The one thing I often say that is missing from Paris is a REAL beach (sorry Paris Plage, but you just don’t cut it for me), so before August ended the bf and I decided to have a weekend away at the seaside town of Trouville-sur-Mer, more commonly known as Trouville.From Saint-Lazare Station in Paris, it is only a 2 hour train ride until you arrive at the Trouville-Deauville station, making it a great choice for a day trip to the beach. We decided to make it a 2-day getaway, and it was exactly what I needed. From the train station you either go left, to the fancier town of Deauville, or turn to the right and cross a little bridge to the quaint fishing town of Trouville-sur-Mer.You immediately smell the salty sea air and can hear the seagulls welcoming you from above. The architecture in this town is stunning, as all the buildings are full of character and charm (some with the characteristic half-timber design seen in other towns in Normandy). If you walk up into the hills of Trouville, you can see even more gorgeous houses and some pretty amazing scenic views.The streets of the town are narrow, with many being pedestrian-only, allowing cafés and little boutiques to really attract the flow of visitors that stroll by. There is the huge Casino Barrière Trouville located on the waterfront (I am not really into gambling although to hide from the rain on Sunday I spent 5 Euros on the slot machines and made myself 35 Euros, yay!) and lots of outdoor activities for children along the beach. As this is a fishing town, you don’t have to look far before you cross one of the many fishmongers displaying their really fresh seafood. The beaches are long and sandy but in August they are crowded…so be prepared to fight for a spot, unless it’s one of those days where it rains on and off all day (like it did on the Sunday). Of course there is also Deauville, the more popular and well known destination (where the American Film Festival of Deauville takes place every September), but I find it a little too flashy and overpriced (especially the accomodation), even if it is very pretty in its own right. If you’re not wanting to walk or rent a bike between the two towns then the little BAC ferry boats can take you from Trouville to Deauville by crossing the Touques river (only 1, 50 Euros per trip).So with that introduction, let’s get to the serious stuff: Where to eat? We were really lucky during this trip and managed to find three excellent cafés/restaurants in a town that is pretty touristy. I’d like to think that it was my foodie intuition that lead me to them. So here they are:
We stumbled upon this place accidentally as we were wandering around looking for a place to eat a light snack. I was immediately drawn to its trendy exterior which was different from the other more traditional facades and as I peeked into the pleasant shop I caught a glimpse of a backyard patio. Inside we discovered a coffee shop combined with a lifestyle boutique selling neutral and pastel colored home décor items and gift ideas. Behind the counter was a mother and daughter that were very friendly and that served a variety of tasty and healthy treats. I had a zucchini, tomato and goat cheese savory tart (which was delicious) with a side salad for under 10 Euros! They equally had a great selection of teas (Lov Organic and Kusmi) and drool-worthy homemade desserts (2,20-4,50 Euros). We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch in their tranquil oasis and spent way too much time relaxing in their comfy garden chairs. Where: 65 Rue des Bains, 14360 Trouville-sur-MerLe Pavillon Augustine
This place was right on the riverbank in front of the casino, making us think that it must have good seafood, and thankfully we were right! The mood is a little more upscale and at night it transforms into a piano bar with a guy singing classic songs in French and English (with a slight accent…I can’t help but hear it) to entertain the many couples sharing plates of fresh oysters. Apparently they even have live bands performing some nights, and people can hit the dancefloor after dinner, if that’s your thing. We sat outside on the patio where there were families and other large groups and it felt more chill. They have 3 course meals for as low as 29,90 Euros at dinner and 15,90 Euros at lunch. The service was excellent and the oysters and fish were perfect. The waiter even offered us a shot of pear liquor on the house…and this was after the Calvados (the local liquor that you will find in every gift shop around town) in the desssert and the wine with dinner. As you can guess, I left buzzed but very happy! Where: 1, Quai Albert 1er, 14360 Trouville-sur-MerTivoli Bistro
Hidden down a quiet street in the centre of Trouville you will find Tivoli Bistro. If you’re wanting some authentic home cooking then this is the place to go! Run by Christiane and Gérard, it feels a little like you are eating at your French Auntie and Uncle’s as you can see Gérard cooking in the kitchen at the back of the small cozy room. Christiane is very friendly and takes her time talking to all of her guests (it is for this reason that reservations are recommended as she does not squish in tons of people, and there are only about 8 tables) and describing the local specialties that they serve. We went for lunch where they have a 3 course menu for 29 Euros, which is excellent value, considering the quality of the food here. I started with a toasted goat cheese salad, followed by a sole meunière that she kindly deboned for me, and for dessert an apple sorbet doused in Calvados. She even offered us a plate of cheeses from the Normandy region (Camembert, Pont-l’Évêque and Livarot) to try. I was a little worried at first as they are all what one would call “stinky” cheeses, but they actually tasted pretty nice. Overall it was a great cultural food experience. Where: 27 Rue Charles Mozin, 14360 Trouville-sur-MerOne last thing: keep in mind that as this town is a popular weekend retreat for Parisians, most of the restaurants stay open on the weekend but can therefore be closed on Tuesday and/or Wednesday! Call ahead and make reservations if you don’t want to be disappointed!
Now to completely change topic! I do have to mention that it was exactly one year ago today that I uploaded my first blog post and started From Your Parisian. I can’t believe that a year has gone by already, and although I haven’t been as active as I would like to be, I hope to grow and improve as I learn from my mistakes and try new things (e.g. I’ve enlarged the photos in this post, thoughts?). I can’t wait for another year of blogging and sharing with everyone my favortite places to visit in this wonderful city that I now call home! Thanks for your support! Bisous!
To be Parisian is not to have been born in Paris, but to be reborn. -Sacha Guitry