Eclectic, colorful, cultured and refined. Nantes.
Yes, you read that right. Nantes is a metropolis that does not give up its place. Rather shy on the international travel scene, I hadn’t heard much about it, but once the cover of this well-kept “secret” is removed, I can only recommend that you go.
I discovered Nantes in September during the event #FranceFestive, which put in competition eight Canadian bloggers within the framework of the festivals of the gastronomy of France. Already knowing Pau and Mulhouse, I hoped that Nantes or Bordeaux would be my host, but a fan of Petit Beurre and a friend of several French people from around, I had a real bias for Nantes.
I was not disappointed and here is why you absolutely must (re) see Nantes soon:
Exploded art installations
There is one of these energies in Nantes, as it is not possible! There are so many cultural and artistic installations per square meter there that I just didn’t have time to see the tip of the iceberg. Everywhere, there is art, it is one of the priorities of the administration to promote Nantes. Street art, statues, installations, exploded and original works on every street corner, not to mention museums.
Completely unique places
Small play on words with the famous Unique place (the old LU biscuit factory, you know the LU biscuits we all love?) which is one of the model places of this atmosphere Nantes, of this revival that has taken hold of the surroundings.
Honestly, I didn’t expect that much from my trip to France. I’m more used to the old Alsatian towns or the classic streets of Paris, so the unique and dynamic places of Nantes had not finished surprising me. They have also succeeded in rekindling in me the desire to see even more of the country.
The tourist attraction that best represents Nantes internationally (but not the only one) is undoubtedly The Machines of the Island, a madness of the creators which led to a vast innovative project about which one speaks around the world. Embark on the giant elephant and take a tour of the site or dive into the heart of the marine worlds à la Jules Verne. Why not both, while you’re at it? There is something magical, childish and endearing about this completely destabilizing, absolutely unique place!
Modern and contrasting streets
Yes, yes, it is quite normal to find a giant water mirror just in front of the Château des Ducs de Bretagne or unicorns hanging above the doors of century-old buildings. That’s it, Nantes! An eclectic mix of history and modernism that creates a most charming picture in which I have enjoyed wandering for hours.
I found the people really endearing in Nantes. Whether it was the people I met in the street or in the shops or the people who showed me around their companies, I would have brought some back in my luggage because they were so nice. I am thinking in particular of Charlotte Goin of Charlotte beers, who opened his doors to me to discuss the profession of female brewer, or to Franck Deperiers, the master of The Little Bakery, who took his time to show me how to make a delicious Nantes cake. We should especially not forget Olivier Durand, this more than passionate market gardener who introduced me to the local market and his own culture respectful of the product. I can’t name them all …
Bites you can’t forget
Ha! Didn’t you think that I was going to omit gastronomy, especially in a country like France? I came back with a few extra pounds on my belt from my very short trip to France, true to my gourmet habits.
Impossible to name all the appetizers tasted, but Nantes is truly overflowing with succulent delicacies. I still remember the sweetness of the cold meats and the wine Wine Comedy or the Breton pancakes from Les Oubliettes that I had the opportunity to make by myself in the courtyard of the Château, the gourmet dinner at the restaurant The cicada so beautiful for the eyes or the bowls of cider and the pancakes of Have-Ken, must-see addresses. Ah, and all the beautiful fresh produce from the market!
Nantes has a je ne sais quoi that I haven’t found anywhere else despite 40 countries visited. It is a colorful, enthusiastic French city, in constant renewal and managed by passionate people who dare to get out of the classic administrative shackles and it shows. Even though I have been invited to discover it, I tell you sincerely and without any obligation that you must set foot there. It is worth the trip, even if it is only for a few days.
If you haven’t already, this video should convince you to add Nantes to your bucket list:
Have you ever visited Nantes? Is this the kind of city you would like to visit?
Have a nice trip to Nantes!
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* Invited as part of the #FranceFestive campaign, the opinions shared are entirely mine and have not been affected in any way. If it wasn’t cool, I wouldn’t talk about it, even if it’s an invitation!