Restaurant Le 5, Saint Malo

As you might have gathered by now, food in Saint Malo was truly spectacular.

There was Michelin-stared lobsters, Michelin-worthy lemon tarts, and a loooooot of salted caramel.

But dinner at Restaurant Le 5 was truly quite magical.

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Restaurant Le 5 is a bit of a locals’ secret and can only be accessed via the lobby of Hotel de France Le Chateaubriand (where we stayed).

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Which is the perfect excuse to take a peak at the hotel’s charming Colonial-meets-retro lobby and stunning dining rooms on your way up!

And before you know it, you’re on top of the world (or at least, Saint Malo!)!

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A classy nautical theme runs through the restaurant.

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With stunning, 360° views to match!

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And a seasonal, fine dining set menu worthy of the very best restaurants!

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For starters, foie gras was the most popular option.

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Served with pickled baby vegetables and red onion relish, it was the perfect balance of creamy, crunchy, tangy and sweet and absolutely dreamy!

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Vegetarians weren’t quite as lucky though…

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Despite their starter looking absolutely stunning, it was very much just a plate of tomatoes.

Ruby red, adorable on-the-vine cherry tomatoes, but tomatoes all the same.

For fish- & meat-eaters though, things kept getting better and better with mains.

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Yellow pollack fillet, Espelette pepper, fennel panna cotta & yuzu foam

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A vibrant fish dish and one of the best things I’ve eaten sofar this year.

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All washed down with a few too many glasses of crisp Chardonnay…

And topped off with a choice-ditcher’s dream dessert: Café Gourmand.

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AKA a cup of espresso, surrounded by a selection of mini-desserts.

Friand, canelé, macaron… we got all the classics and then some!

 

Panoramic views over Saint Malo, stunning food and even better pudding, Restaurant Le 5 has it all. Perfect for a romantic date or to celebrate something special!

More info + bookings here

Restaurant Le 512, Place Chateaubriand, 35400 Saint-Malo, France

Restaurant Le 5, Saint Malo

10 awesome souvenirs to buy in Saint Malo

I am not one for tacky souvenirs.

Magnets, snowglobes, shot glasses, pebbles… If it’s going to stay in a corner of my living room collecting dust, it might as well stay in the store.

Which doesn’t mean I don’t want to bring home any goodies when I go away on holidays.

10 awesome souvenirs to buy in Saint Malo, Brittany | Cake + Whisky 10 awesome souvenirs to buy in Saint Malo, Brittany | Cake + Whisky

Things to remind me what a wonderful time I had when the holiday blues next strikes. Things I can share with those I had left behind to give them a taste of that specific trip. Things I will be happy to find in a few months, once my tan has faded.

Following my recent trip to Brittany’s beautiful Emerald Coast, I thought it might be useful to create a little guide of souvenirs to buy in Saint Malo if you want to skip the junk traditional stuff but still bring a little piece of Brittany home with you!

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1. Salted caramel. Obviously. You’ll find plenty of varieties, from supermarket jars to small, artisan-made batches, and even some flavoured versions. Get one of each. Spread on everything. Scoop some in your coffee, drizzle on yoghurt or ice cream. Worse come to worse, eat by the spoonful. You really can’t go wrong.

2. The butter of the stars. With a silky texture, aromatic complexity, a light dusting of salt, a smart balance of flavors and a creative collection of flavours, Bordier Butter is unlike any other one. And as for all luxury goods, the proof is in the client list, and Bordier butters reign supreme on the menus of the finest restaurants in France and abroad. The easiest way to take the French Palace experience home with you!

Bordier Butter flagship store, La Maison du Beurre, is located 9 Rue Orme

3. Buckwheat everything. Frequently listed as one of the world healthiest food, buckwheat remains quite niche outside of Asia and Brittany, where it’s the main component of the region’s most iconic dish, the Galette (a savoury buckwheat pancake).  Despite its name, buckwheat is gluten-free (it is actually a fruit related to rhubarb and sorrel) and a variety of buckwheat-based food items, including flour, biscuits and tea, are available in supermarkets and speciality shops.

La Maison du Sarrasin, a store specializing in all things buckwheat, is located 10 Rue Orme

4. A fresh Kouign Amann. If you like croissants, you must try Kouign Amann (and if you don’t, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore…). Those little round cake/pastry hybrids are made with bread dough containing layers of butter and sugar folded in and result in a sort of caramelised croissant. They are about a billion calorie each but definitely worth every one of them.

Saint Malo’s best Kouign Amann is to be found at Les Délices du Gouverneur, 6 Rue Porcon de la Barbinais 

5. The most beautiful fish preserves. I love those. Not only are La Belle Iloise‘s preserves super pretty, but they’re also the best I’ve tried. There is a huge variety of flavours for you to choose from, they make excellent presents and even better nibbles for your next dinner party.

La belle Iloise, 4 Rue Porcon de la Barbinais

6. (not pictured) A Breton-stripped top. When in Brittany… Armor Lux & St James are the most trusted brands in France, and both have a store in Saint Malo.

7. An intriguing spice mix from Roellinger. If you’re a bit of a spice nerd (I feel you), Epices Roellinger is your idea of a true Aladdin’s Cave. There’s vanilla and pepper from every corner of the globe, jars of the world’s rarest spices from floor to ceiling and exclusive spice mixes you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you’re an expert cook or really just starting, there is something for everyone. The hardest part is choosing.

La Boite à Epices, 12 Rue Saint-Vincent

8. A bottle of Breton cider. Cider is Brittany’s regional drink of choice and the perfect accompaniment to galettes and crêpes. French cider is different from its British counterpart; it is both less sweet and more sour, making it the perfect pairing for fish and pork dishes.

9. A new bikini. There’s this lovely little French brand I love called Princesse Tam Tam and they do the cutest bikinis. I had to stop myself from buying the whole store. They’re a bit pricey but the quality is amazing (I got my previous bikini from them and it’s lasted me a good 5 years). Definitely worth the investment.

Princesse Tam Tam, 12 Rue Broussais

10. Zero sunburns. Best present you can give yourself. Trust me on that one.

What sort of souvenirs do you bring back home from holiday?

10 awesome souvenirs to buy in Saint Malo

10 reasons to visit Saint Malo

1. Because Saint Malo is a city with a badass history!

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Saint-Malo traces its origins to a monastic settlement founded early in the sixth century.

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From then on, the city had a tradition of asserting its autonomy in dealings with the French authorities and even with the local Breton authorities.

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Later on, St Malo mariners were the first Frenchmen to Canada, the Indies and round Cape Horn to the Pacific seaboard. Worldwide trade brought extravagant prosperity to the city.

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The thing is that you can read the story in modern day Saint Malo’s townscape and a tour of the ‘cité corsaire’ is the perfect way to discover it all.

Emeraude Guides offers some brilliant tours of the city, both in English and French, as well as a variety of excursions, which you can book through their website. Alternatively you can get an audio guide from St Malo Tourism Office for 12€.

2. Because there’s something magical about being surrounded by the sea.

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Being built on a rock reclaimed from the sea, water pretty much circles the whole of Saint Malo.

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Which make for rather high maintenance (those walls are here for a reason!) but also for breathtaking views of the sea from… well, pretty much anywhere, really!

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From the top of the bulwarks to almost every hotel room in town, the sea is everywhere in Saint Malo!

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Including on the menu of many restaurants!

(PS. Did you catch my previous post, all about Malouin Michelin-starred chef Luc Morbihan’s top tips to cook lobster?)

3. Because Saint Malo is home to one of France’s most beautiful beaches.

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Brittany is the region with the  longest continuous coastlines in France and each stretch is more beautiful than the next.

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Transparent, blue-green water (hence the ‘Emerald Coast’ nickname) and golden sand as far as the eye can see, Saint Malo truly is a little piece of beach-goer paradise!

4. Because the city is an absolute architectural dream.

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Looking at the stone buildings and the pastel blue facades, one can hardly imagine that the historic walled city of Saint-Malo was almost totally destroyed by American shelling and bombing as well as British naval gunfire.

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The city was carefully re-built according to original building designs from 1948 to 1960 and has since re-gained its original beauty.

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5. Because people who like butter are always the best people.

And god knows Malouins do!

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From the Bordier ‘Butter House‘ (yes! a store/museum focusing on all things butter!!), to many a food speciality and about a billion different kinds of butter biscuits, butter is EVERYWHERE in Saint Malo!

And there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with that.

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Oh, and the ‘Butter House‘ also happen to have the prettiest floor…

6. Because you haven’t truly lived until you tried Kouign Amann.

A butter-enriched, caramel crusted croissant and one of the very best pastries France has ever created (and I don’t say that lightly).

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Forget about learning how to say it (‘coo-nee-ha-man’ in case you were wondering), just get your hands on one ASAP.

7. Because buckwheat is totally underrated!

Buckwheat is a plant cultivated for its grain-like seeds, and one of the healthiest food there is.

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More importantly, it is the key ingredient to galettes, the traditional Brittany savoury pancakes.

It’s gluten and dairy free, and packed full of good-for-you stuff.

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Ask for the ‘complete’ (with ham, cheese and egg) or have it with smoked salmon (my personal favourite) and a nice cup of cider.

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As I they say,  one galette a day keeps the doctor away!

8. Because SALTED CARAMEL!

Just stating the obvious there.

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Onto crêpes, ice cream, baked into cakes and biscuits or even by the spoonful, there’s no wrong way to eat salted caramel, so make sure you make the best of the opportunity!

(Plus you’ll be supporting the local economy, so double brownie points for you!)

9. Because it’s small enough not to get lost but be enough so you won’t get bored.

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From being a total beach bum, to touring Saint Malo’s many restaurants, bars and foodie spots, seing the final resting place of famous French writter Chateaubriand, going on excursion to nearby islands, learning about the city’s rich history and trying out all sorts of sporty activities (surf, segway… you name it!), Saint Malo is the perfect destination no matter what sort of holiday you’re after!

10. Because it’ll only be the beginning of your love story with Brittany!

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Saint Malo is well worth a spot on your Travel To Do List, even if it’s only for a long weekend. Just a few days there felt like a proper break and I can’t recommend it enough!

Thanks to its great links with British ports, and with plenty more to see in the area (including the Mont Saint-Michel, a Unesco World Heritage site), Saint Malo is also an excellent home port if you’re planning to stay in Brittany for a little while longer.

And it’s all so pretty (and delicious), how could I blame you?

Can’t wait to start planning your trip to Saint Malo? Visit Brittany Tourism’s website for all info, including practical information, accomodation and more ideas of what to see and do!

10 reasons to visit Saint Malo