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French Impressions: Brittany


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French Impressions Brittany

( George East )

Price: 9.99
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In French Letters, George wrote about the couple뭩 game plan for the autumn of their years. The scheme was that they would amble around France, calling in on all those readers who had been rash enough to invite them to stay if ever they were in the area. Having arrived with a bottle of (fairly) good wine and their dirty washing, the Easts would then impose upon the hospitality of their hosts until all goodwill was exhausted. Then it would be on the road to the next region of France, and the next victim.

Probably because of the warning (and that potential hosts would have read about George뭩 level of house-training), the plan never materialised. As a substitute, the couple had to find another excuse to go on the run and savour the diverse delights to be found only in France. This is the raison d뭙tre behind French Impressions and the Brittany book. .

The first of a series which will last as long as George does, French Impressions: Brittany is the result of the East뭩 time half way up what passes as a mountain in this wonderful and very different region of France. Plan 멇 was for the couple to spend a year living in a tiny hamlet and moseying around the region to report on the history, culture, traditions and (most of all) the food and drink of Brittany. And of course, the eccentric locals and expats encountered at home and on the road. 

In fact, the Easts had such fun that the one year deadline was stretched to three. But now the book is finished, and you can join the couple in their small adventures. Written in George뭩 inimitable style, this book is certainly unlike any travel book you can have read. And as a visitor to this site, you can get your hands on a copy at a special introductory offer. 


Buy now and see just why so many readers think George East is a national treasure, even if that means they think he should be re-buried...


My wife has prepared a flask of coffee and packed lunch, and is airing a sleeping bag. This is not because we are going camping, but because I need to visit our nearest computer shop. The preparations are also not because I have a long way to go, but because I will certainly have a long time to wait when I get there.

In the United Kingdom, people camp outside stores before sales days to be sure of getting a bargain. In many of the more rural parts of France, people need to set up camp inside some stores to be sure of surviving until they get served. The waiting time is bad enough in computer shops in Britain; it is even more so in France, as the French have a special flair for these things. Young men can become pensioners while waiting to buy a new gadget, which will anyway be severely out of date by the time they are allowed to buy it.

There is a clue to the level of customer response speed in the name of the shop I am visiting, as it is called Info-Tech-Rapide. In this respect, weasel words tell the tale on both sides of the Channel. In the UK, any bank that claims to be listening is sure to be deaf to your plea that they should not take the umbrella they are charging you to hire away just when it begins to rain in your life. Any public or commercial operation which claims to care about its customers will clearly not give a toss when the chips are down. The irony here is that, in France, the companies with rapide, vite or toutes suite in their names or slogans actually believe they offer a faster-than-usual service

Checking my rucksack for iron rations, my copy of War and Peace and that I have at least one change of underwear, I kiss my wife and say goodbye to the cat, dog and chickens. If they are not around when I return, I will hopefully be able to get to know their descendants.


I am not usually taken with medieval towns which show off their history like a tart in excessive make-up and provocative clothing. Freshly cobbled streets and over-the-top olde-worlde street furniture and shop and street signs and menus in indecipherable gothic-horror type face invariably get up my nose with their tweeness. But for me, there is something cheerily down-to-earth about Cote d Armor뭩 Montcontour which allows the town to get away with looking like a 1930뭩 Hollywood film set designer뭩 LSD뻟nduced interpretation of what the average English village looked like in the reign of Good King Richard.

Attractions include a biennial medieval fete, and the contrast of the extremely photogenic ancient buildings, hundreds of extras in costume and thousands of visitors snapping away with their digital cameras is an almost surreal sight. Now the season is over the town has won back its cobbled streets, and it is very pleasant to take a coffee in the shadow of buildings which have stood for centuries but look as if they could fall down at any time.

On our walk around the friendly-feeling town we stopped off at a stall for the Breton equivalent of a fried egg sandwich, and found It almost an art form to eat one without suffering third-degree burns.

Customer Reviews:

Jennie A'Court  (Saturday, 05 June 2010)
Rating: 5
Interesting, informative and fun. I've only flirted with Brittany before but now I want to see all the places George describes, warts and all.(The places not George). Please keep us updated with your next move. Good luck to you both.


Kerry Pitt-Kerby  (Thursday, 13 May 2010)
Rating: 5
Inimitable George - irrascible, irreverant, incorrigible. I'm sure I've met some of those characters elsewhere. Damn fine read (inevitably)!

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