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Piers and Lin du Pré are the owners of the Fleming 55 Play d'eau, based in Beaucette Marina, Guernsey in the Channel Islands at N49° 30’.197 W002° 30’.350.

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Letter from Port la Fôret

The patisserie was calorific cruelty
click to enlarge

This is just a postcard – not a letter.

Boulangerie

A short and delightful walk away is the boulangerie at La Fôret-Fouesnant. It’s a patisserie and chocolaterie as well, and has the most mouth watering and calorifically impressive displays imaginable.

One fine morning I arrived at 10am and asked for, ‘Trois croissants, s’il vous plaît.’ The young mademoiselle politely told me they were sold out and that in any case (glancing at her watch and giving me a look of disdain that only a French Mademoiselle can give) it wasn’t petit déjeuner any more, but déjeuner. Well, there’s telling you.

Suitably admonished I asked for a baguette and was rewarded with a beautiful smile.

Twixt the Marina and La Fôret-Fouesnant

The 18th century Le Manoir de Mesmeur is now the prestigious Cornouaille Golf Club
click to enlarge

The mile and a half walk from the marina to the village is through a cooling wood and along a narrow walkway by the lake, passing on one side the prestigious Cornouaille Golf Club and the eccentric Crêperie Quartier d’été and smart houses on the other. Making this a round trip to acquire one’s breakfast croissants (don’t be late) is a joy.

The lake dries at low tide and re-fills to capacity as the tide comes in.

Fouesnant’s church

The ancient, weathered church stands proud near the water’s edge. Its tall and reasonably ornate spire houses its bells. Sadly, they must be cracked for they no longer ring with vibrancy, but more of a sad and empty ‘dong’.

Archipel des Glénan

Port la Flôret runs a ferry service to and from the Îles de Glénan, an archipelago off the coast. Known as the Breton Tahiti and only accessible in summer, the islands, sand and turquoise seas are spectacular.

The Aigrette III would moor next to Play d’eau overnight
click to enlarge

Ferries shuttle passengers back and forth, and one of the vedettes, the Aigrette III, would moor next to us, overnight.

Having waxed lyrical about the archipelago, we have yet to go there!

The Union Flag

Originally the 18th century Le Manoir Mesmeur, The Cornouaille Golf Club displays an array of flags of many nations. For at least the last two years, the Union Flag has been flown upside down.

Flying the flag this way has two meanings. Declaring a state of distress (maybe because the British players are always winning) or as a deliberate insult (maybe because the British players are always winning).

By the way, there’s only one time when the Union Flag can be called the Union Jack. Any idea when?

Piers and Lin
from the Writing Bureau of
Play d’eau
Fleming 55

(Click on a pic and use left/right arrows to scroll through the album)

3 comments to Letter from Port la Fôret

  • Alan Richmond

    When flown upside down at sea, the Union Flag is also a distress signal.

    Once, on a South Brittany cruise, I found, at two successive ports, that the Union Flag was upside down, outside the bureau du port. On bringing it to their notice, at one the response was approximately, “So what?” And at the other “Oh my gosh….who put that up! Get it changed, right now. So sorry”. An Anglophobe and an Anglophile, perhaps.

    Only a British warship can wear the Union Flag at sea, and then only on the jackstaff, at the bow, when at anchor. It can be flown at the masthead, in harbour, when dressed overall.

    Any serving Naval Officer can fine a ship up to £1000 for flying the Union Flag inappropriately. I was told this by a serving Naval Officer, several years ago.

    Perhaps we should apply this to visitors to Guernsey who fly the Guernsey Flag as a courtesy flag, instead of flying the Maritime Ensign. I think it is sold as a courtesy flag because the first supplier was Plastimo, a French company, and the French fly their Tricoleur as both National Flag and Maritime Ensign. Just Gallic Ignorance! Would make a new revenue stream for Ms Mcreedy.

    Enjoy your cruise

    Alan

    • Hi Andy. A virtual pint of beer for you! As you say, in the jack staff of a British warship.

      Returning to Portsmouth on Condor once, I saw an upside down union jack on one of our warships in the harbour. Driving to the naval base the guards were quick to say they’d had other complaints and that the rating who’d raised the flag (as well as the morning colours) would be having a stern talking ‘at’ (not ‘to’) by the Captain later that day.

  • Hil

    Hi Piers,

    Another heavenly trip with an impossible to resist feast on the way! Will you go to Breton Tahiti? Please do- I would love to see photos of it. The Creperie looks charming and deliciously quiet and lazy…I suppose there are no fish in the lake- or lots of dead ones when the tide goes out?

    The Union Jack- isn’t it the little triangular flag flying underneath the Union Flag? I expect the golf club does not even realise there is a right and a wrong way up.

    I love your blogs- thank you.

    Lots of love, Hil x x x

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