Travel diary: Weekend trip to Le Touque, France

Before embarking on the adventure, like most people in England, I have never heard of Le Touque. So before the journey I did some research.

The town of Le Touquet was given its full name by Hippolyte de Villemessant (1812–1879), founder and owner of the Paris newspaper Le Figaro. At the time it was an area of wild sand dunes and forest – part of a hunting estate. Its name came from a Picardword meaning “corner”, and was originally applied to the area of coast nearby. It became known as “Paris by the sea”, and strict building regulations encouraged the most talented architects to create imaginative and innovative developments.

The trip

Day 1
On a weekend in September me my wife Samira and son Lucas set off on our first family holiday together. Meeting friends we caught the train from Birmingham to London. As always, in London we then rushed on the tube, of course getting a bit lost in the Greenwich area. Finally we got to the meet up point where we embraced our friends and set off on our journey to the euro tunnel. It was weirdly thrilling going onto the train but unfortunately the journey wasn’t the most thrilling as you was just in a carriage, no underwater views sadly. We finally arrived in France and now driving on the wrong side of the road, I mean the right side of the road, we travelled down to Le Touque.

We arrived late in the night to our home for the weekend. Tired, we brought all our stuff into the house, it was a cold night and even colder inside. It took a while to get the heating on, as it was an old cottage set up. Jumping into bed, it felt like the coldest experience, worse than my wife’s cold feet. Excited to be here we planned our day 2 of the trip.

Day 2
Finally we got off to sleep and awoke to bright blue skys, now we can finally take in our environment. It was a quaint home with loads of old features which really gave it character, outside we had huge garden where we chopped some wood for the woodburner. This was a lifesaver, so warm and gave the home a cosy feel. Now hungry, our friends who know the area, popped out for some breakfast, Lucas the adventurer couldn’t wait to go with them. Now as you do, we had a little nose around when they did this. We found some interesting stuff.

On their arrival we are now super hungry, crazy as this sounds, I have never had croissant or pain au chocolat before. This is now one of my favourite breakfasts. Eating the French style breakfast was amazing, so tasty.

The day off to a good start we set off for a walk around the area, it was like a suburban area, big houses with plenty of space inbetween, unlike the closeness of English homes. It felt like a relaxing safe area to live and we felt at home quickly in the area. Walking into town it now had a seaside feel to it, plenty of restaurants and bars and shops.

We looked around and now found our first stop the Globe Trooter a French sports bar with an irish feel. Very unexpected. It’s a Saturday and there is a relaxing feel to the bar, more of a family environment which was good. We had a first round of drinks, I had a guinness and it came in a half pint glass, this is alien across the channel but as the French are more social drinkers, the idea behind it is to keep the drink cool for longer and to enjoy it that way, I don’t think it will catch on in England but I did enjoy that size and the mentality behind it. To top it off Ireland was playing New Zealand at rugby union and they beat the all blacks I think for the first time, EPIC. After that, we went to get something to eat at La Villa Gourmande, the food was great of course.

Now dark we walked back, the place beautifully lit up we took in a different take on the place and it had a nice feel to it. To round the night off, Lucas in bed we played some games and finished the night off on a high. Going to bed this time, the bed is warm an unrivalled feeling, unfortunately the wife’s feet don’t have the same outcome.

Day 3
The weekend trip commenced it’s last day, so today was beach day! We departed the house taking in for the last time the gorgous home. On the way to the beach we stopped off for yet again the French breakfast. Now belly full, we headed to the beach, much like England’s beaches it had a strong cool breeze. It was a sandy which is always great but looking around it had a very vintage feel about the place, this was once the destination of the rich and famous of yesteryear and I could see why it looked gorgous.

Nearing the end of the trip we did a bit of shopping and bought some souvineres and entertained ourselves to more French food, too good to resist.

Now the return home, the feeling of do we have to go back just showed how much we enjoyed the experince.

Le Touque as a whole is a great weekend trip for any English person wanting a relaxing getaway and I suppose any French person, which I’m sure are more familar with the place, would love it as well. The old feeling amongst the modern feeling is apparent and both work side by side very well. With the old style buildings, you have plenty of history to look at. Food and drink is top notch of course, and it’s better eating French food in France, it just taste so much better. The people are fantastic as well really warm and down to earth, and a family feel is apparent in the area so would highly recommend families coming here as well. I would definitely come back here again. A place to unwind, set goals maybe even write a book.

Back in Birmingham now plotting the next adventure, I think Copenhagen has a nice ring to it.

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