Leaving the hustle and bustle of the city for a peaceful retreat is one of my 1001 dreams. For those of you who know me, I'm in the constant pursuit of #foodhappiness, my personal kind of Beaudelairish luxury calm and voluptuousness which I lately found in the magnificent frame of an island.
Île de Ré is a French treasure nestled beyond La Rochelle. Its delicious oysters are bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, and so are the dogs, the blond haired kids and the surfers. Once you set foot on Île de Ré, there's a sort of predestination in the air. Yes, I was meant to be getting here.
The ideal day at Ile de Ré starts with some open air food shopping at the renown market of Ars-en-Ré. I love to go there with my bycicle, to then make a detour in order to find out about the latest aromatic combinations in a pot conceived by Francoise Héraudeau: nearby a beautifully kept church, Les Confitures du Clocher mixes authenticity and audacity in the form of scrumptious marmalades.
The natural landscape is remarkably breathtaking while bycicling among the 10 villages that, between sand dunes, forests and grey salt harvesting make this amazing island. What a pleasure it was to feast with salty oysters and fruity wine in the middle of the fields at Les Huitres de Trousse Chemise.
I stayed in a typical house at Saint Clèment des Baleines. This village is less crowded, but all the more charming: white-washed low houses, green, blue or grey shutters, red-tiled roofs, hollyhocks springing out between the stones of the pavement, narrow, winding streets. My stay at The Sweet Home in The Village was filled with joy as I discovered that the house had it all: the white linen, the summer hats, a fireplace to warm up by, and the sweetest scent of iodine. When it came to dining out, I was in awe for the view and the friendly rudeness (set your ideas clear or your foot out) at Frères de la Cote restaurant. The most delightfully unctous crab eaten holifully with your hands in front of the most spectacular Western sunset.
With love and oysters,