The French have a wonderful cure for the happy excesses of the holidays or a general bout of winter podginess, which is a session of thalassotherapy. For the uninitiated, thalassotherapy is a series of spa treatments done with seawater that is heated to body temperature, at which point the skin becomes porous and the body absorbs vital trace minerals depleted by stress, pollution, and over-indulgence. Some treatments are relaxing, like underwater massages, while others involve using seawater to lessen body weight. Almost all of them are incredibly pleasant, and most thalassotherapy centres are located in beautiful, unspoilt locations, because they need a regular supply of clean seawater.
France being France, however, a stay at a thalassotherapy spa doesn’t necessarily mean gastronomic deprivation. And a perfect example of the healthy gastronomy found at many thalassotherapy centres is the cooking of young chef Marion Bouillot at Le BE, the healthy restaurant at the Miramar La Cigale in the beautiful Port du Crouesty in Brittany.
Bouillot previously worked with Michel Guérard, the father of healthy gastronomy with his famous cuisine minceur, and Régis Marcon, who is known for his superb mushroom specialities at his restaurant Le Clos des Cimes in central France.
With this background and the exceptional produce of Brittany at her disposal, her regularly changing menu offers some stunningly good dishes in this intimate panoramic dining room, which is open to non-hotel guests as well. Start with a succulent lobster salad or maybe some oysters garnished with crushed toasted hazelnuts – a seemingly improbable but delicious combination of tastes and textures – and then tuck into a red tuna steak with Thai-Breton seasoning and wok-sautéed vegetables; John Dory with spirulina (seaweed); or the beef cooked two ways with lentils and baby vegetables.
As is true of all of these dishes, you’d never guess that the chocolate ‘addiction’ dessert with peanuts and lemons was both low-fat and low-calorie. The food here is so good, in fact, that this is an address well worth tucking away for an upcoming trip to Brittany; whether you’re planning on doing a thalassotherapy cure or not. N.B. This restaurant is open for dinner only.