Vannes, the gateway to the Gulf of Morbihan!!!

Indeed, it is the gateway to the Gulf of Morbihan and more! Vannes is our capital city and I need to update this post from 2013 with links and text on my black and white series as sights and pictures are elsewhere in my blog already. Hope you enjoy the reading and do stop by when possible. 

It was another excuse to go where I work, and have it as a holiday lol! I am really on vacation but always the last minute road warrior.  Yesterday, we needed to do some errands and shop, so I gather my father and boys and drag along the streets and stores of Vannes.  Its a magical city full of shops and restos all over, and yesterday it was vibrantly full. A nice summer day with temps in the 28°C and sunny. We drove by car of course, and went thru the back door on blvd de la paix, got on rue de la fontaine and found parking on the street payable but for 2 euros spent 6 hrs! And as everything is nearby on foot is heaven.

Again, Vannes means Gwened if use the Breton language as Morbihan is small sea, mor=sea bihan=small, in French, petite mer; and you are welcome to my region, Degemer Mat !!

We went to the Church of St Patern (see post), is the second most popular after the Cathedral and it is gorgeous as well. In a very quaint old city side full of shops and restos, where we ate too. The church is in the St Patern neightborhood and was name after the first bishop of Vannes in the 5C.  The church was destroyed by Norman invasion in the 10C,and rebuilt in 1723. To visit and walk around its neighborhood is a delight that I recommend.

We wandered all over the side streets,like Méné, pl des lices,de la Fontaine,de halles, Francis Decker, and the ramparts with the old castle ruins still visible plus a look at the entrance to the chateau de l’Hermine , 5 rue porte de poterne (see post). We did some shopping in the covered market by pl des lices, and visit la Belle Illoise, La Trinitaine , the ice cream gourmand Alain Chartier, Monoprix store in pl jacques le Brix, la huche à pains bakery, and a brief visit to the museum of history and archeology at Chateau Gaillard. (see post).

Got a nice shot of my regional government building or Préfecture du Morbihan, this is the official one, that is for govt employees and official functions, there is another one where the citizens go in for our daily routine as driver’s license,voting,etc. at pl de la République. .

Did I said, we ate, yes at the St Patern neighborhood and a wonderful find; Le Gavroche, (see post) a traditional French restaurant with terrrace in the back, with friendly Breton welcome of a brandy of rum and honey for free as a digestif! It is at 17 rue de la Fontaine, and we had steaks with cook vegetables, potatoes, grimbergen beers for five, coffee for five, and desserts from créme brulée to ice creams of many sorts all for 19 euros per person. 

Boys did go and shop at Empire Games  (now closed memories only) a sort of star wars scenes of games and figurines, t-shits etc. ; all chic and different by pl des lices; very nice friendly service. Another store Japanim is by 14 Bis Rue Emile Burgault  that offers lots of mangas, dvd, cups, etc of the japanese genre of games and movies. My son’s favorite !

We did our usual majestic drive by the porte de Poterne into the remparts to inner city that is always magical  going thru there.  And,of course see the old fortifications and the tour du Connétable majestic rising over the remparts gardens. (see post).

In Vannes ,we did our grocery shopping at E Leclerc with my sons and had a between meal meal at a nice cafeteria  we have seen and now was the time to try it. Le Vénélis cafeteria grill (this is closed and is now Flunch cafeteria which we have tried too)  is very friendly smiling staff, and great food at wonderful prices. We had boeuf bourguignone, spaghetti meatballs for some, and breast of duck for others, with a bottle of beaujolais nouveau red, bottle water Evian, sodas such as fanta and coca cola , desserts from natural fruits including kiwis, to passion fruit desserts, and coffee expresso for less than 18 euros per person.

In late afternoon we continue our walks passing by some of our favorite stores and streets such as 

La Belle Illoise, fish canning local ,wonderful; 31 place des lices, La Trinitaine, cookies biscuits ,breton sweets, deco, souvenirs,and fish canning too, glorious at 19 place des lices. Alain Chartier chocolatier and glacier ,ice creams gourmands, mâitre chocolatier de France at 25 place des lices, and also a school of cooking desserts. Monoprix, discount dept store at place Joseph le Brix. La Huche à Pains, the best bakery at 23 Place des Lices. 

And we move on for late dinner at Villa Valencia. 3 Rue Bienheureux Pierre René Rogues ,where I had my filet mignon pork in a wok oriental style, and the kids had their pizzas , a bottle of Charles Pain, Chinon red wine , banana splits desserts and coffee for 24 euros per person.

We went home but next day came back to Vannes so will put it together here. We stop by Le Port for lunch at one of our favorite places, A l’aise  Breizh Café on top of the Capitanerie du port (harbormaster). We had our mussels =moules with the local guimennée sausages and fries, with  kouign–amannbreton sweet with a ball of apple ice cream ,and banana splits, plus a bottle of muscadet from Sauvion, for less than 22 euros per person.

Again with the boys we needed to stop at Japanim, japanese cartoon,mangas the works from Japan, at 14 Bis Rue Emile Burgault for more mangas books! We passed by the quant nice covered market or marché couvert des lices at pl des lices. We did some tablecloths shopping at La Tapenalgue, 23 Rue des Halles , wonderful gifts of Brittany and foods items locally done. The store is in the old section very nice quant area to walk too, our favorite. Now own by Aux Mille Délices of Lorient. Even if now closed we stop by our favorite shopping store  Michel Loizeau was at pl Henri IV , the house dates from the 15C! Here we had our Breton winter clothing, bags ,umbrellas,and belts of the finest local quality. 

Through the meandering hilly cobblestone streets of old Vannes we love to walk it ,however, if feeling tired , we never but, dont forget the petit train, or little train that can take you past these places to get a general feel of the city if time is short, of course, walking is best.

We decided to try a different eating place this time for dinner, and having passed by the pizzeria, we took the plunge into .It was a wonderful discovery as the service was fast and friendly, the food was excellent and with big portions, the place was full of local folks most with families. This Pizzeria Don Camillo at 20 rue du port, by the Le Port area across from the canal and the tourist office. We like it so much came back second time same week, once we like something ,we are very hard to let go, the couple owners are a delight and fun to speak with regulars of many years ,who even come to sample the wines that will be serve on the menu book! This time it was a chardonnay from the Languedoc area, but we stuck with our Rosé of the Côtes de Provence, les Diamantines of Domaine de l’Estan , very inexpensive and delicious rosé for about 11€ the bottle.  We had  pizzas in mediterrannée with chorizos, and goat cheese samplers, with cafe gourmand, the expresso coffee with four different small portions of sweet from tiramisu, mousse au chocolat, apple pie, and babba rhum cake, and the beforemention bottle of rose wine all for less than 19 euros per person!

And we came home again, as usual by now a regular routine in my Vannes from to Pluvigner. You will love it at Vannes,capital city of the Morbihan in my lovely Bretagne and my belle France. Hope you enjoy the walks!

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on Vannes: https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/explorer-vannes/decouvrir-vannes/golfe-morbihan/vannes/

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist office on Vannes: http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/home/discover/morbihan/the-main-destinations/vannes

The city of Vannes on tourism in English: http://en.mairie-vannes.fr/

Now I feel better, all done and pretty , waiting for you to visit when possible of course. Vannes is worth it, one of the best jewels of Bretagne. Hope you enjoy the post as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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