Enjoy a Breton break in Rennes
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.
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.
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