I have always been one for exploring. Since I was a child, I would always want to see what was beyond my four walls so being a travel bloggers suits me down to the ground.
With exploring in mind, it was lucky then that I was contacted by Brittany Ferries to take a trip with them and some other bloggers to St Malo in France. Now I had never been on a ferry before so I was keen to try out this usual experience.
After a trip to Portsmouth and South Sea on the train(it’s about 2 hours from Central London), we arrived at Brittany Ferries’s dock and met up with all the other bloggers who were coming on the trip. After a quick drink of Bailey’s and a swift check-in, we were ready to climb onboard. Now flash backs on Titanic did occur when we were stepping through a big metal door and the vastness of the Ferry was intense. I felt pretty safe though and had a quick check to see where the lifeboats were (I’m always a worrier).
We all met up in the main reception area of he boat and had a chat with the team from Brittany Tourism and Brittany Ferries. We were due to meet in 40 mins or so for dinner so me and Gary took the opportunity to drop off our luggage in our cabin(which was comfortable and travel chic) and have an explore. Gary was pretty keen to see the Ferry cast off so we walked to the back of the boat and watched Portsmouth start to drift off. It was great seeing the French flag flapping in the English wind as we sailed slowly out to the channel.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to the food situation on the Ferry but I didn’t expect the amazing meal we had. After meeting everyone in the restaurant, we all sat down in groups of fours and glanced over the menu. French cuisine was the order of the day and with us arriving in Saint Malo early the next morning, it was a great time to experience some French food.
As it was pretty late by the time we sat down to eat but I really didn’t care as I was ready to eat my arm off. There was an option of ordering from the Buffet or from the traditional menu but I opted to go traditional as there was some great dishes on there that I wanted to try.
To begin, I ordered the ham and poached egg for a starter, the Fillet of beef for my main and to finish I wanted to try a creamy vanilla millefeuille with salted butter caramel. It’s always a mystery on how any dish will be presented when it comes out but when our meals arrived prompt and hot, each dish looked as tasty and moorish as the next.
The ham and pooched egg were a perfect starter(not too filling and full flavoured) and my steak was divine and cooked just how I like it. The millefeuille was perfect too and was light, creamy and fresh. After our meal, I didn’t feel bloated at all which was great as I was totally ready for bed.
Once we said goodnight to the rest of the bloggers we decided to have a walk around the ferry and try and walk off off our dinner. We didn’t go far but it was great to roam about on the boat when most of the passengers were asleep.
Now I would love to say I slept well on the ferry but sadly I did not. Gary seemed to have slept ok but with the rocking motion of the boat and air conditioning on all night, I did feel rather ill when I woke up the next day. I think it didn’t help that I hadn’t had much sleep on the run up to our trip but regardless, the team from Brittany Ferries and the Brittany tourism board took me and Gary to our hotel where we were staying that night, so I could sleep for the morning and catch up with everyone for lunch later on. Even though I was feeling a bit crap, I as still able to see how gorgeous our hotel was when we arrived. Set against the outer wall of St Malo, Hotel France Chateaubriand was the perfect mix of French heritage and modern luxury. White linen sheets were an ideal choice set amongst vintage furniture and two double doors were a big feature that opening out to a Juliet balcony. The views were stunning too of the town’s wall and the coast line looked gorgeous.
After me and Gary got some shut eye, I awoke feeling like a new woman so we arranged to meet up with the group and have a spot of lunch. As crepes are a huge culture in France, we were all invited to Creperie du Corps de Garde to experience this special French dish. Sat at a long table upstairs in this cute and rustic restaurant, the group ordered Crepes to suit their tastes and talked about their morning. I ordered a simply ham and cheese dish and I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived and it was like a pretty envelope that I would open as it as devoured.
Once our tummies were full, Corinne a local guide in St Malo, took the group around the town to some historic locations. It was a great idea to do this as I knew very little about the island and the stories Corinne told us were just fascinating. Walking along the cobbled streets we learned about the guard dogs or St Malo that would keep out intruders and how a one Bishop turned the island into a world wide trading port that once was festering with pirates. It was great to hear these takes and it definitely made me see St Malo in a new light.
Once the tour was over and I grabbed enough snaps, we were all given some free time to wonder around before dinner that night.
So me and Gary did what we did best…we found a pub! 😂
Sat on a cute corner, we found this rather quant Irish pub that was full of Irish memorabilia. Barrels serviced as tables and whiskies and other alcohol lined the shelves for all to see. Seeing as we were in a Irish pub, I ordered a double Baileys while Gary settled for a Guinness. It was nice just to sit and take in the atmosphere and after we finished our drinks we had a lovely wander around and Gary even did my outfit pictures for me too.
I was gutted the day was nearly at an end but with dinner that night, it was nice to get dressed up and have one last meal with the group.
We all sat down to eat at Le 5 Restaurant which was attached to the hotel we were staying at. Situated on the top floor, the restaurant offered amazing panoramic views and was modern and chic.
The menu was very French with a strong seafood influence but as it was the weekend of new experiences, I was ready to try l something new. For a starter I ordered the duck pate and Gary opted for a seafood platter. Sadly I wasn’t too keen on my dish as it was quite fatty but I found it more amusing that Gary had to tackle muscles, oysters and sea snails which did give him a slight overwhelmed look on his face. I will give him his due though, Gary ate every piece of seafood there was and I even joined him in trying the snails and a few muscles too.
Once our starters were finally finished(Gary’s dish was hard work to get through), my beef and mash potatoes arrived and I was ready for it. Gary opted for the same too and the meat was tender and really made up for my starter which I wasn’t too keen on. Our desserts were delicious too as we had a selection of those and before we knew it, bed was calling and time to grab some sleep before our trip back to the UK the next morning.
By the time we got on the boat the next morning, we were all pretty tired but it was actually really nice to spent some time of the ferry and experience the services they have to offer. As well as having one last lunch with the team(all we have done is eat on this trip👍), me and Gary also had tickets kindly purchased for us by Brittany Ferries and Brittany tourism so we could enjoy a film on the boat too and for me and Gary that was heaven! We got to watch the Reverent which we have been meaning to for ages and we did forget we were on the ferry as the ride was so smooth.
As I’m not keen on flying, a ferry to France with Brittany Ferries was just perfect. Being able to walk around and enjoy nice food was tons better then being on a stuffy, cramped plane. It’s good value too and ideal if you want a long weekend away from it all and to brush up on your French. Brittany Ferries does trips to Spain now too so I will definitely be riding again with them very soon!