Breton Bowls

I am a big fan of French beachside resorts and also of all the things that go with them. Sun (sometimes), sand, smurf-blue and bubble-gum pink ice-cream, crazy looking postcards and gift shops with a huge selection of tacky, cheap gifts in them, etc. In short, French beach resorts are heaven for kids.

In the gift shops you will almost certainly find these Breton bowls with first names written on the side, which have been ubiquitous with French seaside resorts, at least since I was a kid. I remember my grandmother coming back from a trip with one of these bowls for each grandchild. At that time, we still drank our milk out of a bowl in the morning, so it must have looked really cute having all of us sitting around the table draining our bowls.

Why were we draining our bowls? Because inside the bowl is the little iconic image of the Breton farmer and his wife and we needed to finish every bit of milk to make it appear! Last year, on a seaside holiday, I got a pair of these bowls for my girls. Partly for sentimental reasons and partly because I just think they are cute and very français!


Comments (6)

October 17, 2011

Souvenirs d’enfance… I’ve got one at my name, which I realise now is more than 30 years old…

Courtney in London
October 18, 2011

These are so cute! And I bet your kids love having their name on their dish. (My kids love having their own tea cup for afternoon tea!)

Esther in Amsterdam
October 18, 2011

I think these are cute — maybe a bit cheesy, but I like that at times — these are the sort of things you’ll still have in your cupboard when you’re an oma.

October 18, 2011

totally cheesy! But sometimes cheesy seaside souvenirs are the best!

Esther in Amsterdam
October 18, 2011

I couldn’t agree with you more!!! xxx

September 9, 2017

You can order these bowls from the manufacturer’s site The Breton figures were designed by Raymond Cordier. They offer traditional figures for different regions of France plus some other pictures for the bowls and all the names are hand painted so they can do any name or message on request. The sponged edge colour varies for the different parts of France. A standard bowl is 8.50 euros and a custom edge colour and design combination is 15 euros. The site has links to films showing how the bowls are made as well as info on visiting the factory and scans of articles in the French press.

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