Our first foray exploring the area around Arcachon Bay

The little princess gathering oyster shells on the shores of Arcachon Bay (Cap Ferret)

Heading to the west coast of France further down Brittany proved to be a pleasant surprise. For one, it was not as busy as what we had experienced the previous year in the South of France. Even at the height of the summer season, there was enough room to move around.

Our camping place in Lege, Cap Ferret was a location where we had the best of two worlds — the mighty Atlantic Ocean with its wide empty beaches on one side and the Arcachon Bay on the other which is ringed by many quaint oyster fishing villages.

On our first foray to explore the area around Arcachon Bay, we wanted to see the lighthouse in Cap Ferret but Francesca was more excited to check out the beach. She immediately headed to the water and before soon, was taking her clothes off to be able to swim. Unfortunately, it was low tide and still a bit chilly and we were not prepared with towels and all that so we promised her that that was something that we will do another time.

We then embarked on a search for a restaurant to have lunch but got a bit sidetracked by the wet market that we passed by which as always, charmed me to bits. I could have stayed there forever ogling the fresh produce especially the seafoods that I normally don’t get to see in Holland. My mind was already churning with ideas as to how I would prepare those crabs, lobsters and shrimps which I really miss from my life in the Philippines. Unfortunately, my two bosses were getting so impatient and hungry that we have to stick back to the plan of finding a restaurant for lunch. I thought that we would return to the market before we head back to our camp.

We found a simple restaurant with seafood as its specialty in the town centre. For starter, we shared the pate which was great with the fresh bread. For the main course, the Mr. had mussels and fries while I settled for the lovely sauteed squid served with rice and fennel. Our little girl who’s very picky only had bread and fries as well as her fave chocolate ice cream with lots of whipped cream. The Mr. and I again shared the dessert of tiramisu.

We went back to the wet market after lunch but unfortunately, it was already closing. I was very disappointed especially as I already had dinner figured out in my head. We then dropped by the supermarket and had to make do with the seafood display they had. I settled for a kilo of sardines which for dinner I fried and served with boiled rice and salad.

Arcachon Bay on a cloudy day which would later clear up

The little princess with her haul of oyster shells

Giving her haul of oyster shells to her father for safekeeping

Excitedly rushing to the water

Time to go swimming

A little stop at the playground near the beach

Waiting for our order at the restaurant

Fresh bread

Very yummy “Pate de maison”

Mussels and fries

Sauteed squid served with rice and fennel


Chocolate ice cream with whipped cream

Savoring her ice cream

She charmed the waiter at the restaurant so she got this foldable hat as a present

She got sidetracked by this picture

Father and daughter

Flower of passion fruit

Dill flowers

Peach colored oleanders

One of the many blooms common in the area

Supermarket scene — langostines

Supermarket scene – snails

Supermarket scene – lobsters

Supermarket scene – crabs

Supermarket scene – lobsters

Supermarket scene – lobsters

Supermarket scene – sardines

Supermarket scene – crabs

Supermarket scene – shrimps

Supermarket scene – oysters

Supermarket scene – squid

Supermarket scene – snails

Supermarket scene – mackerels

Supermarket scene – fish

Supermarket scene – 1-kilo steak cuts

Supermarket scene – dried sausages

About Malou
I'm a mom to a five-year old little girl with interest in cooking, baking, traveling and photography. Castles and palaces are special favorites so when weather permits for a good walk on weekends, me, hubby and little girl are always out for a bit of adventure.

58 Responses to Our first foray exploring the area around Arcachon Bay

  1. wildramp says:

    The photos of the seafood makes me realize how much I miss that also. Living in a landlocked area of the US means the seafood is not fresh…..looking forward to moving to the Pacific Northwest next year!!

  2. sohojay says:

    Great photos!

  3. As always your photos are spectacular!!!

  4. avian101 says:

    Very interesting place to visit. You as always have a great narration and pictorials. Great job Malou! Your princess is getting more and more beautiful! Enjoy your life! :)

  5. Enjoyed a glimpse into a world completely different from ours. Thanks

  6. RDoug says:

    One-kilo steaks? That’s an amazingly huge cut, even over here in the U.S.

  7. Lovely pictures of food! I am waiting for breakfast and now even more starving. Our crabs here in the Pac NW look much different from these. Also, no snails at fish markets. Not much appetite for them here since we spend all day removing them from our garden! (Not sure they’re the kind that are edible, anyway.)

  8. I can see why you were so excited about the wet market. Beautiful!
    I feel as if I was there with you.
    Thank you for sharing.

  9. Mmmmmmm……….ALL the food looked incredibly delicious!! Thanks for the trip!

  10. Ingrid says:

    The beach and the food look amazing. Love Francesca’s smiling, carefree face “time to go swimming”. Ah to be young again. Lovely photos!

  11. wineismylife says:

    Excellent photos. I really like the shots of the market.

    • Malou says:

      Thanks a lot. These are actually pictures inside the supermarket. The wet markets are even nicer with their goodies. Too bad that I wasn’t able to take pictures of that. ;-)

  12. All right, Malou…now you’ve made me hungry for seafood…and it’s not even noon here in Chicago! Wonderful images, and Princess certainly has grown over the summer, hasn’t she?

    • Malou says:

      Same here, I am now just drooling over the seafoods when I think of those wonderful days in France. ;-)

      Yes, little girl is growing up so fast.

  13. viveka says:

    Arcachon – miles and miles of sandy beaches – have spent many holidays in Biarritz and have been on the beaches a couple of times, just up the road, coupe of hours drive. You have brought pack load of memories – all the wonderful photos and your writing.
    The little princess enjoys her desserts and there is nothing so good as mussels and chips. Thanks for bringing me along on your holiday with the Atlantic Ocean and fresh seafood.

    • Malou says:

      From what I’ve seen of West France along the coast, I can only imagine that Biarritz must be such a lovely place. I wish we had more time in the area but a week was just too short to see everything that is on offer out there. I enjoyed the seafoods and the seemingly relaxed atmosphere there compared to glitzy South of France. ;-)

      • viveka says:

        Biarritz is beautiful and tiny – walk through the city in less the 40 min. From one end to the other – black rock and high waves. There will be more chances. A week isn’t that much time to play with. Yes, the Atantic coast is a lot more relaxed and the seafood taste a lot better because of the cold water.

  14. RoSy says:

    I wonder if I can sneak into one of your suitcases…LOL
    Always lovin’ your adventures!

  15. annandmeg says:

    Beautiful young girl. Great photographs. My husband and I love the Frnce Coast. The images make me anxious to return.

  16. EllaDee says:

    Wonderful photos. I have seafood envy. Must get to the fishmonger this week :)

  17. likeitiz says:

    Looks good! Enough variety to make paella!!!

  18. jennytography says:

    I’ve been there last year I went there to buy some seafoods and I forgot to bring my camera with me. :( I miss that place nice beach too. Good pictures by the way.

    • Malou says:

      Oh, I know the feeling. I also had that experience going to another supermarket and they have shark so I only had a picture taken with my mobile phone. I was so surprised at this shark meat find and being the Bicolana that I am, my mind was churning with ideas of “kinunot”. ;-)

  19. Sally says:

    Hi – I am delighted to nominate your for the Silver Quill Blogger Award because I just love your blog and everything you write. Visit my blog to see what to do next!

  20. Looks wonderful. And the seafood! Gorgeous!

  21. So beautiful – I wanna go there

  22. Oh, the seafood pictures look so good!
    I now feel the sudden urge to cook a big seafood feast!

  23. lucindalines says:

    Again, beautiful photos and looks like a really lovely time!!

  24. Great Photos Malou, seems like having a wonderful time with your family. your daughter is grown since the photos of Tulips.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful time with us.

  25. I just love that area! How about that GiGanTIC sand dune?

    • Malou says:

      Wonderful place, Wendy. We did not go to the Dune du Pilat but we loved the beach along the Atlantic which also had quite impressive dunes. ;-)

  26. Look at your little princess! She’s so adorable! And wow, that Tiramisu and the mussels looked fantastic!

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