Our first full day proper began with the coastal walk in to town to search for breakfast.
We ended up in Wilson bar and brasserie, on the left hand side of the marina, just before the arch that leads into the old town. It seemed to be the only marina front restaurant with a breakfast menu, most of the other restaurants were still setting up, and didn’t look to be open.
The setting is pleasant enough, and we opted for the €10 breakfast menu, plus a large bottle of Evian as we were desperately thirsty, the day was already hot. This by the way was over €5 for a litre bottle, so beware. 20 minutes in, we still hadn’t received anything, the only thing we really cared about was the water, but no sign of that either. Then a panier of warm pastries arrived, a croissant, mini pain au raisin, and a small piece of baguette cut in to two. Butter and a dish of jam, a dayglo half glass of juice that didn’t look like it had seen a piece of fruit, and a small coffee. This was placed down on the table and the waiter turned tail. No water still, they had forgotten.
There was nothing wrong with anything, but you’re paying for a marina view, so value for money was lacking, and large pots of uncovered jam makes for a little wasp party, so just keep walking, through the old arch and on the left there is an amazing bakery, I’ll tell you all about that later….
Most excellent bakery through here and on the left
Next, we wandered the shopping streets, and came across the bustling Saturday market, full of life and colour and amazing produce. A great place to have a mooch and take some typically French pictures.
After the market, it really was a hot day, so back near the marina, we wandered a Vide Grenier under the trees around the ferris wheel, before seeing signs for the Aquarium.
We thought, air conditioning!, but it genuinely was a good way to spend some time, really well done, interesting exhibits, plenty of English translation, and at the end, a tropical indoor oasis complete with waterfall that I wasn’t expecting. At €16 each, it’s not cheap, but you can combine entry to the Maritime museum with a discount.
We then headed back to the fabulous la Belle Gabut for another beer, before deciding on evening plans.
On our walk back round the marina, we spied a sushi place called Hattori. Now usually we don’t get to eat sushi, hubs hates fish, and I don’t eat meat, so finding somewhere that suits both of us is hard. But this place was great. We ate outside, we had great service, and hubs had a pretty new experience because he could order roast chicken sushi which he said was delicious. My California rolls were also great, and we found everything to be pretty reasonably priced, super fresh and tasty. Also loved the Kill Bill theming, hubs sushi was called the Black Mamba.
Once we’d finished our sushi, a short walk back around the marina takes you to Ernest’s, one of the very best ice-cream shops I’ve ever visited, and yes it is worth joining the queue! So much choice in terms of flavour, and I really appreciated the attention they’d given to the cones, they were crispy and tasted of vanilla. Really really good!
And thus ended our first full day in La Rochelle. Part 3 will follow soon. X