All ready for your trip to Northern France? While you’re fantasizing about your trip, daydream with the Northern France playlist that we’ve prepared especially for your trip!
To discover even more about the region, we’re talking to Voyou, an artist from Nantes, who we asked for some advice on how to discover the soul of this amazing region.
Hi Voyou, could you introduce yourself to Volotea readers?
Hi everyone, I’m Voyou but my real name is Thibaud. I used to live in Lille, then I spent 15 years in Nantes and now I live in Paris. I was a musician in various bands but now I write my own songs, in French, trying to tell stories about my life.
Did living in Nantes influence the music you make?
Yes, a lot! I met a lot of musicians and music lovers in Nantes. It’s a really cultural city, and there’s always a band from Nantes hitting the big time, touring all around Europe, and coming back to the city to tell us how it was. This gave me hope when I started out as a musician.
What would you recommend to someone who has just booked a flight to western France but doesn’t know where to start?
Well, first I’d recommend visiting Nantes. It’s a gorgeous city. You can walk through the Passage Pommeraye, tour the city on the back of a giant wooden elephant, go for a drink in the Lieu Unique, and much more. I’d also recommend visiting Brittany. The entire region is wonderful, especially the coast, landscapes and sea. It’s gentle yet brutal at the same time.
Which museums or art galleries are not to be missed?
My favourite place is the Lieu Unique. They have a really broad programme of art exhibitions. Sometimes it’s contemporary digital art and sometimes more classical stuff, but it’s always interesting. There’s also the Musée d‘Arts which was recently renovated and has just opened again, as good as new. And every year there’s Le Voyage à Nantes, which puts on a load of installations and exhibitions all over the city.
What are your top 3 places to eat and/or drink in Nantes?
There’s Monsieur Machin, which is really good for lunch as well as for drinks at night. The food is great, as are the staff.
There’s also Stereolux, where you can also get lunch and where at night you can see some cool gigs and grab a beer.
My favourite bar is Au Chien Stupide, a rock bar that’s been here since forever and that welcomes all the city’s musicians.
Where’s the best place to listen to live music or go clubbing?
I love Stereolux. It’s Nantes’ publicly-owned venue and they have a really great programme. There’s also Le Ferrailleur, which is great to play as well as for seeing gigs, but my favourite place is Blockhaus DY10 because I’ve discovered so many great unknown bands there.
Do you have any favourite record stores or flea markets?
Yes, I buy all my vinyl at Mélomane, a really cool record shop near Nantes hospital. I don’t live in Nantes anymore but I still buy more records from this shop than anywhere in Paris.
Which event shouldn’t we miss this year?
My concert at Stereolux on 5 April!
Where would you go for a morning or early evening walk?
There are a lot of places to do that in Nantes, such as the Île de Versailles, the Jardin des Plantes and the shoreline of the River Erdre. My favourite places personally are the Square de la Psalette near the cathedral, and Trentemoult, a tiny fishing village you can only access by boat.
Any nice beach spots around?
There are loads! Really nearby there’s Pornic, a cute village with cute beaches. I normally surf there, and if you have time there’s another cool surfing spot at St Barbe Beach, which is close to a beautiful island called Quiberon.
If you had to shop local design, craftwork or fashion, which stores would you go to?
The Lieu Unique’s book store has a lot of cultural by local artists, such as books and illustrations.
What other Volotea destination would you most like to visit (and why)?