Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/07/09/breton_extremists/

Bretons turn on Britons

'Extremists' torch restaurateurs' car

By Lester Haines

Posted in Bootnotes, 9th July 2007 09:10 GMT

If Jamie Oliver or Rick Stein were thinking of exporting their talents to Brittany, they might want to rethink their culinary imperialism plan.

According to the Telegraph, it's not just the Cornish who have taken exception to "incomers" forcing up house prices and alienating the locals - Breton "extremists" have a similarly incendiary attitude to unwelcome outsiders, as Linsey Widd and hubby Darren can attest.

The Widds apparently spent three months with the 26th Artillery Regiment in Iraq* before relocating to the village of Callac in western Brittany to open a restaurant. Unfortunately, they received a rather warmer welcome than they were expecting when they were "woken in the night by smoke and fumes and found their car on fire in front of the restaurant".

Fire services attended the scene, but were too late to prevent the vehicle rolling down the hill into another car, which duly exploded. The blaze had been started using a rag stuffed into the car's fuel cap, and "if confirmed as an attack by Breton extremists...would be the third in north-western Brittany in 10 days".

Linsey Widd, 24, from Scarborough, said: "What shocked us was that there was no warning. We love it here. Callac is a quiet village with quite a large population of English. We bought a property that was previously a TV repair shop and turned it into a restaurant.

"We called it Le Rendezvous and took care to write all the signs in French. We had the usual bureaucratic problems setting up the business when we first came just over a year ago but the local people were very friendly. We have French and English customers coming into the restaurant to eat and drink."

Local property prices have rocketed by 300 per cent since Brits began their invasion, the Telegraph notes. ®

Bootnote

*You can save your wisecracks about it probably being safer to open a restaurant in Baghdad.