Nicola Harrington - guest blogger living in France with 7 holiday rental gites

Nicola Harrington

My paintbrushes have taken me to La Maison Verte for the last two weeks.

Blue-green-orange-yellow paint-paintbrushes For the past few days, I have been trying to figure out how to paint the ceiling in the stairwell.

Every single combination of precariously placed step ladders and scaffold boards just didn’t get me high enough.


A couple of days ago, I had this conversation with my husband:

“Mark, could you give me a hand one day next week?”

“Sorry, I’m really busy… maybe in a couple of weeks.”

“Lunch?” I proffer.

“How about Tuesday?”

As my Grandmother used to say: “Nicola, it is no good getting old unless you get artful.”

Is that artful or plain sneaky?

Either way, the stairwell in La Maison Verte now has a fresh coat of paint.

Lunch was at a ‘Workers’ restaurant (restaurant ouvrier), just outside Guer.

The waitress’s face lit up when she realised we were English.

“We have roast beef today.”  The French think we live on cooked breakfasts and roast beef! Do we?

We had a fabulous four-course lunch and coffee… and paid 22 euros for the two of us.

3 pork chops with mustard sauce in a serving dish with caooked carrots in a saucepan

Pork chops in mustard sauce

I think these restaurants ouvriers are declining in popularity… they seem to be quieter, which is a real shame as they offer a ‘real’ French experience, with simple, delicious, homecooked dishes at very reasonable prices. Their atmosphere is also warm and friendly. The popular French word for this is convivial.

If you get a chance to come to our part of  Brittany, the D8 in Monterrein (La Maison Rouge) and the restaurant in Treal (La Maison Bleue) are the best… and believe me, Mark has tried most !

Please help us!

If you found this useful, please let your friends know by sharing it here...