‘Ty Mad’ means ‘the good house’. The five-storey house seems conventional from outside. Inside, it is anything but – full of imaginative decorative tricks. The all-white dining room has a false latticework ceiling. A sitting area has metal chairs cushioned with sheepskin.
You get a friendly greeting from your hostess, Armelle Raillard, perhaps wearing a startling colourful dress. Up a dark staircase our room was a tidy oasis with wooden panelling.
Armelle and her husband Arnaud have been converting and updating the place since 2004. Their aim: simplicity and integrity; to help guests “feel better”. Making money comes second. The food follows suit: our vegetables and sea bass were lightly cooking to maximise flavour.
Three minutes away is a pretty sandy cove on the Baie de Douarnenez. Or you can relax in their East-meets-West garden. Can there be a flaw, or is this truly a ‘good house’? The atmosphere does seem clam and friendly, despite the Raillards’ intense hard work. Perhaps they sometimes stray close to organised chaos, and maybe the rooms are priced a little high, but we’ve always thought perfection a dull model – and that for the right visitor, Ty Mad will have, as it claims on a sign at the gate, ‘singular charm’.