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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