Drake’s in Brittany

By Drake's

Apr 19, 2024

Drake’s in Brittany


Dinard looks a bit like Margate… if Margate was really nice (sorry Margate, we still love you). From the garden of our little house, shaded by apple trees, you can see all the way down to Plage de l’Écluse, a gentle curve of white(ish) sand and teal blue water, choppy at the start of spring, framed by gothic houses and Le Grand Hôtel Dinard, impressive and slightly battered by time and the salt air that whips off the English Channel. 

For our latest lookbook, we joined up with our friend Clément Breton, who—as you can probably tell by his surname—has deep roots in this corner of northwestern France. Driving up from Paris along with his wife Kaitlyn, with a special guest appearance from their newborn son James, they were our guides to Dinard and beyond, still fairly sleepy before the start of the hectic summer season. 

On our first morning we take the short journey to the town of Saint-Malo, where every Saturday the local town gathers at the market to shop for seafood, cheese, butter bread and vegetables from one of the many small farms that surround the town. M&S on a Saturday is a bit of a chore, but this is special—colour, seasonality and shopping local. Clément and Kaitlyn breeze through the different stalls like old pros, snow crabs here, langoustines there, a few sea snails, loaves of bread the size of Michelin tyres and slabs of butter from a local dairy. A generously-moustachioed fishmonger takes a liking to our new linen chore with a classic butcher’s stripe…a man of taste. We stock up for Sunday dinner.

If oysters are what you’re after, then Cancale is something equivalent to Mecca. Around the bend of the coast, on a clear day, if you really strain for it, you might be able to make out Mont Saint- Michel in the distance. With the sun poking through the grey, we stroll between the different family vendors who pluck their catch right from the shores in front of us. Low tide, locals here have permits that allow them to pick their own oysters.

We wave salut to groups ambling down to and from the water in rubber boots and overalls, buckets stacked high with their catch. Oysters shucked, we perch on the stone steps, glasses of wine from the Loire Valley poured into plastic cups, and watch the dotted silhouettes of the locals move between the muddy channels. 

The secret, says Clément, is to pepper the water first. Back in Dinard, he rolls his sleeve and drops whole crabs and langoustines in the giant stainless steel pot. After a few hours of hard graft and a bit of French culinary magic, a seafood feast appears on the dining room table—all that market produce put to very good use. We crowd around the table and get to work. Late afternoon gives way to evening, soon Clément, Kaitlyn and baby James will have to make the long drive back to Paris, but first we cheers to good health, a warm summer, and the many pleasures of this beautiful corner of Brittany. 

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