The weather was dry and sunny for the four days we spent at Couarde Sur Mer on the Île De Ré with temperatures reaching 20° in the afternoon sunshine, warm enough to sit outside providing you were sheltered from the chilly wind. At night the temperature dropped to about 6°.
We spent our days cycling around the island, the cycle ways brightly decorated with spring flowers. Wisteria and lilac were already in full bloom. We visited local markets and often found somewhere to have lunch before returning to our campsite in the late afternoon. We revisited an excellent restaurant in Ars en Ré where the food was slightly more sophisticated than the plates of oysters or fruits de mer served with bread and a carafe of local wine that we had been enjoying. At this restaurant we enjoyed ravioli stuffed with langoustines, cuttlefish stir fried with vegetables, fresh mackerel pâté and the most beautifully prepared hake (merlu) filet cooked so lightly that the flesh was moist and almost translucent; this could only be achieved with the very freshest of fish. Two courses and a bottle of decent rosé came to €94 – but it was well worth it – and no supper required.