“Have you had a good journey? Sit yourselves down quickly, you must be starving. Madame, give me your coat so I can dry it. Don’t worry, you will have it back and ironed for your visit to the Abbey. Take this scarf while you are waiting. Now, settle yourselves down and eat well. And when you’ve finished, we’ll show you the way to go…”
She employed very few staff, welcomed all visitors herself and if guests had to leave quickly she would tell them to pay next time they visited, and often accepted paintings instead of payment for her food. Eventually, some people took advantage of this and the hotel profits declined, but she didn’t care. “If I collected all the money owed to me, I’d have to employ a cashier, who I would have to pay, accommodate, and that wouldn’t have helped”. As long as she had enough money in the bank to get her through the winter she was happy.
The Poulards retired in 1920 and retired to a pretty little house on the top of Mont St Michel. They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary and Annette finally died in 1931.
I highly recommend that you don’t eat in the Mère Poulard establishment (or any other for that matter) on Mont St Michel as the food quality isn’t great and the prices generally exorbitant. However, the products in the Mère Poulard food range are delicious. The omelette has been overtaken by delicious butter biscuits and cakes, salted toffee caramels and other goodies. The Mère Poulard factory is situated only 10 mins drive from La Haute Mancelière and there is a factory shop, open 6 days a week, which sells the products all at very cheap prices (over a third lower than in the supermarkets). Ideal if you want to take back some presents or souvenirs to the UK.