A story of food and history at Mont St-Michel
The Pilgrim’s route or Grande Rue has since the 12th century been the main route winding uphill past Elise St-Pierre towards the impressive abbey gates of Mont St-Michel. Now this Main Street is crowded with restaurants to cater to the vast number of tourists, the most famous being restaurant La Mère Poulard founded by Anne “Annette” Boutiaut. The story of this restaurant starts way back in 1888.
Annette Boutiaut married Victor Poulard on January 14, 1873. In 1888 Annette Poulard started her inn to cater for the pilgrims and increasing number of visiting tourists that arrived at all hours of the day tired, hungry and often wet. Because access to Mont St-Michel was governed by the tides and visitors walked over the low lands and wet sands, hot nutrious food that could be prepared quickly was required. Poulard created many omelette recipes and cooked in huge wooden hearths. Her cuisine became famous and together with the caring nature of Annette Poulard earned her the honorary title of “Mother”. This is how the name of “La Mère Poulard” was born.
Known the world over for her famous omelette, La Mère Poulard is still an institution of French gastronomy thanks to her varied cuisine, both inventive and light that combines tradition, simplicity and modernity. Some of my earliest childhood memories of my Romanian grandma’s cooking is her omlettes. I can still hear her heavily accented voice calling out ” do you want an oomletta Anna?” I often make omlettes as they are quick, healthy and filling. Having a herb garden makes it a simple choice when pressed for time and there’s hungry teenage boys! Do you have a favourite omelette recipe? We’d love to know your omlette secrets.
View upon roof tops of Mont St-Michel and surrounding sand flats at low tide
In 2016, the La Mère Poulard restaurant remains one of the most famous restaurants both in France and around the world; celebrated by more than 3 million French and foreign visitors who visit each year to Mont Saint-Michel. If you are planning a trip to Mont St-Michel you can extend the experience by staying over night. I recommend a stay at Hotel La Mère Poulard and trying a famous omlette with regional wine for dinner. By staying overnight on the island you have access to wander the streets and enjoy the sun setting and rising without the huge crowds, sharing the island with locals and other overnight guests only.
Have you visited Mont Saint-Michel? Did you enjoy the start of the Tour de France from there this year?
As you can see this photo was taken a few years ago when the road still connected the Abbey to the mainland. My three children loved racing each other up the numerous flights of steps through out the island and thoroughly enjoyed their visit. Till next time… Annette x
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