La Rochelle

We’re back in our favorite city, La Rochelle. We love this place and find that we enjoy it more every time we’re here (this is our fourth visit). This time the weather is working to dissuade us, but it won’t work. In 2013 we came twice because our first visit, in late-June encountered cool and cloudy weather. Still we loved the place, not least because we got a room on the top floor of our hotel, overlooking the entrance to the La Rochelle harbor and we spent hours just watching the activity of boats in and out of the harbor. We came back in September, asked for the same room and encountered about the same weather, but our love of the city just increased. Last year we decided to come in late July, knowing that even though the city would be stuffed with French families on vacation, the weather would be better, and it was. So it was that we booked for mid-July again this year, again asking for “our”room. We arrived yesterday in 98 degree sunshine. Woke up this morning to rain, lightning, thunder and winds (our hotel is named les Brises and it lived up to its name today!). But what the heck, we still love it. Here’s some pictures.

Le P’tit Bleu

La Rochelle is on the Atlantic coast, and the old city is ranged around an ancient harbor, so it stands to reason that La Rochelle would have some good seafood restaurants. In fact, it has hundreds. One of our very favorites, though, may not qualify as a real restaurant. This is Le P’tit Bleu, which stands on the promenade along the old harbor.

Le P'tit Bleu. Maybe not a real restaurant as such, but the best grilled calamari ever, and fabulous mussels (moules).

Le P’tit Bleu. Maybe not a real restaurant as such, but the best grilled calamari ever, and fabulous mussels (moules).

Though I’m not a fan of food-photos, here’s the calamar grillé.


Here’s the view to the west from the eating area of Le P’tit Bleu, looking out the mouth of the La Rochell harbor. The two towers were build in the 14th and 15th centuries:


And to the east, looking at the restaurants ringing the old harbor.


Another good thing about Le P’tit Bleu: you can have six or seven glasses of wine with dinner, because they give you glasses that are more like slightly large thimbles.Here’s Laurie ready for her first glass:


The Harbor

We were worried last year about visiting here in July, as that is when French families come here – in droves – on vacation, and we usually aren’t too excited about being in a place full of tourists. But we found that it was great fun to be part of the tourist crowd, part of the families enjoying it here. Look at this picture taken along the waterfront: there are young couples, old couples, in-between couples, families, singles, everything, just enjoying a beautiful evening. I might also point out that this picture was taken at about 8:30 o’clock at night. Sunset here is about 9:50, which makes for beautiful evenings.


We went on a long, interesting walk today; I think I’ll save that for another post.

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2 Responses to La Rochelle

  1. Mary Germain says:

    We need to visit this city! Laurie, was that really your first glass?

  2. Susan says:

    These posts are just breathtaking. I am ready to book. I am saving these for detailed instructions on what to do when we are there!

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