Our second day in Nantes started bright and early. With three challenges ahead, yesterday was focused on discovering the unique culinary landscape that characterizes the Nantes Atlantic region. Over the next few days, 8 bloggers from Canada have been sent to 4 locations across France to help showcase and share the regional cuisine to you, our readers. In addition to my daily travel diaries, you can follow the adventure on social media under the hashtag #FestiveFrance!
We began our day in place Saint-Felix at La Petit Boulangerie for a lesson in traditional French baking from Franck Deperiers. This bakery is not only just a neighbourhood favourite, but known all over France for it’s exquisite standard in baking and recognized for their exceptional bread. For our first challenge of the week, with the help of Franck Deperiers, we had the chance to make the traditional Gateau Nantais. Made with flour, sugar, almonds, and a whole lot of rum, this was an exciting opportunity to learn first hand how a true french bakery works. To make your own Gateau Nantais at home, the recipe from Nantes Tourism is here. Our next activity was a tour and mystery tasting at Les Bieres de Charlotte. This micro-brewery has become a popular destination in Nantes for locals looking for beers that have been made with quality, precision and technique in mind. Creating both drinking and cooking beers that range in flavour from amber ales to a lighter, more refreshing wheat beer, there is defiantly a type perfect for every beer drinker. I personally prefer something lighter and fruiter so la Carlota was the perfect choice. We then had lunch in the Jardin des Plantes, and took an afternoon stroll to explore this wondrous garden. Inspired by the fantastical elements often found in children’s books, the Jardin des Plantes is an escape from the city bringing your imagination to life in the heart of Nantes. And for our final challenge of the day, we learnt how to make the traditional Crepe Breton in the courtyard of the Château des ducs de Bretagne. Serving has the centre of the historical province of Brittany until 1941, this castle was the home of the Dukes of Brittany from the 13th to 16th century. And still to this day the castle is immaculately conserved and has been transformed into the Nantes History Museum hosing over 850 object and artifacts.
To finish off our culinary day in Nantes, we relaxed with a glass of Muscadet wine at the historic La Cigale. Originally built in 1985, La Cigale is now considered a historic monument and has maintained its originally architecture and intricate tile design to this day. This restaurant was designed by architect/ceramicist Émile Libaudière who brought the lavish and experimental nouveau style from the turn of the century to life in this colourful restaurant.