Breizh Epicure Run >>> LWSY over 1400km exploring France in a Jaguar XK120

LWSY

Yes I know what you’re thinking, another ridiculous weekend in France. Well, what can I say, I’m a lucky girl. Boyfriend has a passion for vintage cars, and luckily so do his friends so pull your friends together, create a road book with a start and an end, and you have one awesome weekend away.

It’s the end of March, the weather is improving, and all the boys (and girls) are eager to get their vintage cars out of hibernation and back on the road. What better way to stretch their legs than nearly 1400km of winding roads between Le Mans & Paris.

LWSY

LWSY

For those that could arrive on Thursday evening, our starting point was the iconic Hotel de France in La Charte Sur Le Loir. About 30 minutes from Le Mans station (i’d jumped on the Eurostar early afternoon from London) is situated on the northern edge of the Loire Valley, the Hotel with its ivy covered Art Deco façade, offers individually designed rooms with a great restaurant and bar, pool and gardens that back onto the Loire River.

LWSY

The Hotel de France, famous for its long association with the teams, drivers and cars of the Le Mans 24 hours race, has been used as a destination for leaders of state, film stars and motor sport royalty. The hotel has welcomed the President of France, President Kennedy’s family, Steve McQueen, and Sir Stirling Moss, the hotel bar is decorated in photographs and autographs. So our 20 or so vintage cars starting their engines at dawn was nothing out of the ordinary for the locals of the town. 

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Early morning in the the town square…

LWSY

Once we were all loaded up, filled up, and warmed up we hit the road for our first destination, which in the typical French manner, was lunch.

LWSY

LWSY

Some needed a helping hand or 4…

LWSY

Directions to lunch (!!!) Meet the road book…

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…and we were off…

LWSY

LWSY

Finally at the wheel of his beloved Jaguar XK120 Roadster (yes I was terrified, but I managed some way!)

LWSY

A quick de-tour to a friends garage, obviously I won’t be telling you where….!

LWSY

LWSY

We had a short 97km drive to lunch at Chateau de Noirieux in Briollay in the Loire Valley (pics above & below ℅ Frédéric Rémond).

LWSY

LWSY

Afternoon Chateau counting, and yes I think this one was the biggest, Chateau Challain in Challain La Potherie.

LWSY

Followed by 256km to our evening destination, La Trinité sur Mer (below) and to Petit Hotel des Hortensias owned by a friend of the rally group. Can I just say here that 256km is a long way in an open top car when it’s a little bit chilly. I was ‘very brave and strong’ let me tell you…

LWSY

I have to share this place with you, because believe me if you want a weekend away by the sea, I’ve found your spot. A small guest house hotel, with the most fabulous restaurant. You can check in, take a walk along the harbour, rest up in the beautiful rooms, and just head downstairs to the Mini Bar on the terrace before dinner in the restaurant. The bar in the basement is a fabulous surprise. Oversized velvet Chesterfield armchairs, sailing and classic car memorabilia, with enough Chartreuse behind the bar to sink a ship. That to me is a perfect weekend by the sea…

LWSY

LWSY

Our second surprise guest of the evening (our first being our friend Camille, who by now is a little too pregnant to be riding with us, but who popped up behind the bar to serve her unassuming husband after a long days drive). Little frog was certainly not on the menu that evening but don’t worry, we set him free outside…

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The feast…

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Day 2: Breakfast >>

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Sadly the weather wasn’t what we’d hoped for, but that wasn’t going to dampen anyones spirits…

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Today we were heading from La Trinité to St Malo, via Locquirec. It was going to be a long day, but remember i’m brave and strong, and today and I wore twice as many layers as the day before in preparation for the weather!

LWSY

LWSY

186km later and and just before arriving at Le Restaurant du Port in Locquirec we stopped for the beautiful views of the beach before reaching the harbour.

LWSY

LWSY

Over 230km later we made it to St Malo, the boys found the bar, and I was straight in for a hot bath at Hotel France Chateaubriand before dinner at Restaurant a la Duchesse Anne on Place Guy La Chambre.

LWSY

LWSY

Day 3 >>> 165km to lunch at Restaurant O Gayo in Bagnoles de L’Orne then on back to Paris.

Waking up in beautiful St Malo, I ran up to the beach before we had to leave (obviously to drive to lunch, oh the French and their food…). What a gorgeous place…

LWSY

LWSY

Now for the best surprise, it’s 11am and we’ve been driving for a couple of hours but we stop in Port de Cancale below for some of the best and freshest oysters I’ve ever tasted. Say hello to 3/4 of the team.

LWSY

LWSY

LWSY

Guillaume Cadot above, (check out his website here).

By this point I was having far to much fun (I really mean keeping warm) to take anymore photos, but you can imagine the last afternoon. A fabulous 3 course lunch, with some wonderful friends, how lucky were we to have Guillaume, Etienne and Anne-Charlotte to create such a fun weekend for us all. It was a few hundred km back to Paris in the rain, but when we get to drive past my favourite landmark to get back to E’s house, I was all warmed up once again…

LWSY

So we all made it, and I had made some new friends along the way. Bravo to all the cars who survived the distance, and here’s to the next one in the summer?

What a wonderful weekend….

LWSY

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