We were in our garden having dinner when suddenly the music started up. We could hear it clearly as it was coming from just round the corner on Place de la République, the main square in St Martin de Ré . It sounded lovely as it came through the trees, so food finished, we went for a closer look.
The square had been sealed off earlier in the day and a temporary stage put up for the free night at the opera. The evening was a bit more than a greatest hits performance but somehow they managed to condense three Rossini operas into one show.
The night was part of the annual Musique en Ré festival that sees performances across the Ile de Ré including some that are free and in the open air. It was a lovely way of spending a warm summer evening.
The last opera featured was the Barber of Seville. Darkness descended as the music came to an end but then as an added bonus there were fireworks to add to the memory of another lovely night on Ré .
To see our holiday home in St Martin de Ré and find out how to book it, click here.
You know when summer is drawing to a close on the Ile de Ré when the signs go up for La Fête du Coquillage. Basically it’s an excuse for a party organised by the users of the Saint Martin de Ré harbour.
Vast amounts of fresh seafood will be cooked and eaten on the harbourside; huîtres, moules-frites and vannets. All washed down with plenty of Ile de Ré wine. Musically expect sea shantys, accordians and live jazz. It starts in the late afternoon golden sun but after dark there will be dancing under the stars.
We’ve been before and will be going this Saturday. It looked like this before…
Of course if you want to be there next year you could always check out our house in St Martin.
One of the many delights of the island is the fish. In restaurants keep your eyes open for poissons from petit bateau. The fish that comes in on the small boats. Probably the best known small boat on the island is Jemapa, the last surviving working fishing boat in La Flotte.
The catch is unloaded on the quay just in front of the Tourist Office.
You can buy the fish direct every Monday to Saturday morning 10.30 – 12.30 from the family house at 63 Route De St Martin, La Flotte. (2018 UPDATE: Since this blog post was first written Jemapa has switched to selling several afternoons a week on the quayside in St Martin de Ré)
Hungry for more? Then check the availability of our lovely house in St Martin right now. It sleeps up to 8 but is also ideal for just a couple or two couples wanting to share a week on one of France’s loveliest islands.