Getting to Le Touquet
We took our car over on the Eurotunnel and it takes less than an hour top drive from Calais to Le Touquet, or to give it it’s full name Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, making it an easy get away for a long weekend.
If you didn’t want to take the car then you could always catch a train. The train stops at Etaples Le Touquet, with trains going from either Calais, Lille Flandres or Paris Gare Du Nord.
You can travel by Eurostar to Lille or Paris and then catch a connecting service or, alternatively, cross the Channel by ferry from Dover to Calais and catch the train at Calais Frethun.
When you arrive at Etaples station the quickest option is to take a taxi from Etaples to Le Touquet. It costs around £15 each way from Etaples to Le Touquet.
The resort was invented by the British 100 years ago. With its pine forest and golf courses, neat villas and winding roads, this seaside town has a chic laid back feel.
It was two British entrepreneurs who acquired Le Touquet in 1903 and developed it into the town that became the resort of choice for the British upper classes. Many built or bought villas, while others stayed in the imposing Hôtel Westminster.
The seafront has a mix of pleasant villas which sit side by side with fast-food joints and “English” pubs, not the chicest of places. Although the beach is very pleasant with it’s soft clean sand that seems to stretch for miles.
However, if you head a few streets back you’ll find interesting boutiques that are full of chic French fashions and bits and pieces for your home. There are also plenty of French patissiers and ice-cream shops if you are feeling a bit peckish!
Le Touquet is easy to get around on foot and if you go through the arch under the central clock tower you will find the much prettier Le Touquet. There’s an art deco covered market, bustling on market days (Thursday and Saturday).
There a lots of wonderful art deco buildings and a pavement chequered in dark red and yellow runs in front of a fairy tale turreted villa.
A small wooded area in the middle of town is a remnant of the forest of pines planted here in the mid-19th century. Parisians came to walk and ride in the sea air.
Where we stayed
We stayed in the Novotel Thalassa Le Touquet which is right on the beach. The Hotel was looking a bit tired and basic when we stayed. Although we couldn’t fault the rooms for cleanliness and the views over the beach were amazing.
I was particularly impressed with the wonderful indoor swimming pool that had huge windows overlooking the beach and sea.
The rooms were very reasonably priced. The Hotel is currently undergoing a facelift and will reopen in June 2018.
If you’re looking for somewhere a little grander then the grand old dame of Le Touquet is The Hotel Westminster. A luxury hotel built in the 1930s to accommodate wealthy Parisians and English visitors and the hotel is very much in the tradition of luxury French hotels. Just 500m from the beach, it has 115 Art Deco themed rooms and suites with views of the woods or lighthouse.
Eating in Le Touquet
If you love seafood, then you’ll be spoilt for choice in Le Touquet. There are plenty of choice of places to eat as long as you quickly bypass the fast food outlets. Two of my favourites are:
Chez Perard, Le Touquet
If you’ve ever eaten the Perard fish soup sold in jars in the supermarkets, then this is where you’ll find it’s home. It all started with local fisherman, Serge Perard, in 1963 and to this day he proudly claims to have invented the idea of mixing small pieces of fish into a simple potato soup.
The restaurant Perard is wonderful with it’s fresh fish and seafood. Perard smoke their own salmon here and you can see the chefs cooking in the state of the art kitchens.
Enjoy a glass of wine and fresh oysters, sushi or soup at the swanky oyster bar or head into the brasserie for a fabulous lunch or dinner. There’s a la carte or choose from set menus, there’s a very reasonable lunchtime “Perard menu” at 20 Euros.
Flavio, Le Touquet
Flavio’s is an institution in Le Touquet, they serve some traditional dishes like the slow cooked pigs trotters. The set menu is around €20 and could include things like
- Duck Foie Gras Au Sauternes
- Scallops with Feuillet
- Slow Cooked Trotters
Why go to Le Touquet
For somewhere so close to the UK it feels like you’re much further away. There’s a wide variety of things to do and see in Le Touquet.
Here are my favourite things to do in Le Touquet.
- Beach – relax on the stunning clean sandy beach.
- Market – visit the market stalls in Rue St. Jean
- Horse riding – you can even ride on the beach
- Eat – the food is wonderful
- Walk – The forests and dunes are full of year-round hiking trails