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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Art and Tea in Pont-Aven

When you think about the edge or the world  you think about a stark and uninviting brown and gray land facing the cold sea. Pont-Aven located in  Finistère in Brittany couldn't be further from that.

If the sunflowers in the photo trigger a "I've seen those before" thought - it's because this is where Paul Gauguin was inspired to paint his many sunflower pieces.  A number of artists took up residence here around1885   and they were collectively known as  Pont-Aven School of post Impressionism which became known as Synthetism. 

Gaugin's "Sunflowers"

The Aven River runs through Pont Aven and empties into the Atlantic.  In addition to the sunflowers, Gaugin painted scenes of the river basin, the towns 15 mills and waterfalls.
The wooden passerelle over the river.
The Promenade Xavier Grall is a walk named after the writer. The promenade meanders alongside the river in between the former mills now restored as restaurants, upscale shops, and of course the art galleries.

All through our drives in Brittany we saw thatched cottages and so when we were in Pont Aven we stopped in for tea and cakes at La Chanmiere Roz-Aven, a traditional cottage transformed into a restaurant on the ground floor and hotel up above.  The morning was a little brisk so we skipped the outside tables which overlooked the port, but we took a window seat.  The view and the cakes and the service were all excellent.

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