Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Pont Aven and Art

Watermill, now Restaurant at Pont Aven
It was a cold and windy Sunday when we visited Pont Aven.  With the exception of the magasin du chocolat and restaurants full of French families enjoying long lunches together, the place was closed.  It reminded me just a little of Pitlocherie in Scotland but that was probably more to do with the river and the temperature. 

Watermill Pont Aven, Guaguin 1894
It is a very picturesque place with pretty buildings, the River Aven and boats. Paul Gauguin and fellow artists flocked here in the 1880s and going by the number of galleries (all closed) there is still a heavy concentration of artists living and working here. 

We trailed about looking into the windows of all of the galleries.  They display every style of art imaginable, and every quality.  There is so much I wonder who buys the pictures.  How hard it must be to make a living in the clearly competitive art market.  Sometimes we looked in wonder at work that seemed less than skilful.  Someone must buy it - because it can't be cheap to rent a shop and set it up as a gallerie in Pont Aven. 

The restaurants were all full to bursting.  After walking up and down the river and through the town in the biting wind it was a relief to go back to the Café du Centre (Central Caf!) on the Rue de Port.  You will find it at the crossroads in the centre of the town.

Hardy souls in the wind outside at Le Café du Centre 
Chocolat chaud was a must.  When that settled, we ordered Croque Monsieur avec salade et deux verres du vin rouge (petit) et puis café crème.  It was very pleasant.  There is a lovely stained glass window and lots of polished wood.

Stained Glass in Le Café du Centre
 There were flowers on the table, madame understood our French, the food and wine were good et la toilette était trés propre. 

It is just the sort of place I can imagine myself rubbing shoulders with bohemian types discussing art and literature over the morning papers whilst enjoying a breakfast pain au chocolat and steaming coffee.  

It was a good day out and next time we'll go on a sunny day when everything is open.

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