Sitting peacefully on the banks of the Loire, just two hours from Paris and forty minutes from the beaches of the Atlantic coast, the City of the Dukes of Brittany is an astonishing metropolis. From the old naval shipyard to the fishing village of Trentemoult, its rich maritime past provides an insight into a unique heritage. And yet the city is firmly focused on the future, and is undergoing an economic, cultural and demographic revival. A green city, classed by the Sunday Times as “the loopiest city in France”, its forces of attraction lie in its environment, its access to the sea, and increasingly important, its proximity to the countryside.
The real estate market
The property market in Nantes is bustling with a family clientèle arriving from Paris and other major regional cities. On the rise for the last five years, prices increased by more than 10% in 2021, although they vary considerably depending on the neighbourhood and the type of property, ranging between €4,000 and €9,000 per square metre. The most coveted properties are high-end apartments in the city centre, on an upper floor with a terrace, family houses near the city centre and houses with a pool or large garden in the towns in the inner suburbs, like Orvault, La Chapelle sur Erdre, Sucé sur Erdre and Sud Loire.
Now’s the time to sell or invest. Sellers currently have the advantage of a high market even though the 2022 price rise is less drastic than in 2021. For buyers, a property in a prime location, in good or even very good condition is a sound investment because, as they say ‘scarcity increases value’.
The sectors around Place Aristide Briand and Rue Copernic, private street like Passage Leroy, Lévesque and Saint Yves. The Copernic area is ideal if you want to be close to the shops and still enjoy the neighbourhood’s easy-going ambiance.
For family life, concentrate on the private mansions in the Monselet sector, off Rue de la Bastille and Boulevard Guist’hau.
If you’re not afraid to move away from the city centre, the houses on the banks of the Erdre are gaining appeal for their quiet and green surroundings. - Etienne de Gibon, Associate Director BARNES Nantes - La Baule
Art of living
A true open-air journey of artistic curiosities, heritage sites and inventive restaurants, the city of Nantes is quite simply astonishing. Here are the BARNES hot tips.
© Martin Argyroglo
The exhibition venue on the westernmost tip of the Île de Nantes is worth a visit in itself: in the concrete Hangar à Bananes (aka, the “Banana Hangar”) overlooking the river - designed in 1950 to store fruit from Africa -, the contemporary art gallery and its bookshop, open since 2011, provide ample space for in-situ creation of artistic works. Until 2 October, an exhibition presents the paper, cardboard, and textile works of Michael Beutler.
1 Quai des Antilles, 44200 Nantes
©Flickr - William Chevillon
Cross the Loire in a navibus and you’ll instantly been transported to a world of colourful little houses. This former fishing village takes visitors on a journey back in time amidst the quaint little vintage streets where Catherine Deneuve played the “White Queen” in Jean-Loup Hubert’s screenplay. Simply magical.
Jules Verne Museum
@Musée Jules Vernes
For everything on the life and work of the great novelist and native of the city, this charming museum on the Butte Sainte-Anne promises a “journey to the centre” of Verne’s writing through manuscripts, posters, objects and extracts.
Les Anneaux by Daniel Buren
This fascinating series of 18 rings facing the river and illuminated in red, green and blue is the work of a major contemporary French artist. A “multiseeing tool” that can be admired from the Île de Nantes.
Parc des chantiers, Quai des Antilles, Nantes
Place du Commerce
© Martin Argyroglo
As part of the Voyage à Nantes 2022, the artist Alexandre Benjamin Navet whose artistic medium of choice is the colourful drawings of Henri Matisse, will be bringing the Place du Commerce with its numerous bars and restaurants to life with a theatrical décor entitled “Façades chromatiques”.
Le Grand Bois des Loups
©Facebook Le grand bois des loups
This store selling home decoration and textiles as well as tableware and lamps is designed like a cabinet of curiosities home to countless treasures. A breath of art and inspiration.
4 Pl. Paul Emile Ladmirault, 44100 Nantes
Les Rigolettes nantaises
©Les Rigolettes nantaises
For fans of a return to the old days, the authentic Nantes-born sweet “la rigolette” - a hard sugar shell that is steamed - was created in 1902 and continues to delight taste buds today with its soft fruit jam centre. The flavours include lemon, mandarin, raspberry, blackcurrant, pineapple and salted butter caramel.
18, rue de Verdun, 44 000 Nantes
La boutique des éleveurs
This meat seller - beef, veal, lamb, pork, poultry - showcases local products direct from Nantes-based producers as part of an initiative to raise awareness of quality and respect for the environment.
18, rue Descartes, 44000 Nantes
The hottest reservations in town
LAB (Little Atlantique Brewery)
©Facebook LAB (Little Atlantique Brewery)
This hip brasserie has set up shop in a restored former plant oil factory on the quayside in Nantes to produce craft beer. To be enjoyed on the premises in a welcoming atmosphere with the added bonus of front-row seats by the Loire.
23 Bd de Chantenay, 44100 Nantes
©Facebook Lulu Rouget
This gourmet restaurant with one Michelin star serves up food on a silver platter thanks to the talents of Chef Ludovic Pouzelgues in an industrial décor style that creates a cosy ambiance. “Blind tasting” menus based on the day’s market arrivals.
Zéro Newton, 4 Pl. Albert Camus, 44200 Nantes
L’Atlantide 1874 – Maison Guého
©Facebook L’Atlantide 1874
It’s not only the dishes at this one Michelin-star restaurant that should be savoured but the stunning vista over the Loire as well. Chef Jean-Yves Guého concocts haute cuisine including marinated St-Gilles Croix de Vie Sardines / cucumber / kitchen garden herbs and mustard sorbet, as well as Honey-roasted Brière figs / sweet pollen, and crème brulée with coriander. An incredible journey.
5, rue de l’Hermitage, 44100 Nantes
La Table du Marquis
©Facebook La Table du Marquis
You’ll find this gastronomic restaurant serving a cuisine with global influences within the Château de Maubreuil, the first five-star hotel in Nantes. The current delights include Escabèche King Prawns with Basque Ham and Parsley, Confit Poultry Pastilla, Coconut, Grilled Courgette and a Sweet and Sour Sauce and Charentonne Beef with confit bell peppers, black olives and garlic.
Maubreuil, 44470 Carquefou
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