At the end of another lovely sunny day on the Ile de Ré, the best if often still to come. Sunset. It is suprising how often that half hour before the sun disappears seems somewhat magical on the island. You are really aware of it walking round St Martin de Ré harbour.
Before the lovely peachy pink colours of the last rays of sun, St Martin de Ré is often tinted a golden yellow. The sun reflecting on the stone of some of the older buildings.
There is certainly something about the light on the island. Bright clear days in midwinter and supposedly as much sun as they get down on the French Riviera.
The Ile de Ré does benefit from a micro-climate as it sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. This is the view at sunset last winter from one of St Martin’s bars, Au Lever du Soleil.
From St Martin if you look across the water to the north west, you see the sun setting over another island village, Loix. When the sun has finally gone, you turn your back on it to walk home, knowing that tomorrow could bring another beauty.
If you are now longing to see the sunset you could always book our holiday home in St Martin de Ré . Details here.
The other weekend when I cycled over to La Flotte to visit the market I came across this lovely parade of cars. Rather than seeing a display of those well known French brands Renault, Peugeot and Citroën, I had come across a meeting of Panhard fans. Apparantly the company last made a car in the 1960’s after being bought by Citroën. I loved the streamlined details on some of them.
It’s not the first time I have come across vintage cars on the Ile de Ré and having travelled to the island myself in a 1968 Morris Minor I was delighted to see yet more.
And here is the car that happily made the journey London – St Martin de Ré – London. It’s pictured just down the road from our house, driving round St Martin harbour.
Veteran, vintage or modern all are welcome on the Ile de Ré. Though it’s always best to park your car and get on a bike to see the island at its finest. To see more of our house in St Martin de Ré and for details on how to book it, click here…
You can see the Ile de Ré on television this week. The global French channel TV5 Monde is repeating a programme that has already aired in France. Thalassa is a regular show on France 3. This edition “La Rochelle, vivre l’Atlantique” celebrates La Rochelle and its nearby islands, focussing on how people live and work by or on the sea. In the UK you can see it Tuesday May 20th at 22.56. Part of the programme is up on YouTube showing some lovely blue skies and sunny beaches.
A couple of weeks back we celebrated with lunch in the sun on the Ile de Ré . After clearing our plates we realised you really could say “dinner is behind you!” Those tanks are full of the finest seafood. I had a plate full of this lot…
A plate of palourdes gently cooked with garlic and herbs, served with lovely sauteed potatoes and all washed down with a glass of rose. What more could you want on a sunny day? Oysters? There were plenty of those as well. Harvested from the nearby oyster beds.
It was a great lunch just a few minutes cycle from our house in St Martin de Ré . I’m sure we’ll be going back again soon.
You can find Sophie and Jacky Sury’s Auberge de la Mer just outside St Martin de Ré on the cycle route towards La Courade. As a bonus you usually get to see the island’s rasta donkeys on the way! To see more of our house click on the link below.
It may be January but the Ile de Ré has seen plenty of big blue skies in the past couple of weeks. The hour before sunset has also brought out some lovely golden colour on the buildings around the harbour in Saint Martin de Ré.
On several afternoons I’ve walked round the town watching the light change and then sat outside Le Lever du Soleil for a drink and a chance to watch the world go by.
Away from St Martin, the island is full of birds that have flown in for the winter, apparently including a snowy owl. There is much excitement in the twitcher world because supposedly it’s the first time anyone has reported seeing the bird in Charente Maritime. All I have seen is more people with big lenses.
Bird lover or mere mortal. If you want to rent our house in Saint Martin de Ré click here.
So we needed a new tree for the garden. Clearly the only way to get it home was by bike. It’s what you do on the Ile de Ré.
The best thing about the journey back from Les Jardins de Suzanne in La Courade to Saint Martin de Ré was how most of the cyclists coming the other way didn’t seem surprised. Tree on back of bike? Why not?
The tree is now safely planted in our garden so hopefully next summer some lucky renter will get the chance to sample a few cherries from the garden.
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.