I wake up on Saturday at 6.30am and leave Olaf, my beloved partner, to sleep; he’s a jazz singer and nocturnal. I walk barefoot with my coffee – an organic Peruvian blend from Café la Minga in Paris – to see what is going on in the garden. It’s my best time: I am alone and the birds are waking up with me.
My house in Saint-Briac-sur-Mer is three hours by train from Paris and I come as often as I can; even if I am working in New York and have just three days off, I will fly back to Brittany. It’s my hidden place, and two days here relaxes me more than a week anywhere else.
I drive my scooter into the village, pick up the papers and visit Charlot Frédéric boulangerie for great rye bread. Then I go on to Desriac, my local pâtisserie, which wins all sorts of awards; I don’t usually eat sugar, but I like their cakes. I go home and make a juice, then drive to the market in Dinard. My first stop is a trader called David, who has my favourite Gariguette strawberries; then it’s on to the champion of organic rillettes, Jean le Page, who brings his charcuterie from Saint-Malo.
I have an espresso at a traditional café called La Fonda with my friend Antony, a very authentic – and loud – market guy, who sells jewellery there. My friends don’t care that I work with the stars – although if I bring guests like Catherine Deneuve or Kylie Minogue, people do go, “Wow”. We have lots of guests, although the 17 we had last summer was too many; people started calling me Pinochet because I was bossing them around so much.
On the way home, I stop at poissonnerie Esnault Patrick in the village and buy Saint-Jacut-de-la-Mer oysters; I could eat thousands. While Olaf and our guests are having breakfast, I go for a swim in the sea nearby; I read that swimming in cold seawater releases endorphins, so when my crazy friends arrive from Paris, I throw them in to calm them down.
For lunch we go to Le Surf de Joséphine in the village, where it’s less about the food and more about the view of the beach. Or if it’s cold we go to Le Café Rouge in Dinard for the best crêpes with butter and sugar. We always drink Plancoët water, which you can only find in Brittany; it smells a little earthy and is delicious.
After lunch, I’ll do some gardening. I grew up on a farm in Champagne – my brother is still a farmer – and I find working with the earth rewarding. In the afternoon we’ll visit the Palais des Arts in Dinard. François Pinault comes from Brittany and lends a lot of his collections for exhibitions there. Then we might drive to Le Domaine du Montmarin, which has unbelievably beautiful gardens.
In the evening, we’ll have mojitos by the pool, then dinner. The perfumer Francis Kurkdjian stayed recently and made lamb and a salad with fennel and mint, which we had with a delicious bordeaux, followed by cheese from the market.
On Sunday I am up at 6am to go fishing for mackerel with my fisherman friend Patrick. After breakfast, Olaf and I take my dog Lili for a long walk to the wild and beautiful Garde Guérin beach. Back at home, we barbecue the mackerel to have with gratin dauphinois and a salad, then go to Les Jardins d’Ailleurs, a garden centre I love, with plants you can’t find anywhere else. We might also visit Brocante, an antiques shop in Le Minihic-sur-Rance, where I recently bought some English porcelain coffee cups decorated with roses.
On Sunday night we normally go back to Paris, but if I get the Monday 6am train, I avoid the Sunday-night blues – we’ll watch a box set and eat what’s left. Weekends in Brittany keep me sane; I’m around crazy people all the time and this place makes me feel grounded.