April 2017. Our first BBQ of the year ended with yet another stunning sunset. Please note that no colour enhancing editing was used in the making of this picture.
April 2017. We took advantage of the sunshine to do an 8km walk at the Lac de Guerledan. Here's a distant view of the Beau Rivage beach, restaurants and play park.
March 2017. Warren popped to Guidel for lunch on the beach after a trip to the DIY shop in Lorient. As you can see, it was a bit busy! In fact, it doesn't get much busier than this, even in the summer.
March 2017. The daffs are out at Gites Guebernez and it's feeling very spring like. Warren's been sorting out the gardens ready for our first guests of the season. We've still got weeks available for the Easter holidays and are giving a 10% discount (and a free Easter Egg Hunt) so come on over...
February 2017. Our lovely cats, Toffee and Muji, are a massive hit with children that come to stay with us at Guebernez. They love the attention, especially Muji, and miss having everyone around in the winter months.
February 2017. It's the time of year when the gites are usually empty and we get the chance to do some maintenance and decorating, ready for the start of the season. Warren has been busy giving Le Pressoir a bit of a sprucing up and, while he was there, he took this photo from his phone of the beautiful blue sky and the view across Guebernez.
February 2017. We're really pleased and proud to have been selected as a Sawdays Special Places to Stay after an inspection a few weeks ago. This is what the Sawdays inspector says about us in the first line of her description: "Stylish rusticity and everything on tap, for walkers, cyclists and families in the green heart of Brittany - and the loveliest young hosts". We particularly like the last bit!
January 2017. We often recommend to our guests to pop in and see our friend Maggie who has a great little boutique in the nearby town of Guémené sur Scorff. She's just moved into a larger premises in the main street and is now selling lots of lovely gifts and locally made accessories as well as good quality second hand clothes. It's definitely worth a browse.
December 2016. The party barn was decorated with fairy lights and baubles for the annual Guebernez Christmas get together. Warren made his mulled wine and all our friends and neighbours joined us for mince pies and a bit of festive singing and dancing. Here's Freddie and friends joining in the fun.
October 2016. Brittany Ferries pulled out all the stops to celebrate Halloween on the October 30th St Malo-Portsmouth crossing. On board activities included a Halloween costume competition, pumpkin carving, face painting and a very funny (and a little bit frightening) puppet show. The kids loved it.
October 2016. Guests over this half term were treated to some beautiful autumnal mornings. This picture was taken from the lane from Guebernez. Absolutely stunning. The fog quickly cleared to become the perfect autumnal blue sky.
October 2016. This picture was taken from further along the lane and the early morning fog almost looks like water.
September 2016. We were pleased to welcome back the Winchester Ramblers to Gites Guebernez for another walking holiday. We chose some of the best walks in the region, with plenty of variety from rolling countryside and ancient forests to pretty thatched villages and stunning rocky coastal paths.
September 2016. One of my favourite pictures from the wallking week, and there were plenty to choose from.
September 2016. Beautiful blue skies joined the Winchester Ramblers when they took the boat across to one of the Morbihan gulf islands - Ile aux Moines. The coastal walk is magnificent, with stunning views all the way around and plenty of beaches for a rest stop and picnic lunch.
September 2016. For their last walk, the ramblers tackled a 13-mile route which takes in the Blavet River, forests, the pretty town of St Nicolas des Eaux, and this ancient druid chapel which defies gravity. Here they are, almost at the finish!
August 2016. Love this picture, taken at Pointe de la Torche, a Brittany beach popular not just for horse riding but for lots of other activities, including surfing, kite surfing, and sand boarding.
August 2016. A few challenges were incorporated into the Treasure Hunt this week. This challenge, you've guessed it, was a sack race.
August 2016. The revamped Treasure Hunt went down well with this motley crew. Good team work all round.
August 2016. This great café/bistro/bar has opened up not far from Guebernez. It's a great place to stop off on the way back from shopping in Pontivy. They often have live music too.
July 2016. Brittany doesn't have its own wines - only cider - but that didn't stop us having our very first wine tasting evening in the barn at Guebernez. Our local wine expert, Michel, who is the central Brittany rep for the Chateau Haut Meyreau in Bordeaux, brought along some of their best wines for us all to try. They were all good and very reasonably priced. Definitely something we'd organise again.
July 2016. Warren's band, the Firs, opened the very first Peace and Love Festival at the nearby village of Mellionnec. Around 2,500 people came along to watch six bands perform, enjoy the food and a great atmosphere. There are more photos on our Facebook page.
July 2016. Many past guests will recognise Loic and Brigitte, the owners of our village bar/restaurant, Chez Marie Thé. Here they are cheering on France in the semi-finals of the European Championships. The bar was packed, and for the final too, when they laid on a barbecue, overseen by the Mayor, and had a big screen in the restaurant. Great night, but a shame they didn't win. C'est la vie!
July 2016. Our youngest players were the winners of our first Guebernez boules tournament of summer 2016. Jamie, 9, and Freddie, 6, were the clear champions.
July 2016. We absolutely loved finding this message when we went to do a changeover after some guests from Leeds had left. Anyone who has stayed at Guebernez will recognise our 'bienvenue' signs and will be able to work out what they'd done. Very clever indeed. We think it should be a weekly contest to see who can come up with the best departing message.
July 2016. We discovered this great spot just outside La Trinité-sur-Mer where you can have a beer with your feet in the sand and with these fantastic views. It's Aux Terrasses de la Plage and will be added to our recommendations.
June 2016. One of our favourite spots, the bar and restaurant on the lake at Pont Samouel, is changing hands this summer and it's our lovely friends Patrick and Kathy who are taking it over. They've got lots of plans for the July opening, so we can't wait to go and check it out.
June 2016. The neighbouring village of Le Croisty hosted a 2CV festival, with hundreds of enthusiasts coming from all over Brittany and beyond to celebrate the cute little cars. There was a big meal for a thousand people, music till late and lots of 2CVs driving around the country roads all over the weekend.
June 2016. Since we moved to Guebernez 6 years ago we have advertised our gites on Owners Direct and many of our guests have found us through the website. Sadly, the company has changed hands and in the last few years a lot of changes have taken place, not all of them welcomed. From this month, Owners Direct has introduced a booking fee of 4%-8% to customers, despite charging us the same annual fee for our listing. Please book with us direct to avoid paying the service fee which we, and thousands of other owners, believe is unjustified. Hopefully they'll see sense and will drop it soon.
June 2016. Always on the look-out for new walks for our guests, and in particular for our walking holidays, we've found a beautiful coastal walk around the Ile aux Moins in the Gulf de Morbihan. We took the boat (10 mins, €5 return) from Lamor Baden and followed the well-signed coastal path around the whole of the island, stopping off for a picnic on a sandy beach which we had all to ourselves. It's definitely on the itinerary for when the Winchester Ramblers come back later this year.
May 2016. Having a little celebration today after finding out we've been selected for a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award for 2016 for our 'superior service'. Thank you to all of you who have been kind enough to leave reviews after your stay. It means a lot.
May 2016. The carnival was bigger and better than ever before and, as in previous years, the sun was shining. Thousands of people lined the streets of Guémené sur Scorff, the pretty Medieval town a 10-minute drive from us, watching all the fantastic floats come past and enjoying the music, singing, dancing, beer tents, fair ground rides and stalls. It's a shame it's only every two years.
May 2016. Freddie's favourite carnival float was this Super Mario themed one and some of our friends who were part of the dancing group. Such a lot of work goes into the floats and the dance routines. Forget the Disney Parade - it's all happening here in Brittany!
May 2016. All this time and we hadn't realised that Brittany's longest zip wire was just 25-minutes drive from Guebernez. It's part of a tree-top adventure at Ty Nadan and has, of course, been added to our list of things to see and do in the area. You can also explore the forest on all-terrain Segways, go kayaking down the Elle River, and spend the day at the indoor and outdoor pools, with slides. Here's a family friend, Maisie, on the last of the 13 zip wires. Warren and I did it too, but Maisie is much more photogenic.
May 2016. Young children don't miss out on the zip wire experience at Ty Nadan, as there's a special course for 4 to 8-year-olds. Freddie, pictured here, loved it.
May 2016. Some years we have maize, some we have wheat, and others peas, but this year the fields around Guebernez are home to cows, 16 of them. I took this photo from our picnic table but I'm hoping to get some better ones.
April 2016. Got a fabulous view of La Chapelle Saint Nicodème, a gothic church on a fantastic 20km walk we've been trying out for our walking holidays. It's on the list for the Winchester Ramblers who are coming in September.
March 2016. It didn't take long for this clever bunch to work out the clues and find the treasure - Easter eggs this week of course.
March 2016. Our first guests of 2016 arrived in time for the annual village Easter Egg hunt and, as usual, there were plenty of chocolate eggs to go around. Freddie managed to fill this entire bucket.
March 2016. The weather's looking promising for the arrival of our first guests in a few weeks. As you can see from this picture of the beach at Guidel, it's blue skies all the way and we even had our first al fresco lunch. Still got availability for the Easter holidays, so come on over, especially with Brittany Ferries doing a 'kids free' offer, and with our 20% discount for guests.
March 2016. We're particularly looking forward to getting back to our favourite spot on the Lac de Guerledan, the beach at Anse de Sordan. It's great for swimming and hiring a pedalo or kayak, and sitting on the terrace at Le Merlin restaurant, which is exactly where this photo is taken from. Roll on the summer.
March 2016. We very much missed the beautiful Lac de Guerledan last summer. The 8-mile long lake, Brittany's largest, was emptied for repairs to its dam and although it was quite a spectacle to see (see earlier posts in May 2015), we're pleased that it's now been re-filled and we can put it back on our list of 'things to see and do'.
March 2016. Here's another little taste of what you can expect from our new village baker. They're a lovely family (their child goes to Freddie's school) and they're always trying out new kinds of bread, cakes and pastries. My personal favourite are the giant meringues and Freddie loves the nutella-filled doughnuts. If you're coming to stay this summer, start slimming now!
January 2016. We're pleased to announce a new addition to Gites Guebernez from mid July. La Maison du Puits has four or five bedrooms (one is on the ground floor and can also be used as a children's play room), two bathrooms, and a large open-plan living/dining room and kitchen. It will be our largest gite and will be great for larger families or two families sharing. Past guests will recognise it as our family house. Don't worry, we're not going anywhere - we'll be renting our neighbour's cottage so we'll still be around when you need us.
December 2015. The barn came into its own again this year for our Christmas party. We got a tree from our local wood supplier and decorated all the beams with fairy lights and holly from the garden. Warren made some mulled wine and, needless to say, everyone was merry. Happy Christmas and Happy New Year to you all and hope to see you in 2016.
November 2015. Together with friends at the Seek le Chic boutique and the Sabots Rouges restaurant in Guémené sur Scorff, we organised a fashion show for breast cancer awareness. It was a really fun night, with around 40 models of all ages, shapes and sizes, and a very supportive audience. We had a raffle and an auction, with prizes donated from our local cinema, other nearby restaurants, bars, shops, Brittany Ferries and Ryanair. Altogether we raised just under €1,600. As you can see, we even made it into the local paper.
October 2015. Much to Freddie's delight, it was time to pick the pumpkins from the veg patch and get them ready for Halloween. The soup was delicious too.
October 2015. We're pleased to announce that our local village of Ploerdut has a bakers again. A lovely family has taken over and they're baking better bread and baguettes than ever before - and also delicious croissants, brioche, pastries and cakes too (our waistlines are already feeling it!). Also, a local man, our friend Reme, is now baking amazing bread in the traditional bread oven in the village once a week for the Friday market. It's €5 a kilo but worth it.
September 2015. Taking advantage of the Indian summer (21 degrees and not a cloud in the sky) we decided to walk a stretch of the Morbihan coastline that we've not done before, taking in two of our favourite beaches - Plage St Nicolas and Plage de Tahiti at Raguenez. It was around 12kms there and back, over grassy clifftops, past rocky bays, long stretches of sandy beaches and deep sandy coves. Definitely another one for our walking holidays.
September 2015. Not surprisingly, we weren't the only ones walking this stretch of coastline. This happy group of walkers passed by as we were having our picnic stop.
September 2015. We're not sure how we've managed to miss this beach, which is right between two of our favourites. It's a tidal beach so perhaps we've only passed it in high tide. At low tide, it's absolutely stunning and pretty much deserted at this time of year.
September 2015. On our coastal walk we came across this group of painters, who had chosen a great little spot to capture the stunning views. Perhaps painting holidays will be our next project at Gites Guebernez?
August 2015. When my Mum visited, we decided to head back to the Gulf de Morbihan and, this time, take one of the boat trips. This one took us on a 1hr 30 min tour before stopping at Ile d'Arz for two hours and then on to Ile-aux-Moines for the rest of the day. Both of them were beautiful. Here's Freddie on his way to the Grand Plage on Ile-aux-Moines. It's the closest beach to the port, lined with little white beach huts, and a popular place for children to learn to sail.
August 2015. There are plenty of boat trips around the Gulf de Morbihan, but we decided it would be fun to explore it in a canoe. It was a great way to check out all the islands, nose at the amazing multi-million-euros houses, get close up to the oyster beds and discover little beaches and coves.
August 2015. We took a little trip in the camper van to Baden and stumbled across this fabulous little waterside restaurant, specialising in oysters, served simply with bread and a bottle of Muscadet. Delicious, and what a location.
August 2015. We spotted these fanstastic coffee sacks at a recent vide grenier (car boot) and knew they'd be a hit with the children. Here's our first sack race, won by 6-year-old Charlie from Lancing. Well done Charlie.
August 2015. We've discovered a great place for the kids only 30 minutes drive from Guebernez. It's in a beautiful setting and has loads of activities - go karts of all shapes and sizes, slides (one very steep), a little merry-go-round (which you pedal yourself), a train, petting zoo, donkey rides, an insect house, roundabouts, bikes, picnic area, a cafe, and lots more. It's only €6 entry (free for under 4s) and you could spend all day there. On our recommendation, several families staying this summer have since been and also loved it - and the fun park at Odet too.
August 2015. Freddie loved the rope bridge across the little stream, and the slide, and the climbing wall - in fact, everything except the big slide. He couldn't quite pluck up the courage. We'll definitely be going back and reckon he'll do it next time.
July 2015. Thanks to the fabulous work of Warren's Mum and Dad (thanks Alan and Glynis), our old wardrobe has been transformed into a puppet theatre. We used it to keep the children entertained at our wedding in May and now it's being well used by the families coming to stay at Guebernez this summer. Here are Freddie and friends taking their bow after their hilarious puppet show based on an X-Factor wedding and featuring a singing bride, a pirate, a tiny furry monster and Lionel Richie!!
July 14 2015. There are lots of festivals, mostly with fireworks, held on or around Bastille Day. This year we went down to the coast for the Fete de la Mer at Magouer, close to Etel. Around 1,000 people were there, enjoying entertainment from an all-male Breton choir and other bands, and feasting on fantastic seafood (see below). Etel is famous for tuna fishing, so of course tuna was on the menu.
July 2015. The meal was delicious. Langoustines, mayo, and bread to start, followed by seared tuna, baked potatoes and a rich buttery sauce, and a huge chocolate eclair for dessert, all washed down with an ice-cold bottle of Muscadet. Perfect, and only €13 a head.
July 2015. A weekend festival of Brazilian drumming and dance was held at one of the beaches at the Lac de Guerledan. It was part of a programme of events taking place this summer at the lake, which has been emptied for repairs to the dam and is attracting visitors from far and wide. Our French teacher, Joyce, who is Brazilian, was one of the percussionists who took part (front row, denim shorts). The sound was amazing and they played for hours.
July 2015. Just along the coast from Kerfany beach, one of our favourites, we found a lovely rocky beach with an island - Ile Percée - that you can walk out to when the tide is out. We did it as the sun set and it was stunning.
June 2015. Music events were held all over France for the annual Fete de la Musique. Warren's band played at a mini-festival at the Refuge de Loups (wolf sanctuary) near Silfiac and we all went along. The children did a Treasure Hunt around the forest, which took them past the wolves, pigs and deer, and various musicians played throughout the evening.
June 2015. Just when we thought we'd found all of the best beaches within easy reach of Guebernez, we discovered another one. The aptly named Plage de Tahiti is just over an hour's drive away, just along the coastline from another of our favourites, Plage St Nicolas. It's a long sandy beach with a little island, L'Ile de Raguenez, at one end and when the tide is out you can walk out to it. Freddie loved the adventure of it all. The sea was crystal clear and the sunset was stunning.
June 2015. The sun was shining again for the school summer fete, held in the village sports ground. The children played traditional wooden games, made scarecrows, fished for rubber ducks and dressed as super heros and everyone joined in the tug-o-war.
May 2015. The biennial Medieval Fete came to Ploerdut again this year. The two-day event brings thousands to our village for music and dancing, sword-fighting, comedy, craft making, and delicious food and drink. The highlight, for us, is the bread, cooked on the old traditional bread oven in the centre of the village. The best we've ever tasted.
May 27th 2015. After 14 years together, five of them at Guebernez, Warren and I finally got married. The Breton weather didn't let us down and the sun was shining for the whole week. More than 200 of our friends and family joined us for the celebration, which started at the Mairie's in Ploerdut and then ended up with two days of partying at Gites Guebernez. It was amazing (even if we say so ourselves). We couldn't have done it without our lovely friends, family and neighbours who all chipped in to help make it so memorable. Here are just a few photos, but there are lots more on our Facebook page.
May 2015. Day two of the wedding was a Woodstock themed night with music, comedy, magic, dancing, a puppet show, football tournament, you name it, we did it. Here's a photo of the audience for Brittany's Got Talent, won by 6-year-old Roe for his hilarious comedy routine. Freddie and his grandad came third with their invisible ball magic act.
May 2015. Our friend Taras got this wonderful shot of the marquee as the evening unfolded.
May 2015. The father of the bride gets a round of applause.
May 2015. Past guests at Guebernez will have no doubt spent at least one day enjoying the beaches, pedalos, kayaks, walks and cycle rides around the nearby Lac de Guerledan, Brittany's largest lake, and will be surprised to see it in its present state. This 7-mile long manmade lake has been drained for repairs to its dam and this summer is expected to attract millions of people who want to see the rare spectacle of seeing it empty and what lies beneath. The Nantes Brest canal runs through it, and you can see the original canal here, the only bit left with water.
May 2015. Here's another shot of the emptied lake, worth taking a look just for its strange lunar-like landscapes. During July and August, there are various walks, activities and events planned, including musical weekends with drumming groups from Brazil. For those who want to paddle and pedalo, don't worry, we've been discovering other lakes with beaches nearby that we didn't even know existed.
April 2015. The sun was shining for this year's Easter Egg Hunt in the village. All the local children came armed with their baskets (or buckets) and darted around the lawns of the Mayor's office to find the chocolate eggs. Some of our guests joined in too. The children loved it.
April 2015. A few days before Easter, we had our own little Easter Egg Hunt here at Guebernez. The children were given maps and clues to find the eggs, hidden around the grounds. It didn't take them long to work it out!
March 2015. Following the success of our first walking holidays last year (see September posts), we've joined together with Rich Bunce, The Walking Photographer, to run dedicated Walking Photography weeks in Spring and Autumn 2015 and 2016. Groups of 8-16 will enjoy some of Brittany's best walks, including the ancient Huelgoat forest and the Morbihan coastline, with photographry tutorials and workshops. There's even a special astronomical photography workshop to make the most of the beautiful night skies at Guebernez. Special introductory offer of £625 per person. Click here for more details. (Incidentally, this photo was not by Rich - it was taken by me (Bev) trying to be arty. Hopefully I'll learn something from the expert!)
February 2015. It came too late for Christmas, but finally we got a sprinkling of snow. It wasn't enough to close the school (sadly for Freddie) but there was enough for an early morning snowball flight. By lunchtime it was all gone but not before Warren managed to take these beautiful photos.
February 2015. We had a winter booking for Le Pressoir but sadly the couple cancelled at the last minute. It's a shame they didn't get to see Guebernez in the snow and enjoy the romance of a log fire.
February 2015. The sun was just starting to come up when Warren took this photograph, one of my favourites. There are more on our Facebook page.
January 2015. Gites Guebernez is now featured on a brilliant website dedicated to cycling in France - www.freewheelingfrance.com. Of course, Brittany is a hugely popular region for cycling and we are ideally located for two key routes - the Nantes-Brest Canal and La Vélodyssée. With the Tour de France passing nearby this summer (finishing at Mur de Bretagne on July 11th), we hope to welcome many more cyclists to Guebernez.
January 2015. Good news for our guests coming over with Brittany Ferries - we can now get you a 20% discount. Please ask for the code when making your booking.
January 2015. Happy New Year everyone. We're pleased to report that we have been approved, once again, by babyfriendlyboltholes.co.uk, a website that features stylish places to stay that are ideal for pre-school aged children. We look forward to welcoming lots of little ones to Guebernez again this year to enjoy our treasure hunts, fancy dress box, swings, slide and ride-on toys.
December 2014. Santa arrived in style when he paid a special visit to Vannes on the Sunday before Christmas. Hundreds of people turned out to see him sail into the port then jump into a horse and carriage and join the Christmas parade around the city, handing out sweets to the children.
December 2014. Carol singers, a brass band and a local children's dance troop were among those who gathered by the port in Vannes to welcome the man in red.
December 2014. Once on dry land, Santa joined the Christmas parade which circled the historic city of Vannes, with giant puppets, bands and traditional Breton dancers.
December 2014. We've got all the family coming to stay at Guebernez this Christmas (the party barn is all ready to go!) so in case we don't get the chance on the day we'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to welcoming some of you back again for your holiday this year and to welcoming new faces. Here's to a fun-filled, sunshine-filled 2015.
December 2014. The temperatures have been pretty mild so far this winter, but this beautiful frosty morning couldn't go un-documented.
December 2014. Villages and towns across France held various events to raise money for charity as part of the nationwide Telethon initiative. Here in Ploerdut we held an event in the village hall, with crepes, cider, coffee, fun games, face-painting (yours truly!), and the popular cake stand from the British community. The local children put on a display of Breton dancing and local musicians played.
October 2014. Great news: Eastern Airways has just announced it will start flying from Southampton to our local airport, Lorient, next summer. Lorient is only a 40-minute drive from here. Flights launch on July 10.
October 2014. Warren's band did a gig at a Halloween Party and everyone got into the spirit (excuse the pun). Happy Halloween everybody.
September 2014. We were so happy when a lovely couple from Winchester, staying in Le Pressoir, got engaged while on their holiday. Ross, who runs a veggie delivery service in the city (Brimfields) popped the question to his beautiful girlfriend Ciara and, as you can see from the photo, she said yes. They even shared their bottle of celebratory champagne with us! We wish them lots and lots of happiness and would love to welcome them back for their honeymoon.
September 2014. Our final day's walking took us on a pretty walk around the village of Silfiac to Pont Samouel, a stunning spot for a lakeside picnic. The 12km walk set us up nicely for the farewell drinks and three-course dinner in the barn back at Guebernez, with musical entertainment from our friend Toby. It was the perfect end to a fabulous week. Thanks again to Phil and all the other Winchester Ramblers for making our first ever walking holiday so enjoyable. Here's to many more.
September 2014. A short morning walk took us to the magical chapel in the neighbouring village of Locuon. It's set in a deep quarry and is pretty any time of the year. Afterwards we had an excellent lunch at our local restaurant, Chez Marie Thé, in Ploerdut.
September 2014. Perhaps the highlight of our walking week was the coastal walk from the pretty fishing port of Doelan to the stunning sandy beaches at Le Pouldu. Once again, the sun was shining but the sea breeze kept us cool. We had a picnic on the beach, half way, and a few of the group even went in for a swim.
September 2014. We did a 12km walk around Le Faouet, stopping at two historic chapels - St Fiacre and St Barbe - with perfect walking weather (20 degrees and blue skies) and a great lunch at the Relais les Halles in the market square. We stopped at the Chapelle St Barbe to admire the views and to take a group picture.
September 2014. One of the walks took us through the veggie plot of a local family who are obviously gearing up for halloween as all six pumpkins in their patches had children's names carved into them. Very cute.
September 2014. Our first day of walking was to the beautiful Lac de Guerledan. The group of 17 keen and experienced walkers first took a stroll around the Bon Repos Sunday morning market, stocking up on honey and other locally-made goodies, and then began the 11km walk. The trail took us along the rocky edge of the lake, with a quick picnic stop, before taking the higher track back through the Quenecan forest - with a tiny detour - deliberate of course!
September 2014. The evening sun was so amazing, even Archie, the dog of our guests, couldn't take his eyes off it.
September 2014. The countryside around Guebernez was looking particularly lovely so Warren got his professional camera and took another photo from the lane for our website homepage.
September 2014. We had some friends stay the weekend and couldn't resist having our photos taken on the hay bales in the fields next to Guebernez. The evening light was so beautiful.
September 2014. When Emma, a guest last week, came back from a brocante shop in our local town of Guemene sur Scorff with some lovely old wooden crates I couldn't resist popping along to see if they had more. Apparently they'd been to a house clearance and found dozens of them. I would have liked the lot but settled on these three. Now I need to decide where to put them.
August 2014. The Son et Lumiere at the Abbaye de Bon Repos was apparently even better this year. It's a key event in the Brittany calendar and not to be missed.
August 2014. Our veggie patch has produced some pretty impressive courgettes again this year and this week's guests put them to good use for their daughter's sixth birthday. Brilliant.
August 2014. The blackberries have appeared particularly early this year and there are hundreds of them around Guebernez. The kids have loved picking them.
August 2014. Warren's band, The Firs, needed to do a photoshoot for their CD cover and our barn wall was the perfect spot. Warren (drummer), Toby (lead vocalist and guitar) and Golven (bass) have gigs booked every weekend during the summer at various bars and venues across Brittany. Next stop Glastonbury....
August 2014. It's something we've been meaning to do all summer and finally we had the chance to go to Glomel to kayak down the 14 chutes along the Nantes-Brest Canal. It was great fun and only 15 minutes from Guebernez. Sadly, we heard it's going to be closing at the end of this summer. Hopefully they'll find a way to keep it going.
August 2014. We've put up a new rope swing in the gardens after a guest accidentally broke it last year (I won't name names!!). It's already proving very popular.
July 2014. Not bad hey?
July 2014. The flower borders are looking particularly pretty at this time of year. For all you keen gardeners out there, here's a picture of the rockery with crocismia lucifer (red), various grasses, bronze fennel and gunnera (the thing at the back that looks like a giant rhubarb).
July 2014. Warren's veg patch is in full swing, with some lovely mange tout, lettuce, courgettes, kale, beetroot, chard and lots of other goodies. Our July guests are enjoying helping us eat it all.
June 2014. The sun came out for the Ploerdut school fete, which took place at the village sports ground for the first time. There were the usual games, tombola and a great three-course meal, all raising money for the village school.
June 2014. Tip for any families coming into Cherbourg, stop off at this Super U supermarket on your way. The kids will love these trolley cars. Freddie has never enjoyed food shopping so much!
June 2014. More than 10,000 people came to the neaby town of Guémené sur Scorff on Sunday June 8 for the biennial Cavalcade. The atmosphere was amazing as the carnival procession did three circuits of the town, with lots of music, singing, and dancing. This giant dragon was one of the most impressive floats, reaching as tall as the houses. The bars and restaurants stayed open late and the celebrations continued into the early hours and, for a hardcore few, into the following night! Move over Rio....
May 2014. Fishermen, cyclists, traditional dancers, musicians and all things Breton were celebrated at the Festival of Brittany at Pontivy. The main square was the centre of the celebrations and then a procession made its way down the main street. There were even life-sized models of pigs to celebrate pig farming in the region. Apparently, there are more pigs in Brittany than people.
May 2014. The days are getting longer and we've been making the most of the petanque pitch, perfectly situated to make the most of the evening sunshine. It's a nice gentle game that's great for the little ones too. This summer, we've also invested in a volleyball net for the more energetic.
May 2014. We found another great place nearby for horse riding when a group of us went out for a friend's birthday. The beginners had a quick lesson before heading out for walk. There are lots of great riding schools in this part of Brittany, including one just outside the village.
May 2014. New owners have taken over the village shop and are keen to sell mainly local produce. The cheese comes from one of the diary farms and the eggs come from our neighbours. They also sell cakes, biscuits, honey, fruit and veg, wine, beer and other groceries. They're even open on Sunday mornings.
May 2014. The Sunday morning market at the Abbaye de Bon Repos is in full swing. Set on the canal, in this picturesque spot, it's very popular. You can buy good quality local products - chocolate, bags, jewellery, bread, cakes, brioche, jams, cheeses and lots more.
May 2014. It was a lovely sunny weekend so we met some friends at Pont Samouel. It's a beautiful lake, popular for walking, horse riding, and fishing. The creperie/restaurant/bar is in the perfect spot and has live music during the summer. Warren's band, The Firs, are booked for a gig here in July.
May 2014. It's not just the daffodils that make the gardens so pretty in the spring. These irises are in full bloom too.
April 2014. It was the annual Easter Egg Hunt in the village, one of the highlights for les enfants de Ploerdut. After two weeks of glorious sunshine, the sky clouded over that morning but it didn't spoil the fun.
April 2014. Some friends came to stay in the gites over the Easter holidays and we spent the afternoon at the Parc Loisirs at Odet. The kids loved it, especially the giant sack slide, the zip wire over the lake and this rope bridge. It's a great family day out and, apart from one other family, we had it to ourselves.
April 2014. We've been taking advantage of the sunshine to try out some local walks lined up for our new walking holidays. This is taken on a walk from Guebernez to nearby Guemene sur Scorff, via the Chapel of Krenenan. It's a beautiful walk, right from our doorstep.
April 2014. Sorry to post yet another sunset picture, but this one I couldn't resist.
April 2014. We were featured in an article in the Guardian newsaper this weekend. An old colleague and friend, Jo O'Connor, came to stay with us last Easter and wrote about her holiday in rural Brittany. She loved the area and, in fact, she's coming back again for another week this Easter.
March 2014. As part of Pesticides Action Week, taking place across Europen, our village has been hosting an exhibition dedicated to insects. Artists from across Brittany are displaying their work around the village, in the library, at the Mayor's office, and outside the church (pictured here).
March 2014. Giant insect sculptures are also being exhibited inside the village church.
February 2014. The daffodils are out in their full glory, signalling that spring is soon to be sprung.
February 2014. We've made our first home-brewed cider, with apples from our orchard and from our neighbours' trees. Warren cleaned all the old oak cider barrels with the expert guidance of Felicite at the farm down the road, who has been making it for 60 years. Then, a local farmer came around with the pressing equipment and, thanks to the glorious summer we had last year, the cider was ready much sooner than expected. We've got 70 bottles and from what we've sampled so far, it's pretty good, if we say so ourselves!
February 2014. With the help of our neighbour, we have made some lovely doors for our barn and put in a wood burner, so it's now perfect for dinners or parties in the cooler months. The doors look great, but will look even better when they've aged a bit and turned a silvery grey.
December 25 2013. Table set, fairy lights on, turkey in the oven. Happy Christmas everyone. We hope to see you in 2014.
December 2013. Taken just down the lane from Guebernez. Stunning.
December 2013. Our handsome cockerel, Uncle Daniel, in all his autumnal glory.
November 2013. In preparation for our new walking holidays, we've been trying out some of the wonderful walks nearby. This picture was taken from the forest of Quenecan, which runs alongside Brittany's largest lake, the Lac de Guerledan. We think it's particularly beautiful in the autumn.
November 2013. The autumn colours were spectacular as we walked through the forest de Quenecan and the leaves crunched under our feet for the entire 11km walk.
November 2013. The ultimate autumnal scene.
November 2013. These beauties were lining our driveway when we got back from our trip, a sure sign that autumn has arrived.
November 2013. The maize has gone and instead we have some new neighbours - four inquisitive cows.
November 2013. We've just come back from a visit to the UK and while we were away the farmer has cut the maize. We were sad we didn't get to see the work being done (it was quite a spectacle the last time) but also pleased to get our views back from the BBQ bench table.
October 2013. We're starting walking holidays at Guebernez next year, so we've been trying out a few of the best walks in this part of Brittany. This 14km coastal walk between Le Pouldu and Doelan is absolutely stunning and we picked a fabulous sunny October day to test it out. If you want more details about our walking holidays, email us at email@example.com.
September 2013. It seems that summer is back and our sunflowers have had a second bloom. Warren took this photo as the sun was starting to disappear behind our house.
September 2013. We never tire of the stunning sunset skies and just had to get a photo of this one.
September 2013. The first thing Warren did when we moved here nearly three years ago was to plant some fruit trees and finally they're bearing fruit. We've had peaches (okay, so there were only two but they were delicious) and now cider apples. Our neighbours, Nicole and Carlo, have kindly let us collect some of their cider apples too, and once we've got five sack fulls we're going to give them to a local farmer for pressing. Fingers crossed we'll have our first Guebernez cider ready for next summer.
September 2013. Warren was very pleased with how these flowers by the barn are doing. Apparently these are asters and next to them are some lovely yellow rudbeckias. In a few weeks, we're putting doors on the barn to make it cosier for winter dinners and parties. Photos coming soon...
September 2013. Beach weather returned so we headed for Kerfany Beach for the day. Freddie, however, was more interested in the playgound there, which is one of the best we've found.
September 2013. This is the famous trembling rock at Huelgoat. Despite its massive size, if you find the right spot you can make it move. Honest. We didn't believe it until a local walker showed us the technique. Trust me, it really did move.
September 2013. We finally made it to Huelgoat, a fascinating village in central Brittany where you can stroll through the Argent Valley of huge mossy boulders which have inspired wild Arthurian and Celtic myths. Many of our guests have been and loved it, and we did too.
August 2013. We discovered another fabulous place to eat oysters and other seafood at Baden (1 hr 10 mins from Guebernez). This little waterside restaurant is tucked away but is hugely popular. The owner, oyster farmer Ivan Selo, also does boat trips around the beautiful bay, which is scattered with tiny islands, and teaches you all about oysters. Apparently the sunset trips are amazing.
August 2013. We went for lunch at one of our favourite restaurants (Le Suroit at Doelan) and discovered it was the day of the annual Sardine Throwing Championships (only in Brittany!). Crowds had gathered on both sides of the little fishing port to watch the contestants, who had to throw a sardine as far as possible, into the water, watched by a panel of judges. Bizarre but lots of fun.
August 2013. Our mate Dizzy, over from London, had a go in the Sardine Throwing Championships. After an impressive start (pictured here) he flunked his next two gos and sadly didn't make it to the final. Maybe next time hey?
August 2013. I had to devise a new Treasure Hunt this week as Freddie finally clicked that it's the same every week and started to cheat! Plus, I realised the older children were finding the clues too easy. Here, the motley pirate crew are rushing to find clue number 3.
July 2013. It was the Salmon Festival at Pont Scorff, a weekend of fishy-themed fun, music, shows and a fabulous firework display all devoted to salmon. We joined the local kayaking club who were taking visitors for a little trip along the Scorff. It was so pretty.
July 2013. These pesky pirates didn't take long to find the treasure. I think it's time we made the Treasure Hunt a little bit more difficult.
July 2013. The temperatures have been so high, everyone (including us) has been heading to the beaches and the lakes. At the beach at Anse de Sordan, on the Lac de Guerledan, there were more people in the water than on the beach. It was the only way to cool down.
July 2013. Friends recommended the beach at Pointe de la Torche (1 hr 20 mins from Guebernez). It's regarded one of the best surfing beaches in Europe. It was stunning. Here's a photo Warren took as the sun was setting and the last of the surfers were coming in.
July 1st 2013. I've just written a piece for the Times on the beautiful Gulf of Morbihan islands just off the coast here. The most beautiful of all is the aptly named Belle Ile and here's a photo of one of its stunning beaches (Grands Sables). It's a 45-minute ferry ride from Quiberon, so just about doable in a day from Guebernez although we stayed over night. In the height of the summer you can also take a ferry from Lorient.
July 1st 2013. These rocks on Belle Ile were famously painted by Claude Monet in 1886. There was an eerie sea mist that morning, so the rocks looked just like they do in Monet's painting.
June 25th 2013. Our first Treasure Hunt of the season went down well with the children, who are pictured here running down to the pool to find the next clue. We might have to change the clues, though, as Freddie is now old enough to remember!
June 18th 2013. Ile de Groix is just off the coast here at Lorient. You can see if from our closest beach at Larmor Plage. We went over with some friends for a day's cycling and stumbled across this beautiful beach. We'd definitely recommend the island for a day trip, especially for walkers and cyclists.
June 11th 2013. The summer season is now in full swing, but before the first guests arrived in La Chaumière we managed to take some photos of its new look. We've made some improvements over the winter, including a new upstairs bathroom suite, a more toddler-friendly staircase, new kitchen worktops, new sofas, curtains, art work and freshly painted walls and ceilings to brighten the place up a bit. We think you'll like it. Pictured here is the master bedroom.
June 11th 2013. We know some of our regular guests loved the big blue corner sofa, but sadly by the end of last summer it was looking a little tired (and broken) so it has made its way to its resting place (the dump!). Instead, we now have two ultra-comfy Laura Ashley sofas - second hand but in great condition. We've painted the ceiling white to brighten up the room and we've added new curtains and, most importantly, a new staircase, which is more toddler friendly. We've kept the stairgates too.
June 11th 2013. Warren has put some new photographs in the upstairs rooms, including here in the second double bedroom.
June 11th 2013. The kitchen has new worktops, new pictures, and new curtains for the cupboards. We thought about replacing the curtains with doors, but many of our guests love the more rustic French style and we agreed that the curtains add to the character of the place.
June 11th 2013. We've got nothing against avocado but we were never too keen on the suite in the upstairs bathroomm, so when the budget allowed we took the opportunity to replace it. Here's the new, fresher looking, whiter than white bathroom.
June 1st 2013. Musicians at the Medieval Festival. Some of the entertainers were professional while some were locals. This couple live locally and often play at the Fest Noz, a night of Breton music and dancing that takes place most weekends in the region.
June 1st 2013. A group of dancers at Ploerdut's weekend Medieval Festival. The next one will be in 2015.
May 17th 2013. We ate pizza, drank beer and watched the sun set on the terrace of Le Merlin Restauarant at Anse de Sordan on the Lac de Guerledan. When it got a bit chilly, the owner brought us blankets. A memorable evening.
May 7th 2013. We've discovered this fabulous restaurant in Melrand, about 20-minutes drive from Guebernez. They do a fantastic lunch menu for €10.50 - three courses and wine - and are also open in the evenings. It's our new favourite and will be added to the list in our welcome guide.
May 5th 2013. The cricket season has started again at nearby Silfiac. That's me in the hat.
May 4th 2013. We took a day trip to Benodet and took this photo from just outside our favourite beachside restaurant, L'Alhambra.
April 23 2013. The gardens at Guebernez are full of daffodils and it looks like Spring has officially arrived. Today (April 25) the temperatures reached the mid 20s. Not long now till summer...
April 24. We discovered a beautiful walk to the Chapelle Sainte-Barbe, just 15 minutes drive from Guebernez. It's a steep climb to the top, but worth it for the views and, better still, there's a bar serving coffees and local beers, open all year round. They even let you have picnics in the gardens.
April 1st 2013. We spent Easter Monday at Le Pouldu, taking advantage of the blue skies. We did part of the 7km walk between Le Pouldu and the fishing port of Doelan. Here's a view looking back to one of the stunning beaches at Le Pouldu.
Easter Sunday 2013. The sun was shining for the annual village Easter Egg Hunt. This year Freddie was old enough to know what to do and managed to fill his bucket (we couldn't find a basket) to the brim. He even shared some with his friend Nora, who arrived a little late. Happy Easter!
March 12th 2013. Last week when the sun was shining we thought Spring had arrived, but clearly not. This morning we were out building a snow man. It's all melted now, but was fun while it lasted.
March 3rd 2013. A friend told us about this lovely little chapel, hidden away down some stone steps in the neighbouring village of Locuon. It was magical, and apparently in the late spring it's even more beautiful when all the rhododendrons are in full bloom.
February 19th 2013. See, we told you our sunsets at Guebernez were amazing! Here's the proof. We're back now and getting ready for our first guests. We've put a new bathroom, new kitchen work tops and new furnishings in La Chaumière. Photos will be posted soon.
January 31 2013. We thought we had better explain our lack of updates on this page since Christmas - we have been away in Florida, getting a bit of winter sun. We're back now and, once we're over the jetlag, will be getting on with our winter renovations. We've already put a new staircase in La Chaumière and upgraded the kitchen. We've got a bit more work to do and once it's done, we'll post some photos. In the meantime, here's a photo from our hols - the sunset at Clearwater Beach. Stunning, but we reckon the sunsets at Guebernez are just as good...
December 14 2012. We have finished transforming our barn into a venue for dinners or small parties. We are having a Christmas party with our friend and neighbours to 'Christen' it. Happy Christmas everybody.
December 8 2012. It was the annual Telethon in the village hall - the French equivalent of Red Nose Day. Like last year, we helped out by doing some face painting for the children.
December 3 2012. Taken from our front door - stunning.
November 14 2012. We joined some friends who live near Nantes to see a great band at the Stereo Lux, a fantastic music venue in Nantes.
November 15 2012. This photo shows the sheer size of this wonderful machine.
November 15 2012. We went down to Nantes to see The Great Elephant, created by Les Machines de L'Ile. This giant elephant (12 metres high) made a visit to London in 2006. It's based in Nantes most of the year and you can take a ride on it. It's incredible to watch and moves just like a real elephant.
November 9 2012. We were happy to learn that a guest from last summer, Maddie Sinclair, has written an article about us for The Green Parent. Called Free-range toddlers, it's about getting a taste of the good life here at Guebernez. It's a great article. You can read it here.
September 2nd 2012. On the advice of some guests who stayed a few weeks ago (see guest comments) we went to Quiberon for the day and stayed to watch the sunset. It wasn't a cloudless night, but still absolutely stunning. This photo doesn't do it justice.
September 1st 2012. Couldn't resist taking this photo of our cockerel (Uncle Dan) and the chickens sitting on the bench by the petanque pitch. It's not often they stay still for that long.
August 30th 2012. After a fun pizza night with this week's guests and another birthday celebration, the kids were still up playing after dark.
August 23rd 2012. These little pirates went wild for the Treasure Hunt, but were happy to stop for a minute to pose for this photograph. The treasure was found by eight-year-old Thomas (in the Fez) who was happy to share the 'treasure' with his friends.
August 21st 2012. This summer's Best Fancy Dress Award goes to two-year-old Ella, pictured here in one of her many creations. Bless.
August 19th 2012. Brittany's cricket team is now based at the nearby village of Silfiac and plays most Sundays during the summer. This week they played Nantes and won. Rumour has it that a game is planned against a team from the South of France, put together by Mick Jagger. If he comes along to watch, I'm sure there will be a few extra spectactors that afternoon.
August 16th 2012. We took Freddie to the Open Air Pool in Pontivy, which is perfect for little ones with a large shallow pool, sand pit, playground and plenty of space to run around. It's only open in July and August but is a great place to go on a sunny afternoon and only a 20-minute drive from Guebernez.
July 25th 2012. With daytime temperatures in the early 30s and lovely long warm evenings, it was time for another barbecue at Guebernez. With the Olympic Games about to start, we thought it would be fun to have a few 'games' for the children too (see below).
July 25th 2012. Let the Guebernez Barbecue Games begin. The girls took on the boys at wacky races, rounders and welly wanging and - although it was close - the boys were the winners.
July 25th 2012. Getting into the Olympic spirit, Warren used the drive-on mower to create a race track on the front lawn for the fun and games.
June 22nd 2012. A local artist has been busy modelling fabulous sand sculptures at our nearest beach at Larmor Plage.
July 2nd 2012. The fields around Guebernez have been used for growing peas this year and they've now been harvested. Two enormous machines were working till dark. The next day the farmer invited us, and the guests, to help ourselves to the fresh peas that had been left behind, so now we've got enough peas to last us until Christmas!
July 1st 2012. This is our new favourite beach - St Nicolas at Port Manec'h. It's around an hour's drive from Guebernez but definitely worth the trip. It's only 10 minutes from Pont Aven so you can do both in a day trip. This photo is taken from the bar and bistro.
July 1st 2012. Everyone brings a picnic to the fetes and there are barbecues lit for those who want to cook sausages or steaks. There's a bar with local cider and, of course, a creperie too.
July 1st 2012. We went along to this fabulous fetes near Pont Aven where local artists build tree houses in the forest - some canvas, some wood, some with nets, and others. It takes place every year and attracts hundreds of people, with a BBQ, music and fun for the children.
June 29th 2012. Our friends Ash and Monique at the Bar Sabots Rouges in Guemene sur Scorff have started doing food and it's going down a storm. The menu ranges from healthy salads with calamari or haloumi to steak and chips, but the fish and chips are proving the most popular.
June 29th 2012. We finally got the chance to spend a full day at Pont Aven (rather than just passing through). Known as a popular holiday haunt of the post-Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin, this attractive little village boasts some lovely riverside walks, fabulous restaurants, galleries, boutiques and a colourful summer flower festival in August. Definitely worth a visit.
June 29th 2012. These are the public toilets in Pont Aven - possibly the prettiest public toilets you will ever have the pleasure of peeing in?!!
June 29th 2012. We took a boat trip down the estuary from Pont Aven, passing elegant chateaux and summer houses, pretty little beaches and bays and bird sanctuaries.
June 24th 2012. Doelan is one of our favourite spots for seafood restaurants and we often recommend it to guests. Until now, we've stuck to the restaurants on Rive Gauche but this time we decided to head over to Rive Droite where we discovered a great little restaurant and ate fabulous fresh grilled sardines while enjoying this view.
June 24th 2012. Our friend, Di, a yoga instructor from Brighton, came to visit and we took her to the beach at Le Pouldu where she did an impromptu yoga session. She's hoping to run a few yoga breaks at Guebernez next year so let us know if you're interested. Click here to see Di's website.
June 24th 2012. The hydrangeas are starting to come out. The blue ones are in full bloom and later in the summer we'll get the pink ones too.
June 23rd 2012. Linda, who owns the Chateau de Cravial (below), also designs and makes clothes and put on a fun fashion show at the opening party.
June 23rd 2012. Our friend Linda has been renovting this chateau in neighbouring Lignol. She intends to hire it out as a venue for weddings, parties or other special events. We were invited to the opening and thought it looked fabulous.
May 27th 2012. Every other year thousands of people flock to Guemene sur Scorff for the carnival, known as the Cavalcade. Locals spend months preparing their floats, costumes, music and dance routines for the event and it's all great fun.
May 27th 2012. Here's another float in the Cavalcade, full of dancing leprechauns.
May 27th 2012. The Bar aux Sabots Rouges bar at Guemene sur Scorff has opened up this lovely outside area and is also now serving food. The menu is simple bar food - burgers, fish and chips, haloumi salads - and all for around €8/9.
May 7th 2012. Each May the nearby village of Clegerec holds a hugely popular annual music festival, the Festival Kleg. We went along on the first night and saw Kejaj, Lyannaj Névé and Hervé Le Lu (pictured here) and then joined hundreds of other music lovers at the Fest Noz.
May 6th 2012. These gorgeous alpacas were the stars of the show at the Silfiac garden fete. They were brought along by the owners of a local alpaca farm who are passionate about the animals. They told us they were easy to keep and full of character. They might even be a future addition at Guebernez, if I can persuade Warren...
May 5th 2012. We found this fantastic shop on a day out in Auray. We loved browsing the colourful ecclectic mix of vintage and second hand items. Auray has some great little boutiques and galleries and is definitely worth a visit.
April 25th 2012. We've been planning to visit this chateau for some time and finally found the time to visit. It's a 45-minute drive from Guebernez and makes a nice daytrip. The gardens and grounds are amazing and are apparently even better in June and July, and you can walk around part of the castle too. Nicknamed the 'Pink Castle' it was one of the last castles built in France. It has stunning views of Châteauneuf-du-Faou, a pretty neighbouring town with the Nantes Brest canal running through it.
April 20th 2012. On a recent trip along the coast, we stumbled across the perfect spot to buy oysters - Riec-sur-Bélon. When we got home I googled the place and it turns out it's world famous in the oyster world. In fact, the stretch of water here is known as 'French oyster holy water'. Needless to say they were delicious.
April 18th 2012. We've had a few April showers in the last few days, which has made the local farmers happy after a long dry spell. It also brought this beautiful rainbow (as seen from the window of our office).
April 13th 2012. Our new gite, L'Ecurie, is now complete and Warren has taken photos of the interiors. Here is the living room with the beautifully restored fireplace. When Guebernez was a working farm, this building was used as a cow shed. If you scroll down to October 20th you will see what it looked like before the renovation began.
April 13th 2012. The open-plan living room and kitchen is 40 metres squared. The kitchen has an electric cooker with a gas hob, microwave and dishwasher - all brand new. From the kitchen sink there are lovely views across the garden towards the vegetable patch.
April 13th 2012. This is the largest of the two bedrooms. It's an L-shaped room with a king size bed. From the window you can see across fields to the woodlands beyond. We decided to keep the original stone wall to give the room character.
April 13th 2012. The second bedroom can sleep up to three people and also has room for a cot. This is the double bed and on the opposite wall is a single bed. Like the master bedroom, this room also has a large window with lovely views.
April 12th 2012. We had some family staying with us in Le Pressoir over Easter and my cousin Catherine took this beautiful photo of one of our cats, Muji, sitting on our garden table. I love it.
April 8th 2012. All the children in the village got together for the annual Easter Egg Hunt. We couldn't find baskets, so Freddie and his friend Poppy took their buckets along. Of course, they loved it. Easter is a big event in Ploerdut, with a mini fun fair in the village square, a big meal and Breton dancing on the Saturday night, a disco and a live band on the Sunday and a bike race on Easter Monday.
March 31st 2012. We've built a new petanque pitch at Guebernez. It's at the top of the garden, next to the barn, so it gets the evening sun. We've been so busy, we haven't actually had time for a game yet. Since we put sand in it, Freddie has been thinking it's the beach, but some of his friends came over today and had a game of skittles, so now he knows what it's for (kind of).
March 31st 2012. The village fire station opened its doors to the local children this morning and we went along. The fire crews here in France aren't just for putting out fires. They also act as an ambulance service in emergencies. They also organise a fabulous 'moules frites' night in the village hall each year to help raise funds. It's a big night on the Ploerdut calendar and the whole village comes along to show support and appreciation.
March 24th 2012. Spring is well and truly here, although it actually feels more like summer. The weather has been incredible for over a fortnight now and we're already in shorts, T shirts and sandals. Let's hope it's a sign of what's to come.
March 21st 2012. Me and some of the girls sometimes get together for a workout on the deck. We took advantage of this lovely blue sky morning for a few star jumps, spotty dogs and general jumping about. Anything to shed the pounds. After Easter a weekly Zumba class starts up in the village, so if any guests fancy joining in, bring along your lycras!!
March 11th 2012. I've been commissioned to write a piece on Crozon Peninsula, further up the Brittany coast, and had the pleasure of spending a few nights there. As you can see, the beaches are incredible. Better still, we had this beach to ourselves.
February 29th 2012. The new gite is coming along very nicely. Not long now. We have chosen a new colour (Farrow and Ball's Oval Room Blue) for the doors and windows for all of the gites. We liked the Breton blue but fancied a change. Hope you like it.
February 29th 2012. Here's the new gite taken from another angle. The sun terrace is now done and this photo shows off the fabulous views.
February 21st 2012. Here's a photo of the view from the master bedroom of the new gite. More photos to come soon...
January 29th 2012. Guebernez is featured in the latest issue of Smalltalk, a Yorkshire-based magazine for parents of babies, toddlers and young children. As a Mum, a travel journalist and a gite owner, I was asked to write about what to look out for when choosing a family-friendly holiday and to say why a gite holiday is the perfect choice.
January 2nd 2012. Just before our New Year guests left to go back to the UK we got together for a group picture on the pool terrace. Happy New Year to all our past guests, and to all those who will be coming to Guebernez in 2012. We look forward to welcoming you.
January 2nd 2012. Warren took this photo of Freddie on Larmor Plage, just as the sun was setting. Thought it was worth sharing.
December 20th 2011. During a Christmas-themed party with some friends, we called in at the village bar and restaurant to say 'bonjour'. I'm the Elf with the blue hair and Warren is the reindeer in the middle. Merry Christmas to everyone who came to stay at Guebernez in 2011 and to all those of you who will be coming next year. We look forward to seeing you in 2012.
November 20th 2011. Our favourite bar, Aux Sabot Rouges, held a charity walk in aid of Movember, the month where men are encouraged to grow moustaches to raise awareness of prostate cancer. We all donned moustaches (girls too) and went for a wonderful 2-hour walk with a cider refreshment stop half way. The weather was perfect.
November 20th 2011. The maize has finally been cut and this is what Guebernez now looks like from the top of the lane. An artist friend of mine saw this photo on Facebook and has asked to paint it.
November 20th 2011. After days of painstaking work, our trusty builder has restored the beautiful fireplace to its former glory in the third gite.
November 14th 2011. Our gites were mentioned in a piece in the Times newspaper over the weekend. It was an article on 20 holidays you must book now, highlighting the high demand for family-friendly gites and ferry crossings in the peak summer season.
November 6th 2011. Took this photo from the pool terrace. The warm early evening light really brings out the autumn colours.
November 3rd 2011. On my way to the bakers this morning I spotted these beautiful mushrooms on the side of the road and just had to go back back later to get a picture.
November 2nd 2011. Work continues on the renovation of our new gite and this week the construction team have been tackling the restoration of the fireplace. We're going to keep the old stone exposed to maintain its rustic charm.
October 31st 2011. Our local bar, in Guemene sur Scorff, held a fantastic party on the night of Halloween. The bar was transformed into a spooky labyrinth with the help of dry ice and eerie decorations. Here's Monique handing out trick or treats to the little ones.
October 31st 2011. Warren made spicy pumpkin and squash soup, from our very own veg garden, then I made this. Happy Halloween!
October 30th 2011. Our shady garden was the perfect spot for a little Halloween Party this weekend. Here is the fireplace decorated for the occasion.
October 20th 2011. Work continues on the renovation. A team of builders have been digging up the floor and the roof is almost finished. Now all we need to do is think of a name for it. Any ideas?
October 14th 2011. Work is well underway on the renovation of our third gite. Thanks to the sunshine, our roofer Patrick has been able to make speedy progress. More photos to follow soon....
August 20th 2011. A life-sized Punch and Judy show was performed at a Sunday fete by the local AIKB, which helps foreigners settle into France. Here are our friends Bob (Punch) and Carol (Joey the Clown).
August 20th 2011. The fancy dress box at Guebernez has proved very popular. Here are Daisy, Maisie, Travis and Harry on the pool terrace. Daisy and Travis's Dad, Matt, did a great Youtube slide show of his stay with us. Thanks Matt.
August 19th 2011. Sunset at Guebernez
August 19th 2011. The fantastic band, Ave Kou San, were back at our local bar the Sabots Rouges in Guemene sur Scorff. As usual, they went down a storm (see the next picture).
August 19th 2011. They play 'groovy swing and ska' and always get everyone dancing. That's me in the middle!
August 16th 2011. We discovered a fantastic beach for crabbing at Le Pouldu Port. The rockpools were full of them.
August 14th 2011. Friends came to stay and kindly bought us a badminton set for the gites. The kids love it. Thanks Diz and Sarah.
August 12th 2011. The vegetable patch is coming into its own and our guests have been enjoying their deliveries of chard, lettuce and courgettes. Here's a salad we prepared earlier...
July 30th 2011. We discovered a fabulous restaurant at the lovely fishing village of Doelan. They often have live music on the terrace and the views are amazing. Definitely worth a visit.
July 29th 2011. Thought these were worth a picture.
July 27th 2011. The O'Donnell family came to stay and the kids loved playing petanque on our top lawn.
July 13th 2011. Thanks to the glorious warm evenings, we shared a fun barbecue with our guests this week, along with a Treasure Hunt and games for the children. It was a great success and, weather dependent, will hopefully become a regular event.
July 5th 2011. The Tour de France went through the nearby village of Silfiac and, despite the rain, hundreds of people turned out at a special event to cheer on the racers. Local farmers laid on a splendid feast of barbecued sausages, steak and chicken, along with local cheeses, crepes and cider, while a band of Breton musicians and dancers kept us entertained while we waited for the bikes to arrive.
July 3rd 2011. We've discovered a nearby nature park which is definitely worth a visit. A 20-minute drive from here, Parc Aquanature is an 80-hectare park with 140 deer and other wildlife. You can either take a tour in a 4x4 or drive yourself around in a golf trolley and there's also a children's playground, cafe, freshwater aquarium and many walking trails.
June 28th 2011. It was another beautiful summer evening so we decided to hold a Welly Wanging competition at Guebernez. Our guests, all the way from Miami, had not tried the sport before, but Oliva, 12, was the clear winner. Well done Olivia. We might even make it a weekly event?
June 23rd 2011. The hydrangeas are in full bloom.
June 3rd 2011. When we put this photo on Facebook recently, lots of our friends thought we'd jetted off to the Caribbean. In fact, it was taken at the far end of the beach at the Lac de Guerledan, a 30-minute drive from Guebernez - our own little slice of paradise.
May 20th 2011. Thanks to weeks of constant sunshine and the new solar domes, we took our first dip in the pool earlier than we'd expected. I'd say the water temperature was more Atlantic than Mediterranean, but once you're in, it's lovely.
May 27th 2011. Hundreds of people turned up for a night of Breton music and dancing the Fest Noz in our village hall. It's a hugely popular event and this was the first time we had been able to go along. It was fabulous - the atmosphere, the hypnotic music, the high energy dancing. Even Warren joined in. We can't wait for the next one.
May 29th 2011. Now that the pool and decking is done and the gites are open for business, we've had a bit more time to explore the local area. We went on a bike ride along the Nantes-Brest Canal from St Nicolas des Eaux (30 mins away) and passed this amazing church, cut in to the rock. Apparently, you can cycle all the way from here to Pontivy or to Hennebont the other way.
May 27th 2011. Warren (photographer and gardener) decided the alum lilies were worth a photo of their own!
May 27th 2011. Our shady garden has really come into its own in the last few weeks, especially with our arum lilies in full bloom.
May 17th 2011. The pool and decking is now complete. The solar domes are being fitted later this week so, weather permitting, we should be taking our first dip in the next few weeks. Roll on the summer...
May 17th 2011. Our new games room is now up and running, with table tennis, pool, and WII. Warren's Mum had the great idea of putting a parachute across the ceiling of the barn and it works really well. We have a family of swallows living above it and you can hear them chirping away.
March 24th 2011. The pool is starting to take shape. Just one thing missing now...
March 23rd 2011. Warren and Rob, the pool man, test out the pool for size!
March 17th 2011. La Chaumière, our 3-bed gite, is currently 'bolthole of the week' on babyboltholes.co.uk. The website features a collection of special places which are 'as stylish as they are baby and toddler friendly'. Tatler magazine described the collection as 'Baby-friendly holidays for the boutique hotel generation'.
March 16th 2011. Guebernez has been featured in the April issue of Olive, the BBC's good food magazine. The feature 'Eat like a local, France' tells readers how to make Jamie Oliver's authentic French recipes at home and recommends Guebernez as a place to stay in Brittany (see the review, right). We're also being featured in the April issue of Living Abroad magazine, out in a week or so.
March 16th 2011. The concrete foundations have been laid and next week the pool installation starts. We've had some lovely warm weather in the last few days, so it's been easy to imagine summer evenings relaxing by the pool and watching the sun set.
March 11th 2011. Work has started on the pool development. We've had a team of builders here this week laying the cement foundations. As you can see, the views are going to be amazing. The pool itself arrived yesterday - all in bits. Now we just need to work out how to put it together!
March 9th 2011. Patrick, our roofer, has been busy working on the restoration of the old barn. He is making the roof water tight and removing most of the ivy to protect the structure. We don't know the exact history of the barn, but the Deputy Mayor and an official from the local planning office told us it was possibly once a chapel. Due to the size and quality of the stone, they said that whatever it was, it was certainly built by someone with money.
February 28th 2011. We had a mini photo shoot here at the weekend. We're being featured in an article in the April issue of Living Abroad magazine and they asked for some recent photos of us around the house. I love this particular photo so we're now using it on the Overview section of this website.