France: Day 7, Rochefort-en-Terre

We drove near­ly 400km into Brittany along the west coast of France to Rochefort en Terre, a small town of only about 600 peo­ple.

Normally this would take about four hours, but the high­ways have a 130km/h lim­it (off­set by a toll to access the high­way), and this cut an hour off our trav­el time. Not that it mat­tered, as the French coun­try­side is won­der­ful to watch, pop­u­lat­ed with hills and a vari­ety of colour­ful foliage. There are also end­less cows roam­ing the pas­tures; I final­ly under­stood why cheese, but­ter, choco­late, and cream are so promi­nent in French cui­sine.

It’s strange to be in a place that’s so remote. To go for orga­nized sports, you have to dri­ve to the near­est city, which is 30 min­utes away. At the same time, all the ameni­ties are a 5‑minute stroll away. There’s no traf­fic here, no light pol­lu­tion, and no noise save for a bark­ing dog or two. In this part of the world, the cul­ture is rich in his­to­ry, but the life is rel­a­tive­ly untouched by the com­pli­ca­tions of urban liv­ing.


The first cat I’ve seen in a week. He’s grown old and docile, and luck­i­ly, this means you can pick him up, put him in your lap, and he’ll be just as hap­py as by the wood burn­ing stove.

door mat

Doormats are fre­quent­ly embed­ded in the front entrance, in or out­side of the house.


Brioche, a French bread made heavy from extra egg and but­ter. Had as a snack between lunch and din­ner, as din­ner tends to be much lat­er. Perfect for spread­ing but­ter or jam, and fre­quent­ly served with choco­late.

standing in doorway


filet mignon du porc

Filet mignon de porc, served with a cream sauce with sauteed mush­rooms and cubes of lar­don.


Chocolate creme fraiche pots. The creme fraiche gives it a very rich and slight­ly cheesy taste.

The Villa

The biggest treat in Rochefort en Terre was the vil­la I stayed in. It’s my dream prop­er­ty; lots of her­itage and per­son­al­i­ty, but the inside is clean, mod­ern, and wired. The near­est lake is a 10-minute walk away, and the near­est ocean is a 20 minute dri­ve. It was­n’t hard to relax when I could warm my feet by the wood burn­ing stove.

stone house


ensuite bathroom

My ensuite bath­room. Notice how the toi­let tank is built into the wall, which makes for eas­i­er cleanup. Genius. Also, the lit­tle off-kil­ter yin-yang on the wall above it is the but­ton for flush­ing. The white porce­lain rack is a heater that can be used to keep your­self warm when bathing.

kids bedroom

One of the kids bed­rooms.

kitchen view 1

Stainless steel appli­ances and gran­ite kitchen tops = hot­ness.

kitchen view 2


master bedroom

Master bed­room. The stone wall was part of the orig­i­nal design (the house used to be a doc­tor’s office), but even­tu­al­ly cov­ered with wall­pa­per by sub­se­quent own­ers. As part of the most recent ren­o­va­tions, the wall­pa­per was removed from that side of the rooms, and is now a com­mon motif through­out the house that gives it a nice rus­tic feel.

master bathroom

The mas­ter bath­room, with jacuzzi hot tub.

villa back view

The view from a third-floor win­dow, fac­ing the back of the house.

Europe 2010 travel diaries


  1. Ah, looks like a won­der­ful spot to rest. Beautiful look­ing house and grounds. (kit­ty scratch) for kit­ty.

  2. I con­fess I pre­fer things not updat­ed, but man, that is a great bath­room!

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