La Java was a quirky spot for a pre-dinner tipple, every spare inch of it crammed with vintage dolls, carnival memorabilia and old theatre props. Hôtel Le Grand Bê, in the city walls, was another. It had once been the government tax office, but no trace of its past remained in its art-filled lobby or subterranean spa.
On my last night, I walked the walls at sunset. The beach at Bon-Secours seemed on fire, the wet sands mirroring the blazing sun. By the time I returned, night had fallen, the world beyond the walls pitch black and silent but for the roar of the sea – waves clawing curiously at the ramparts, and behind them, a city sound asleep.
Belinda Luksic was a guest of Bretagne Tourism. Brittany Ferries sails from Portsmouth to Saint-Malo from £43 return
Hotel Grand Be (00 33 2 23 18 99 90) has double rooms from £125 per night
The two-hour “All The Light We Cannot See” walking tour costs €8/£7 per person