Saint Michel Chef Chef

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Saint Michel Chef Chef—no, the sec­ond “Chef” is not a typo, this is the actual name of the small vil­lage where I spent my sum­mers as a kid, yes, we do shorten the name!—is on the Atlantic Coast, stuck between the posh La Baule beach and other no-name stretches of sand.

Saint Michel is tiny: there is a small bar, a Unico super­mar­ket (erratic open­ing hours), a Mai­son de la presse sell­ing news­pa­pers and tacky sou­venir and a church. A bi-weekly mar­ket livens things up and you may pick up a Kouign-amann (the most but­tery cake you will ever eat: it is just that, lay­ers and lay­ers of dough, sugar and but­ter), some fresh fish and some not-so-fresh fruits.

The town is mostly famous for its 1905 cookie fac­tory: Les galettes de Saint Michel, sold just about any­where in France and yes, I can even find them in Ottawa should I feel nos­tal­gic enough to buy them at a pre­mium. Locals can tell the weather by sniff­ing the air: if you can smell cook­ies, it should be nice for the next few days. Or the other way around—I can never remem­ber. What­ever, cook­ies smell great rain or shine.

The house, built in 1968 by my grand-parents who had just bought the land a year ear­lier, is a ten-minute walk from the beach. The beach is small and rocky but nice, and if you stay long enough to see it at low tide you will quickly fig­ure out where you can swim with­out killing your legs on mussels-covered rocks.

The funny thing is, Saint Michel looks very exotic to me now. I hated it when I was a teen: I couldn’t go far with­out a car, didn’t have any close friends there and there wasn’t much to do but going to the beach and eat­ing the galettes. It wasn’t exactly what I’d call a “trendy” vaca­tion spot. But now I look at these lit­tle houses and the old folks going shop­ping and I feel like I am trav­el­ing in some for­eign land.

A few days in a tra­di­tional French vil­lage. Maybe that was what I needed.

You can see the com­plete set of pic­tures of France here.

Fishery

Fish­ery

Seashells

Seashells

Saint Michel

Saint Michel

Supermarket Carts

Super­mar­ket Carts

Wild Flowers

Wild Flow­ers

Market Day

Mar­ket Day

The Church

The Church

Eating St Michel Cookies

Eat­ing St Michel Cookies

Cookies Factory

Cook­ies Factory

Saint Michel Cookies

Saint Michel Cookies

Saint Michel House

Saint Michel House

Market Day

Mar­ket Day

Saint Michel House

Saint Michel House

Seashells

Seashells

Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean

Sun­set over the Atlantic Ocean

Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean

Sun­set over the Atlantic Ocean

Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean

Sun­set over the Atlantic Ocean

Eating Ice Cream with my Mom and Brother

Eat­ing Ice Cream with my Mom and Brother

Long Exposure of the Beach at Night

Long Expo­sure of the Beach at Night

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

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  1. Pingback: A French Vacation within the French Holidays | Posts

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