It was such a beautiful day to be going on holiday. Sun and blue skies and, luckily, an easy drive down to Dover to catch a ferry to Calais. I much prefer taking the ferry to going in the Tunnel. Even though it takes a bit longer, it’s a convenient stop after 2 hours for a break and with the glorious weather sitting out on the deck and sunbathing as the boat made its way across the Channel in calm seas was perfect travelling.
A short half hour drive took us to lovely Wimereux – which I wrote about after a day trip with Miriam last November. There was no question but to also go back to Hotel du Centre where I’d enjoyed an excellent lunch that day. We settled into the hotel and took a quick stroll down to the beach for a walk before supper. It was a glorious evening and so beautiful on the long sandy beach where Nicola braved a quick paddle and found the water warm.
Back at Hotel du Centre we celebrated the start of our French holiday in the only way one should – with glasses of champagne. They brought a plate of delicious, still warm cheese nibbles and a basket of freshly cut baguette. There is really nothing like French bread in France. Despite the many wonderful French bakeries in London now, the bread in France tastes different and wonderfully so.
To start the meal Nicola chose a croustade of goat’s cheese and I had foie gras du maison. Yes I know it’s not politically correct these days but foie gras is one of my ‘last supper’ choices. It tastes completely wonderful – and last night’s was excellent – as was Nicola’s meltingly gorgeous goat’s cheese.
Next I couldn’t resist having the skate with browned butter as I’d had on my first visit. It’s such an essentially French dish and I love it. Nicola went for steak and frites.
The restaurant is a fabulous traditional art deco type design and really, we decided, we couldn’t be anywhere other than France. The service was impeccable. Madame and Monsieur friendly but wonderfully efficient.
We weren’t happy with our first bottle of wine and Madame was insistent we should like what we were drinking and made an excellent suggestion of Buzet – cheaper than our original choice and very good. We were pretty full but decided to share a pear and almond flan for dessert. It looked quite heavy but tasted light and creamy and completely gorgeous. It was a wonderful meal.
It was late – French time, an hour ahead of UK – when we finished but it was still so warm outside we took another stroll down to the beach with a circular route back along the central street before bed. A lovely end to a perfect first day’s holiday.
7 thoughts on “France – The First Day: Wimereux”
Serendipity. We were nearly in Hotel du Centre en-famille last night too. We love the place, the family and grandma’s cooking a l’ancienne. Agree always re: Foie Gras. To finish,their Chicore ice cream with Genever on the side is a special too. The kitchen shop next door always ;provides some surprise. Le Normandie is one of the better cheese shops in the region. Ah Wimereux. On another occasio n head for Audresselles and the tiny, front room restaurant ‘ Au P’tit Bonheur’ on rue Jeanne d’Arc b- 10 mins north on the old coast road from Wimereux. Best to book as it’s tiny: 03 21 83 12 54. A Foie Gras maker from Valenciennes told us about it. As we’re missing Normandy this summer, your every day post will be a joy indeed. Amities.
Thanks for this, Gareth. Am passing info on to people we know with flat there (see my Day Trip post with Miriam, now highlighted above for quick connection) to see if they know it. The lovely thing about Wimereux is it’s so close to the Tunnel and Calais but you feel absolutely in France. Wonderful place.
Your first day on holiday sounds nice, especially your evening meal. I always love little nibbles with Champagne as a wonderful way to start the evening.
It was the perfect start to a wonderful holiday.
Foie Gras, I am so jealous. I had fish and chips for dinner, how boringly British, mind you from chinese chip shop. Enjoy your vacances cherie
Ah, good fish and chips is hard to come by nowadays, but love them. And foie gras, it’s just sublime … apologies to any goose loving followers out there!