This week I came home from my very first holiday without a member of my family. Going on holiday is a small thing to mist – it’s something most of my friends have done. But it’s something that’s taken me many years to accomplish. A few years ago, I was having panic attacks daily and even going to university in my home city was a struggle.
But last week, I went to France with a friend, something that seemed impossible not long ago, and I had one of the most incredible times of my life.
Location, location, location.
On Thursday evening, we took an overnight Brittany Ferry across the English Channel to a little town in Brittany called Roscoff. A charming place with stunning architecture, Roscoff is the picturesque image you might have in your head when you think of villages in France. In fact, when I arrived in the centre of the city, I told my friend that it reminded me of the village in Beauty and the Beast. It was 8:30 in the morning and I was half-convinced that the locals would soon burst through their doors, singing a version of “Belle” complete with artisan baker bringing out fresh bread, women wearing aprons and holding wicker baskets, and Gaston riding through the small streets on his horse.
Roscoff appealed to me as a first lonesome holiday destination for a few reasons:
- It was close enough to where I live to feel comfortable.
- I always prefer small cities and towns to larger ones. I love the community atmosphere and large cities are just the WORST.
- It has links to one of my favourite historical figures. Roscoff is said to be the place where the 6-year-old Mary Queen of Scots disembarked from Scotland following her engagement to the future King Francis II of France. Roscoff is also home to the house known as “that of Mary, Queen of Scots.”
If our holiday could be described in one word, then it’s “restaurants.” We’re both big foodies so the array of restaurants available to us at our hotel’s doorstep probably excited us more than anything else. We probably ate two 3-course meals on most days.
I feel like this whole blog post would just be about food if I talked about every restaurant and what we ate so instead, I’m going to post a few pictures below and recommend a few of our favourite places.
- Les Arcades – A beautiful restaurant specialising in seafood.
- La Baie d’ Halong – A Vietnamese retaurant.
- Pizzeria Marie Stuart – Shockingly, this is a pizzeria.
- La Route des Vins – The most stunning wine and tapas bar.
- Pause Café – The perfect café for breakfasts, fresh bread, and pastries.
I would also like to give a special mention to the hotel continental breakfast. I only went once but it was incredible. Croissants, madeleines, crepes, pain au chocolat, eggs, yoghurt, toast, fruit, cheese, cold meats. Honestly…I’m drooling just thinking about quiet early mornings with freshly prepared pastries.
The Jardin Exotique de Roscoff
The garden is just a short walk from the ferry port and is just as gorgeous in the autumn as I imagine it is in the summer. The tranquil space is home to over 3000 species of plants including cacti, flowers, and eucalyptus trees.
Following the 23-point route set out, we explored the garden with glee despite the increasing winds and chill. We soon came to a set of steps leading to the top of an 18-metre rock – a stunning view unfortunately spoiled by the fact I got very pissed the night before, got cramp in both my legs as I slept, and was in a world of pain as I tried to climb the stairs.
By far and away my favourite spot in the garden was by the pond, bridge, and water feature. To me, it recalled the paintings of Monet and I think I could have stayed there on the bridge, watching the koi forever.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go to the Isle de Batz, visit the thalassotherapy centre, or go to the beach. That’s one of the bad things about Brittany in the autumn – the weather seems to take over. On the up-side, I loved being able to wander the town, visit the Boite de Livres daily, explore the local shops and restaurants, and relax. I’m usually someone who goes into something with a plan, but this was spontaneous, and I only did what I felt like doing. It was surprisingly liberating, and I can’t wait to go back. Perhaps in the summer this time…
I’m now going to leave you with 3 stupid things that came out of my mouth whilst on holiday. Enjoy!
- “Maybe we should go to a shop and get you a swimmies.” (I forgot the phrase “swimming costume.”)
- “I don’t know what this is. It sort of tastes like butter but it also kind of tastes like garlic.” (My friend then helpfully pointed out it was a garlic butter sauce.)
- “Is the church open on a Sunday?