Autumn In Brittany

Autumn In Brittany

Brittany lies in the north-west corner of France and has a climate similar to the UK. So along with driving rain and biting wind, autumn in the region can bring some truly stunning days. Vivid landscapes full of colour are waiting around every corner. Fallen conkers and amber leaves make up an ever changing blanket on the ground. Lush grassy hills play hide and seek in the haze of foggy mornings as coats and scarves come out of hiding.

Autumn in Brittany is about woodland walks through crisp undergrowth and evenings spent by a crackling fire. The colours of autumn breathe life into their surroundings as everyone enjoys the last days of sunshine before winter arrives. Pumpkins are carved, soups are made, slippers are rediscovered and butternut squash becomes part of everyday vocabulary one again. Autumn is bright, vibrant youthful and wondrous.

Or at least that’s what our Instagram feed would have you believe. Leaves on the ground, check. Huge scarf, check. Average pumpkin in the dark, check. Cute dog walking selfie, check. The reality is often very far from the truth. Yes we have been carving pumpkins and walking a dog in a scarf (us not him), but what the selfies don’t reveal is the truth behind them.

Wandering Wives Autumn

It rains 95% of the time and lighting a fire is one of the skills our generation have lost. Most of the leaf strewn pathways are brown and sludgy and very slippery. The grass is always wet and merely glancing in its direction will render your jeans soaked to the knees for the rest of the day. Carving a pumpkin is hard, trying to cut a butternut squash requires so much skill it should be an Olympic event. The super cute giant scarf is actually super itchy and a massive trip hazard. The dog has diarrhoea and shat on his own lead the other day.

That being said, on the 5% of days when the weather allows us to venture outside, we’ve had a wonderful time. The characteristic Breton houses that adorn the hillsides and villages we visit never fail to make us smile. Their colourful shutters and slate roofs sparkle with old world charm against the grey autumn skies.

The region is famous, of course, for its cuisine. From crepes to Breton biscuits, everything here is bathed in butter and as a result slides down very easily. There is a feast to be had on every high street, a hearty supply of baguettes, pastries, local cheese and freshly caught seafood clamour for attention in the shop windows, begging to be eaten. One bite of the traditional Bretton butter cake Kouign Amann is enough to raise cholesterol to a critical level. All of this is naturally washed down with a large glass of Bretton cider and an even larger glass of red wine.

So, autumn in Brittany may not always be as beautiful as the pictures make out, but we are enjoying plenty of delicious food and drink and there are lots of places to visit. Now if anyone has any tips for carving butternut squash, preventing doggy diarrhoea or lighting a fire, that would be great!

22 Responses

  1. Yes! Yes! Yes! I loooove Brittany. I went there 8 years ago and stayed in a little house in Cancale ‘cos of the famous oysters. It was a lovely week. I wanted our son to love having oysters so Cancale was an excellent choice. We also took the opportunty to go to Jersey for a day via ferry.
    p.s. Thanks for following my blog. I’ll be doing likewise as your photos are brill! 🙂

  2. I enjoyed joining you for your walk in the pretty Brittany countryside and admiring the vibrant fall colours – most notably your photo with all the “reds” in it! 🙂 – and reading about the tasty food! Thank you. 🙂

  3. Am loving this post! I live in England so know exactly what you mean about the harsh realities of Autumn/Winter, no matter how beautiful a photograph is! That said, the images are so vibrant and are absolutely breath-taking – have a real ‘nostalgia’ feel about them.

  4. Loving the real-life Brittany review – I live in England so know exactly what you mean about the realities behind the beautiful autumn/winter photographs! That said, the images are so vibrant and really really beautiful – the colours are amazing and have a wonderful ‘nostalgia’ look about them.

  5. Love love loved this! And not only because of the gorgeous photos and mouth-watering food descriptions. I love that you conveyed the beauty of fall in Brittany and also acknowledged how un-Instagrammable things often are. There’s so much we never see beyond the Insta square, and I love that you gave us a visual picture of it.

    Also, re: butternut squash Olympics. For years I struggled similarly with all manner of gourds, particularly butternut, acorn, and damned spaghetti squash. The best method I know is first to pierce your gourd a half dozen times with a steak knife — just little slits will do, spread evenly around it. Then pop it in a microwave for a minute or two, and voilà, you’ve got yourself an easily cuttable autumn squash.

  6. Amazing post! You have a wonderful blog:)
    What about following each other on Instagram, Bloglovin, Twitter?.. 🙂

    http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3880191

  7. Love your honest appraisal of Brittany…great photos as usual.

  8. No tips, but I choked on my tea at the bit about the dog lead. Gee, thanks! It’s funny, but poor doggy – hope a full recovery was made.

  9. Even with only 5% of days being sunny, Brittany looks to be incredibly beautiful and thus incredibly worth it. Hope the weather breaks for you soon so you can go out and enjoy!

  10. Despite the hardships it looks like an amazing time! I recently struggled with cutting a butternut squash for the first time. Try cutting it into discs then laying each disc flat and cutting it like a cake after that. That method worked best for me 🙂

  11. These pictures are gorgeous!

  12. These photos are stunning! Poor doggy, though! The commenter who suggested boiled rice and carrots is right. Its very easy on their tummies. Hope you don’t get soaked on your sojourn today! Enjoying your travels!

  13. To stop the doggy problem, lots of boiled rice and carrots (boiled too, of course…) It usually helps with humans – should help with a dog too… How to prevent it? Hmmm… I’ll have to sleep on that, I’m afraid 😉

    Lovely photo’s… And I remember the food… Came home quite a bit heavier than I had left… 🙂

  14. I love your photos Do you mind sharing what kind of camera you own. LOVE the picture of you both with red in front of the red tree…maple? Wonderful.

    • Wandering Wives

      Yes that’s a maple, it’s been gorgeous the last few weeks, now the garden is carpeted in pink leaves. I use an iPhone5S to take my photos. Thanks for your kind comments 🙂

  15. The realities of Brittany paragraph made me chuckle. Instagram is such a lying git

    • Wandering Wives

      It’s a harsh reality. We’ve been stuck inside social networking all week 🙁 gonna have to brave the rain today though, I’m going stir crazy.

  16. Love those blue shutters!

  17. I would recommend Balzac’s first novel The Chouans, which is set in Brittany during the aftermath of the French Revolution. It’s one of my favorite books, even though I’ve never been to France. It’s probably even better if you know the landscape.

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