TRAVEL /FRANCE / SARTORIALEE’S 24 HOURS IN NANTES
Nestled in between Brittany and Bordeaux on France’s Atlantic Coast, Nantes is one the country’s most desirable places to live – and it’s not hard to see why. The capital of Muscadet wine has a fresh, youthful air that positively oozes quality of life
Words and photography: Lee Osborne
WHAT TO SEE
Château des ducs de Bretagne
4 Place Marc Elder, 44000 Nantes
This imposing castle once served as the centre of the historical province of Brittany until its separation in 1941. Scale its vast walls by walkway and helter skelter your way down.
WHERE TO SHOP
Saint James Boutique
17 Rue de la Barillerie, 44000 Nantes
It would be rude not to purchase one of France’s most iconic pieces of clothing, from kings of the original sailor boy look. While traditional navy and white rocks, the Breton top looks just as cool in navy and red.
18 rue de l’Arche Sèche
Close to Nantes’ tallest building, the Tour de Bretagne, this minimalist menswear shop, which sells labels like Libertine-Libertine and Fila, also stocks hip magazines such as Novembre and 032c. Conceived by five friends, it’s part of design and branding studio, Plus Mûrs, who have collaborated with Adidas.
WHERE TO EAT
La Cantine du Voyage
Quai des Antilles, 44200 Nantes
The redevelopment of the Quai des Antilles was part of the urban regeneration of the former port sites of Nantes that had fallen in to decline. This trendy former warehouse district, bordering the Hangar à Bananes, is home to La Cantine du Voyage, one of a number of bars and eateries that line the quai – most offering panoramic views of downtown Nantes framed by oversized neon hula hoops. First conceived in 2013, this pop up is now a mainstay of summertime Nantes. When I visited, A prix fixe dinner of locally reared Ancenis chicken with rosemary roast potatoes, salad and a carafe of local Anjou Rosé was a snip at 13€, and the place was positively buzzing.
WHERE TO DRINK
Gaston Café Brasserie
15 Rue de Strasbourg, 44000 Nantes, France
Popular Brasserie just a stone’s throw from Château des Ducs de Bretagne. Serves draft artisan craft beers from Loire microbrewery Mélusine including Marshall Rock’n’Roll, Love & Flowers, Hellfest IPA (pictured above) and Mandragore.
Look up: a spot of art nouveau detailing on the exterior of Ch. Bohu Confiseur , 26 Rue de la Marne. Designed in 1930 by Italian mosaic artist Isidore Odoric
WHERE TO STAY
4 Rue des Petites Écuries, 44000 Nantes
Its location is hard to beat, right in the centre of town close to the Commerce and Bouffray underground car parks. Château des Ducs de Bretagne and the Green Tram line 1 (François Mitterand-Beaujoire) are right on your doorstep. Part of the ever-growing Apart’City group that’s proliferating French cities at present. Bright spacious rooms with kitchenettes. Singles from £44.
The Nantes Tourist office have an easy navigable and very resourceful website here