we took our chances and settled in for a long and delicious meal.

Just as the delicacies arrived and were arranged on our table, the rain started in earnest and there was a mad scuttle of all the diners to move food and drink to tables set out beneath an awning ... quite likely set up for just an event! It reminded me of the Johnny Cash movie where his brother and himself had a little saying in their youth, something like: "I saved my feathers for just such an occasion".

So what do you think of this as a seafood platter? We loved it! Those little blighters in the middle, in the red dish, were a blighter to extract to eat though. We finished the meal with a traditional sweet of Far cake and caramel sauce, a Breton speciality. I found this desciption, and image, online: "Far Breton is a traditional cake or dessert from the Brittany region in France. Its base is similar in composition to a clafoutis batter: a flan-style eggs-and-milk custard with flour added. Prunes or raisins are common additions."

Before the rain started, the tide was out and this was our view of the oyster pool:

Then the tide started coming in and the water began to spill over:

Heavier and heavier, until you wouldn't know there was a pool there.

The pics below are just some of the equipment used at the farm. All fairly self explanatory. Sadly there was no facility for learning what was used for what and how.

And so, next morning, we were off fairly early, heading back to St Gilda's for the last of our lovely much-needed rest days. Even Bridie got good at resting and sleeping. When she wasn't draped on one of the front seats waiting for whichever of us had left the motorhome, she was as chilled and cool-dog as we were ... even resting her head on the steering wheel.

Our next reason to start the ignition was to move in to Melody, the leisure home we have bought, on the west coast of Finistère, as our travel base.

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