Having spent a couple of days preparing the house for family arrivals, on Saturday we head south to visit the parents of Tom’s girlfriend, Delphine. We eat an extended lunch on their garden terrace under a shade consisting of a highly mobile garden umbrella, which in the breeze behaves more like a sail.
After lunch, we take a Walk round St Lunaire which is a commune in the Ille-et-Vilaine department in Brittany in northwestern France. It has the charm of an old-style seaside resort with four so-called family beaches. The old colour schemes have been retained including the red and pink Grand Hotel around which the resort developed at the end of the 19th century. We stop at various points to enjoy the view, including panorama from the Pointe du Decolle. We walk in sunny, hot conditions and once back at the house drink copious amounts of water before driving back to St Vaast.
We have been invited for aperos with the Poulets and arrive later than intended, which leads them to invite us to eat too. Francois barbecues a cote de boeuf which is delicious in its rarity. Dessert is a very light merinquey praline confection: a birthday cake for Chloe.
On Sunday we rise to prepare for the arrival of Barney and crew. They are on the 7 am ferry and arrive at the house at 11.30, hungry, so we go straight into a lunch of eggs, charcuterie etc. Nick and I are due to go to the Traversees de Tatihou with our neighbours Claire and Ty, with a cold dinner to be eaten chez eux afterwards. This involves a Walk across the causeway to reach the large marquee where, in intense heat, we are entertained by a very accomplised group I Muvrani.
The return crossing is quite an experience, a stream of people returning to the mainland, like a procession of pilgrims, slopping through very shallow water at the midway point. We ate delicious cold roast chicken and a salad selection at the Tuttles, and the raspberry and dark chocolate tart I chose to take went down very well.
Returning to the house we turn in for a good night’s sleep before what promises to be an action-packed week with the grandchildren.