Our destination is well hidden. We drive through Brittany on the country road from St. Malo towards Cancale. The navigation system shows only 900 meters to the destination. The sea is just not visible and yet “Les Maisons de Bricourt” of the Roellinger family should be very close? The first and only sign hangs directly at the turnoff that leads to the bay of Mont St. Michel.
The road leads straight toward the Château de Richeux, a 1920s villa that now houses hotel rooms as well as the restaurant Le Coquillage. One of many “Bricourt estates” that the Roellinger family has opened up to guests over the years. The latest additions are La Ferme du Vent and La Maison de Gwenn.
Both houses are located only 500 meters from the picturesque Château de Richeux. Between them only park, fruit trees, a herb garden and the “field of the wind”. Whoever stays here enters another world – a world in harmony with nature.
Click here for the detailed report Hugo Roellinger’s cuisine of the corsairs
Hugo Roellinger promises new life energy
Always blown by the sea breeze, the old, dilapidated farm has always been a magical place for Hugo Roellinger and his parents Olivier and Jane. After 2.5 years of construction, the ensemble opened in July 2016. The architect Christoph Bachmann from nearby Dinard, has worked closely with the Roellinger family to recreate a place where – Hugo Roellinger is sure – you can feel the time and energy.
The place gives new energy to big-city people whose days are full of meetings, business meals and mobile permanent availability. But at the Ferme du Vent, Hugo Roellinger also recommends turning off your cell phone and looking better at the sea.
A time out in the wind
Kled is the Breton word for wind catcher. When staying at Ferme du Vent, each group is accommodated in its own kled, a very private refuge and windbreak. In the buildings of a former farm, the motto is life in harmony with nature – at least for a few days. There is no TV, no wifi, no bright colors, no plastic. The pictures on the walls are the windows that bring the bay of Mont St Michel into the house.
Natural colors wherever the eye looks. The dominant materials are wood, very old wood, and stone. The tableware: earthenware. Tea is drunk from bowls. Every morning, a paper boat with a small bunch of fresh herbs lies in the bathroom – tiny details that add up to a maximum relaxation experience.
Let your soul dangle and do so from morning to night. Nowhere is this well-worn image more appropriate than here. No constraints, no obligations. Breakfast is brought to the house, and you don’t have to leave the house for dinner either. The star cuisine of the nearby restaurant Le Coquillage is brought to the Kled on request. The day is filled with a walk by the sea and a visit to the beautiful Bains Celtiques. The pinnacle of relaxation is a foot reflexology massage at Gwenn. Hugo Roellinger speaks of recharging with life energy. In an environment that seems out of time, this succeeds particularly well.
Self-experiment in words and pictures
The Breton breakfast is brought at the desired time. The wooden box is filled with typical Breton food such as crêpes and brioche, salted butter, but also vegetable juice, yogurt and fruit.
A very special starter for the day is a small bottle that looks a bit like a poison drink, but is supposed to have the exact opposite effect. Detox is based on seawater mixed with a spice blend from Roellinger.
For all the relaxation, a little initiative is then required in this beautiful setting. To set the breakfast table and make coffee and tea yourself.
After breakfast, an excursion to Mont St Michel or a walk along the coast towards Cancale is a good idea. Past the longhorn cattle, which you can always see from the window and which radiate a peace and serenity that you would like to achieve yourself.
Les Baines Celtiques – the Celtic baths
Everywhere you go you encounter elements of the old farmstead. Beautifully restored and arranged. The entrance room to the Celtic Baths is dominated by a fireplace with three hearths and a huge wooden bench in front of it.
Here, too, natural colors, lots of old wood, fancy lamp design and cushions made of beautiful fabrics. A large door leads into the bathroom, which you enter barefoot. Just the feel of the natural stone underfoot lends more security than any tile could.
The whole bathroom is made of natural stone. There are corners with embedded massage jets. Harmonious lines of sight connect inside and outside. The pool is designed in such a way that you swim towards the horizon and even Mont St Michel if the view is good.
A sauna and a steam bath are also included. The Celtic bath can also be visited by day guests. Booking is recommended, as there are never more than six people admitted at a time, but then there is plenty of room.
Finding inner peace
The Celtic Bath is also the workplace of Gwenn Libouban, who offers foot reflexology massages. The one-hour treatment transports new life energy through the feet into the body. Gwenn feels every weak point in the body through the treatment of the feet and sets pleasant impulses for the improvement of the well-being through the massage.
In order for the detoxifying effect of the intensive foot reflexology massage to take full effect, Gwenn advises me to drink a lot over the next two days. She doesn’t have to tell me twice. After the massage, I float in front of the large fireplace, where a fire always crackles, and calmly drink a whole pot of herbal tea.
The taste of the four winds – a dinner in the Kled
Whether you can’t see the inside of a restaurant because of your job, or you see it as the perfect way to round off a relaxing weekend: dinner in your own four walls has its own special charm.
In the evening sun, the view of the bay of Mont St Michel is fascinating. The fireplace is already carefully loaded, a flick of the match and it starts to crackle. Antoine Coulm, chef at Le Coquillage restaurant arrives as agreed shortly before eight with a selection from the maritime-dominated “Taste of the Four Winds” menu.
Antoine explains the menu sequence and points out special features. He programs the oven and also gives a recommendation for the menu accompaniment from the well-stocked wine refrigerator. Then he wishes you a nice evening, “bon appétit” and you are alone with three courses from the star kitchen of Le Coquillage and can start the evening at your own pace.
My only kitchen deed that evening: the prepared tajine goes into the oven for 20 minutes. Then the John Dory fish with pak choi and yellow zucchini and andaliman pepper-an Indonesian lemon pepper-can be enjoyed.
Starter from the sea
Sea cuisine is what made Olivier Roellinger famous. So it’s only logical that a number of the dishes on the menu feature fresh ingredients from the sea. The famous oysters from the sea off the neighboring town of Cancale are served house style. Nine oysters combined with three different spices and herbs.
Marinated sea bream with Olivier Roellinger’s “Poudre de Neptun” spice blend and herbs from the sea cliff. Chef Antoine Coulm says he and his colleagues often go to the sea in the afternoon to collect herbs. That’s how these special, rather thick-leafed herbs with a slightly salty note also make their way into the Four Winds menu.
Under the green cloak is crabmeat from the head of the spider crab. The sauce is refined with almond and pistachio oil.
In addition to the aforementioned John Dory fish, another main dish goes into the oven. A brill with shrimps and ginger sauce. Served with homemade Breton pasta with piment d’Espelette.
In addition to the 11-person kitchen team, two patissiers also work in the kitchen at Le Coquillage. Antoine’s recommendation is the house specialty: “Paris-Cancale tartlets with pistachio cream. Add to that a chocolate cake with homemade salted butter and caramel, and a puff pastry with a Madagascar vanilla cream.
What a wonderful end to this very relaxing day with many new impressions. Some of them quite small. The grounds of the Ferme du Vent are full of little eye-catchers.
Before we roll our suitcases back to the car in the luggage cart, a quick look at some of the other apartments. All are characterized by equally beautiful simplicity and the incorporation of old furniture from Brittany.
Click here for the detailed report Hugo Roellinger’s kitchen of the corsairs
By the way, we arrived by sea with the car ferry from England.
Click here for a detailed report on the crossing with Brittany Ferries.
The cost of half board was not charged by the hotel