Fran­cofile

En­joy a Bre­ton break in Rennes

France - - City Break -

GET­TING THERE

By ferry: Mark trav­elled to the UK from Le Havre to Portsmouth with Brit­tany Fer­ries. Cross-chan­nel fer­ries also serve Saint-malo, around 50km from Rennes. By air: Flybe op­er­ates daily flights to Rennes air­port from Lon­don Southend, start­ing at about £40 one-way. It’s an in­ex­pen­sive 20-minute bus ride from the air­port to the city cen­tre. By rail: There is a new TGV ser­vice to and from Paris that cuts the jour­ney time down to 1hr 25mins.

GET­TING AROUND

Rennes is a cy­cle-cen­tric city with its pi­o­neer­ing Vélo-star bike-shar­ing scheme and there are plans to in­tro­duce more elec­tri­cally as­sisted bi­cy­cles. Oth­er­wise, there is a sin­gle Métro line and 149 bus routes to serve the met­ro­pol­i­tan area.

WHERE TO STAY

Mark stayed at: Hô­tel le Magic Hall 17 Rue de la Quin­taine 35000 Rennes Tel: (Fr) 2 99 66 21 83 lemagichall.com A former bar­racks that was con­verted into an art-house cin­ema and af­ter­wards into a small, de­li­ciously quirky three-star ho­tel that of­fers ex­cel­lent food, art ex­hi­bi­tions, mu­sic con­certs and a lot more. A deluxe dou­ble room from €118 per night.

WHERE TO EAT

Mark ate at: Crêperie La Sain­tGe­orges 11 rue du Chapitre, 35000 Rennes Tel: (Fr) 2 99 38 87 04 creperie-sain­tge­orges.fr The chic mod­ern dé­cor within one of the city’s old­est build­ings is in keep­ing with the con­tem­po­rary take on tra­di­tional cui­sine. Even with a sec­ond restau­rant on the other side of the Vi­laine, book­ing is es­sen­tial. Open for lunch and din­ner from Tuesday to Satur­day in­clu­sive. Spe­cial­ity galettes start from €10.20.

Le 2 Rue des Dames

2 Rue des Dames, 35000 Rennes Tel: (Fr) 2 99 03 61 06 le2ruedes­dames.fr Cosy, friendly lit­tle restau­rant right op­po­site the Of­fice du Tourisme in the heart of the his­toric cen­tre. Fresh, cre­ative cui­sine (€25 for three-course even­ing menu) to suit most dis­cern­ing palates. Open for lunch and din­ner Tuesday to Satur­day in­clu­sive, but lim­ited space so reser­va­tion is ad­vis­able.

WHERE TO VISIT

Mont-saint-michel Less than an hour from Rennes by easy roads and just across the bor­der with Nor­mandy lies the re­mark­able World Her­itage Site that sees more than three mil­lion tourists visit each year.

Saint-malo

A short train-ride or roughly 45 min­utes by road, Saint-malo is the most vis­ited place in Brit­tany. The old walled city, beau­ti­fully re­stored af­ter the in­ten­sive Al­lied bom­bard­ments dur­ing World War II, is par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive.

TOURIST IN­FOR­MA­TION: Des­ti­na­tion Rennes Of­fice de Tourisme; 11 Rue Saint-yves, 35000 Rennes; Tel: (Fr) 2 99 67 11 11; tourisme-rennes.com

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