Sunday, February 01, 2009

My favourite town in Brittany

I've talked about Quimper before; in fact anyone who knows me knows that I go on about it quite a lot. I've frequently said (never let it be said that I don't repeat myself) that I wish it had been where we had settled, although there is a major drawback in living there - well two in fact. One is that because it is so lovely houses are very very expensive and the other is that because guidebooks often refer to it as the jewel in Brittany's crown, in the popular months you can hardly move for tourists.

Whenever I go there I take my camera and usually end up taking the same pictures as the previous time - except in this case where I think there is only one repeat. Quimper (pronounced Campair) really has the wow factor. There are lots of beautiful places in Brittany but this is my own Ticks All The Boxes one.
This is the main approach into the olde worlde part in the centre
This is a patissiere that sells nothing but French macaroons
These are three perfectly preserved medieval houses
Do you see the little Madonna in the alcove above the street sign?
This is a shop that sells nothing but the faience for which Quimper is famous
This is the courtyard outside the museum of beautiful Breton costumes and antiquities. Unfortunately I couldn't remember how to set my camera for a museum setting and therefore could not use it to capture the beautiful exhibits of old Breton national dress. Next time, I promise.
On the way back to the car we passed a little shop that had all these miniatures of Breton national costume. These costumes are worn on special days throughout the year and I'll try and take some pictures in the summer at one of the dance festivals.

33 comments:

natural attrill said...

What beautiful buildings!
P.x

Brother Tobias said...

What a beautiful town. Kind of 'Bruges meets Shrewsbury'. I had a much loved cereal/soup Quimper bowl with 'Robert' on it (my second name, but we always pronounced it the French way). Sadly it got cracked!

French Fancy said...

Blimey, Pen, I must come along and say hello to you and Toby. It's been too long.

x

LadyFi said...

Love the shots... very medieval, very French, very... mmm.. gorgeous!

Larry M. Brow said...

My summer bicycling in France, Quimper was nearly the last stop. I remember it rained (which we had been spared for several weeks), the fancy lace headresses weren't much in evidence, and the city seemed really big after the villages of the interior. We should have scheduled more time there, but alas, tourists in July....

A Woman Of No Importance said...

So lovely, FF, thanks so much for introducing us to Quimper.

We almost went there once for a holiday, but the company we had booked with had gone bust, so we ended up in Paris (as usual!).

I love the faience...and the patisseries!

Dumdad said...

I know of the place but have never been. I really ought to.

lakeviewer said...

I just found you via another blog I can't remember. Love the pictures, the prose, the French vacation I am taking again just by surfing over to your posts. Bonjour.

Lane said...

Wow. What a place. I can see why you would have wanted to live there - it's beautiful!

Steve said...

I feel like I've been on a mini tour without spending any money and everyone spoke the same langauage... thank you!

Troy said...

What a marvellous place and I'm glad you've told us how to pronounce it!

Completely Alienne said...

It looks absolutely beautiful - I shall add it to my list of places I have to visit sometime.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

We contemplated buying a B&B in the area but did not go ahead with the idea. Cannot remember why. I've always wanted to go to Quimper and now I know why. You see I am right about there being a time portal between there (maybe one of the medieval houses) and Newcastle's Lit and Phil library. Absolutely perfect! :)

Mama said...

Quimper is beautiful FF it reminds me of Bruges too. HB Henriot's china shop looks wonderful and they deliver to the USA :-)
7 chocolatiers and nothing but French macaroons sounds very tempting, A truly delightful day out, thank you for taking us along. Kathy.

Blu said...

Hi French Fancy, I havnt been there yet but as you know I adore where I live, Fougeres. I hope some day to visit Kwimper..thats what my Mum calls it hee hee. It looks a delight.

PS I have tagged you. Take care Blu xx

nikkicrumpet said...

OH man...the whole town looks like a gorgeous painting!! It would be so cool to see someplace that beautiful.

lady jicky said...

OMG - I want to go there now! Ms Fancy I can see why you would love to live there and I bet Poppy would be a good doggie and send my Kenzo some macaroons ! He, he.

Henry the Dog said...

I've just posted a comment on Blu's blog saying that mum really wants to visit that part of France, and after seeing your photos she wants to go even more. She says she'll probably go in the spring before it gets too busy. It looks soooo pretty.

Jennysmith said...

What a beautiful place, FF. No wonder its your favourite. Always been in awe of Britany as Roman Polanski filmed Tess there and at the time i swore it was Dorset. I love that film. its never shown tho' xxxxxx

cheshire wife said...

Quimper looks stunning. We must do Brittainy some time. We only recently found out how easy it is to get to France on the ferry when we won a break in the Loire Valley and now we are hooked.

French Fancy said...

BroTob - Isn't it rotten when something one loves gets cracked or chipped. It's funny you mentioned Bruges because the other night we rented the DVD of In Bruges - an excellent bkack comedy.

LadyFi - my photos don't do it justice - all around you are these little cobbled streets and beautiful medieval buildings - but the shops are chic, fun and include lots of shoe shops and chocolate shops - French Fancy heaven.

Hello Larry - you seldom see the lace headdresses being worn - on feast days and special dance festivals the Bretons dress up - at the end of July is a very big festival in Quimper and all the costumes are out.

AWONI - I can recommend if for a holiday because you are only about 30mins from the coast and there are other lovely towns nearby.

Dumdad - It's worth a visit - on a beautiful spring or summer day. Whenever we plan a day out somewhere it's there I want to go to - even though I've been there so many times - I just never get sick of it.

lakeviewer - hello there - you'll find a few other blogs about France along my sidebar. I'll pop by and see you soon.

Lane - when we are there I always look in estate agents' windows - but it really is out of the question. It's like Hampstead or Chelsea - but in France, if you know what I mean.

Steve- I should put photos on more often really but I always enjoy the ritual of searching for an image to include with my posts. I'll try and do more French stuff now and then

Troy - I remember going to a collectables fair at St Albans once and going on about the 'Kwimper' pottery that was for sale. The thing is that the people selling it didn't even correct me - maybe they didn't know either.

CA - I thoroughly recommend it. The costume and faience museum is a manageable size, the art gallery has interesting things such as letters from Cocteau to Picasso and the faience factory itself has a tour - although I've never managed to catch it. Lots of people watching, al fresco dining, street theatre sometimes - but all with the backdrop of these beautiful buildings

Hadriana - if only you had - oh, to have almost bought in Quimper...
It's like my mum almost bought a little coffee bar in Carnaby Street just before it took off - although my dad talked her out of it. If only...

Mama - oh, the shoe shops - they have lots of one-off shops, not part of a big chain and it is all very tempting. The HB Henriot shop is wonderful - they do a factory tour but we've never coincided our visits to when they are open.

Blu - Yes, Fougeres is a beauty spot as well. We almost went there on our Ile de Vilaine hol last autumn. We went to La Gacilly but for some reason missed Vitre and Fougere. I'd better not pop to you for the tag until I've carried on a bit more with my essay. But I will be along.

nikki - Perhaps you'll be able to do a European trip one day. I'd like to see New York and also the West Coast again. I love the States actually - but everywhere is wonderful on a holiday.

ladyj - you see such cute little dogs there - it's quite a chi-chi place and the locals and their dogs reflect that.

Henry, We want to see more of France too. So far we've 'done' the Loire, The Cote D'Azure, Annecy over on the Swiss border, Limoges and a lot of Brittany. We'd like to go to Bordeaux which I think is your neck of the woods.I'd like to go to the Champagne region as well - on a tour of the bottling plants :)

Jen - I didn't know that 'Tess' was set in Brittany. I've not seen it for years but of course want to see it now.

cheshire wife - it's ever so easy to get here and well worth a visit.We're the bit of France that so many French seem to want to holiday in.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I feel like I was almost there with you ;-)

French Fancy said...

Anonymous - :p

Cynthia said...

What a nice tour! Wish I could be there...rather, in the warmer season...;-)

French Fancy said...

Cynthia - you're better off where you are - especially now that I've seen the waterfalls.

Marie Reed said...

I would love to see some pictures! I was just looking up the Bogoudin coiffe yeterday online! We don't have anything like that in this part of France:)

Phil Lowe said...

That's it! I am packing up all my worldy good (singular) and heading Quimper bound. Looks great!

Merisi said...

Thank you for sharing these images with us! Although I love Quimper Faience, I have never seen pictures of the town.

I came here thanks to David's Authorblog: congratulations on your POD spot!

Moannie said...

And I thought the best of France wa south of Lyon...not my fault, JP won't recognise the north as the same country [grimace and pout].Not much chance of seeing it now with a dog that gets car sick, so thankyou for these pictures...lucky girl to live somewhere that beautiful.

POTD Wheeeeeeeeee!!!!Me too.

French Fancy said...

Marie - you reminded me that I want to pay a visit to see the ladies in their Bogoudin headresses this year. I've only ever seen their stovepipe lace contraptions in photos. Thanks for tweaking my memory.

Phil - anyone I have taken there has fallen in love with it. It is not just charming - there are plenty of charming little towns in France, it just has that extra something and it's nothing to do with all the shoe shops that I just adore.

Merisi - hello there and thanks for stopping by. I had no idea David had given me a mention. He's a sterling chap :)

Moannie - what a shame your car travel days are over. Our two bichons just love travelling in their lookout seats at the back - as we pull up alongside other cars they launch into their 'aren't we cute and noisy act' and we watch the cameras come out.

Congrats to you and it was on your post that was very special to me as well.

Poutalicious said...

Congrats on your mention by David in POTD. I enjoyed my visit here. Quimper is a charming place.

Aren O. Týr said...

Wonderful. These are the types of places that actually need careful protection to preserve their character from endless "development" and "modernisation"!

French Fancy said...

Poutalicious - what a lovely name you have. Thanks for that.

Aren - hello matey -the French are very good about preserving their heritage - each town has a big budget for 'patrimonie' and it goes towards the upkeep of these beautiful places. My photos are not as lovely as the things they are trying to show - Quimper is an exquisite place.