We recently took a day trip to the picturesque French town of Quimper. This is pronounced “Kam-pair” but being British we take no notice of the official French pronunciation and say it as we read it. So half way between a quiver and a whimper lies the trembling town of Quimper.
We had begun our day with a healthy cereal based breakfast but we took our time getting going and then we needed to stop for petrol so ended up missing lunch. Luckily we had a couple of emergency Kit-Kats with us to save us from getting hangry (a heady mix of hunger and anger that turns even the most mild mannered person into a monster). In France it can be pretty difficult to find food outside of designated meal times, so we decided to snack our way around the town instead. Our first stop was a cute little coffee shop where, due to our terrible understanding of French, we ended up ordering drinks with more calories in than regular desserts. Sian’s coffee with served with a spoon in order to dig through the mountain of whipped cream and chunks of meringue that covered it. High on sugar we had a great time colouring the walls with chalk provided by the establishment.
As is often the case in Brittany, it was raining in Quimper. The town has a pretty river running through it with beautiful old buildings jutting out over it. The constant rain was driving the flow and it surged at speed through the town. After a quick look at the river and a soaking from the rain, we took shelter in the best shop ever. Maison Georges Larnicol sells traditional baked goods, hand crafted chocolates and rows of brightly coloured macarons. After inhaling the wonderous smell and ooo-ing and ah-ing at the amazing displays, we picked up a couple of salted caramel macarons to try and continued on our way.
Back on the street the rain was relentless so we decided to take shelter in the largest land mark we could find. Even the tiniest of Breton villages have impressive gothic style churches looming over them and Quimper is no exception. The humongous Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saint Corentin of Quimper sits in the middle of the town square and is open most of the day. When we entered the cathedral someone was playing the organ and the whole building seemed to reverberate with the sound of the pipes. Thankfully it soon stopped and we were able to walk around the vast space marveling at the impressive architecture and stained glass windows. It was a week after the terrorist attacks in Paris so we lit a candle in remembrance of those that were killed.
Walking past Maison Gorges Larnicol again we decided to go back inside to pick up some gifts. Waiting in the queue we spotted something we had failed to see before. A scale model of the Quimper Cathedral made entirely from chocolate. It was enormous and how we had missed it the first time is anyones guess!
After doing a little Christmas shopping we decided to end our day in a patisserie. The cakes on display were like something out of a dream. All kinds of colours and flavors, exquisitely crafted and ready to be devoured. Fresh cream, sticky fruit, marzipan and chocolate gleemed at us from beneath the glass counter. After what seemed like hours of deliberation we finally each picked a cake. Emily made the mistake of ordering a hot chocolate with hers and half way through eating it she was border line diabetic.
Quimper is a lovely town to visit, particularly if you have a sweet tooth. By the time we got home we were both feeling rough and on a major sugar come down. We realized we had consumed only sugar since breakfast. We spent the rest of the evening Quimpering on the sofa desperately trying to rebalance our carbohydrate intake with savoury goods.