A French foodie adventure: The Île de Ré

Arriving by boat in St Martin on the Île de Ré has to be up there with one of the most exciting and special experiences! After quite a gusty and hairy sail over to the island, it was bliss to be tucked up hugger mugger in the port. We warmed up with a quick shower ashore and set off along the promenade to have a drink before supper.

St Martin Ile de re

St Martin Ile De Re

The dream team…

St Martin ile de re

Back on board, David (not the first time he’s made it on to the blog) and Nick quickly got the oven going and set about making the most delicious bouillabaisse.

Bouillabaisse on board Papillon

Let me tell you…she’s cramped down there, and for once I was happy to hand over the cooking reins to the on-board maestros.

Bouillabaisse on board PapillonBouillabaisse on board Papillon

Using fish soup, langoustine, cod cheeks and monkfish, all bought earlier that day from the La Rochelle market, it was an absolute feast and one which I look forward to recreating on dry land.

Bouillabaisse on board Papillon

Bouillabaisse on board Papillon

Bouillabaisse on board Papillon

After listening to some Mumford & Sons down below, we headed off to bed…

Bouillabaisse on board Papillon

The next day Dais and I set off into St Martin for some shopping…

Macaroons in St Martin

Fleur de sel

When we returned Dad, Nick and David had been to the market in St Martin (a smaller but still very good version of the La Rochelle one) and had come back with hordes of goodies to create this stunning assiette de fruits de mer…

Assiette de fruits de mer

Nick gave me a great tip for enhancing tomato salads… make up the salad with the shallots, olive oil, vinegar and fresh basil and then leave it in the sun to cook…this really brings out the flavours to another level!

Assiette de fruits de mer

I prevented the team from diving in straight away as I papped the seafood…but soon we were all tucking in and singing the praises of French food.

Blogger at work

Feeling wonderfully content and full, we were determined not to waste the afternoon, so we hired some bicycles and set off for Ars… it turns out all arse-related jokes are hilarious after a magnum of rose.

Ars En Re

Ars (hehe, actually still funny when sober too) is utterly picturesque. We biked through little streets with wild flowers popping up everywhere.

image7 (2) image6 (2)   image2 (2) image1 (2) Flowers in Arse en re

We returned to St Martin and realised we had biked 30km and it was 8pm! We dashed off to the capitainerie for showers and then headed out for supper at Le Bistrot Du Marin. Dad had been before, and knew the ropes, so promptly ordered côte de boeuf for one and all, along with the house red wine which was deliciously cold…

Cote du boeuf

Cote du boeuf

It was beef like I have never had before… with a rich blue cheese sauce and a dijonnaise-esque one too. NUMMA! A perfect supper for our last night.

Cote du boeuf

In the morning we set sail and headed back to La Rochelle…

La Rochelle

With Dais, the able crew…

Daisy the crew

And the Captain guiding us in…


We had time for a quick bowl of moules marinière…

Moules marinieres

Followed by an extremely indulgent, but quite frankly incredible waffle with salted caramel…

Salted Caramel waffle

Then it was back to Papillon to pack up before heading back to the airport. I suppose this foodie adventure had to come to an end eventually… it’s been a treat to share it and relive it all again!

3 thoughts on “A French foodie adventure: The Île de Ré

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