Nestled in the gently rolling countryside of the Bégard valley and the Kerogan watercourse, this pretty little hamlet has been more or less continuously occupied since 17th century.
Its modest manor house, typical of the style of the Trégor region to which it belongs, watches over the 4 cottages with their gaily painted wood-work.
The hamlet is laid out along a central alley that serves each of the cottages. All of the cottages have their own private gardens. And if that isn’t enough, there are also the generous 7,5 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland, and of course the 90 apple trees, all of which invite the guest to contemplation and well-earned rest.
A 300 year-old walnut tree stands guard at one end of the alley along with a group of chestnut trees, compared by the Celtes to an incorruptible warrior.
They serve as a just reminder that in bygone days the fruits of these trees saved the Bretons from famine. In the chestnut season they are delicious grilled on the stove.
Not much is known about the modest Trégor manor house other than that it dates back to the 17th Century. Over the years the different owners have restored and maintained the hamlet. Sadly we do know a certain Michel Cavan, son of François Cavan and of Marguerite Le Bastard, was born here in 1736 and died 3 years later. The two-story manor house, itself subject to several renovations, watches benignly over the hamlet. Everything seems timeless ; all bear witness to the hardiness and courage of the Breton people « Kentoc’h mervel eget bezan saotret » (Rather death than stain*)
* Breton motto : In 10th century Alain II de Bretagne, also known as Barbetorte, used this motto to spur on his troops during a battle against the Norman enemy.
At the heart of the historical region of the Trégor, its history begins with the foundation of a Cistercian abbey in the 12th century which would become
known throughout the Duchy of Brittany as « le petit Citeaux d’Armorique » (Citeaux was a religious establishment near Dijon – so literally « the little Citeaux of Armorique ») Over the centuries, its cultural, religious and economic influence would be the subject of some envy. In the middle of the 19th century a religious community brought the abandoned monastery back to life and turned it into an « un asile d’aliénes » (a lunatic asylum). Today it is the Bon Sauveur Foundation, a psychiatric hospital, which continues the work of the original religious order serving the whole of the Côtes d’Armor region and beyond.
It’s patron saint, Riwal, gave the 19th century church its name. Mention of Riwal, Duc de Dommonée, Petite Bretagne (little Brittany), can be found in the life of Saint Gwenolé and that of Saint Tudal. He was said to be the uncle of the latter and the cousin of Saint Brieuc.
In June 2020, in the middle of the chaos of the Covid-19 crisis, we fell in love with this hamlet, which is ideally situated in a protected area, far, but not too far, from the frenzy of the coast in full season. Already partially renovated with taste and respect for its ancient stone walls by the previous owners, it seemed now to be waiting for their successors to complete the work. Sharing in the values of those who have lived here before we have taken up the challenge, aware that we are not so much owners as passing occupants assigned to the care and protection of Avalenn. No chemicals are used in the garden, nor in the orchard with its 90 apple trees. All waste is conscientiously sorted, residents are invited to be respectful with their water and heating consumption, and local and organic produce are promoted. The intention is to lessen the impact on the environment to the benefit of all life forms.
If we have yielded to the pressure of « Wifi everywhere », it is for the comfort of all, however we would encourage our guests to experience what it’s like to turn off their electronic devices and to « switch on » … to the robin, to the tawny owl, to the northerly wind known as Gwalarn when it starts to blow, sometimes a little too hard !
Hailing from the Jura region in the East of France and addicted to
the ski resort of Les Rousses, to find herself in the middle of the Trégor, at the foot of the Ménez Bré the summit of which does not exceed 302 metres, could have been a real gamble !
Nevertheless, this former cross-country skiing champion, an engineer by profession, fell in love with Brittany some time ago.
What does she like doing best here ? Being outside and …being outside ! You will find her as you round a corner, tending to a camelia or on her tractor.
And she will also take great pleasure in sharing her tips for places to visit, for gentle rambles or more vigorous hikes in the Trégor.
And the rest of the time she will manage your reservations and ensure that all runs smoothly for your business events.
A native of Brittany who has returned home « after a long journey », there was no other possible path than the one that led her back to the place where her ancestors, a carpenter, a cook, a trader at the fish market, a doctor in the navy, had forged in her a lasting attachment to this land.
Psycho-analyst, Mindfulness instructor and Hamlet manager, she will be your principal person of contact for the organisation of your stay and your events.
For those renting a holiday home she will bring you your welcome breakfast tray on the first morning.
She will be attentive to your every request.
The people that we work with share our values, from the gardener who still prunes the hydrangeas with a billhook, the organic cidery that is in charge of looking after our apple trees as a father would his children and the caterer who takes pride in offering varied menus including vegetarian, vegan and special dietary options. The housekeeping staff use products that are respectful of the environment and at the same time of the sanitary measures in place for the safety and well-being of our guests. All those involved in the hamlet share in the same aim, namely to preserve and to take care of this very special place.
The intention is simple and clear: to identify and maintain the balance between the needs of our human visitors and the needs of the nature that surrounds and sustains us.
“Gilbert’s cider is made from the produce of untreated apple orchards including our 90 apple trees.”
Cidrerie Côte des Bruyères – Gilbert Lavanant
Le Lianver – 22300 Trédrez-Locquémeau – Tél. : 02.96.35.24.57/0601251544
Our two Cairn terriers are unruly, mischievous, stubborn, incorrigible and totally adorable. They are of course an integral part of the scenery.
Impossible not to see them and impossible not to hear them at some point.
These hairy alarm systems, function like a sort of fog horn; when in doubt they sound the alarm.