It’s just 10 months since I went to Normandy on holiday with the family to wonderful Manoir de Laize near Falaise. This time I’ve returned alone to rent a studio apartment in chic Deauville on the Cote Fleurie. Villa Caprice is an early 19th century villa and one of the oldest in the town, and Deauville – often known as Little Paris by the sea – is one of the most fashionable resorts in this northern part of France. It was on my list of possible ‘day trips’ last summer but we never made it here. Once home I investigated apartments in Deauville and when I found Villa Caprice, I fell in love with it. It stayed bookmarked on my iPad for months before finally, earlier this year, I thought, I’ll go! And so I booked a week at this early part of June.
I left home very early this morning, having got up at 5am. I hadn’t intended to get up quite so early but woke to the light and decided to just go. I had a flexi ticket with P&O Ferries which meant I had a 4-hour window either way to my booked crossing. I ended up catching a ferry an hour earlier than planned but remembering the horrendous queue Nicola and I experienced to cross Pont de Normandie last year, thought an hour to spare was probably a good thing. As it turned out, I whizzed across an almost empty bridge but even though I’ve crossed it a few times now, remain in awe of its glorious design.
I don’t have a SatNav but had printed off some Google maps and directions and they were brilliant, highlighting major junctions on the all-motorway journey with signs in blue, just like motorway signs, so I could instantly recognise where I needed to go. I arrived at Villa Caprice with no problems. Except the parking. Arriving on a sunny Saturday afternoon there were no spaces outside so I parked temporarily on a yellow line, collected keys from the hotel opposite as instructed, dropped off my luggage and then went in search of parking. I was grateful for my practised London parking skills which mean I can get into spots so tight that you can’t walk through either end of the car! However, later, the road cleared and I was able to move it to right outside the villa.
A big set of keys let me through a gate into my private little garden and I went up steps to a balcony.
Inside, the villa was as lovely as the ad had promised. I felt as if I’d walked into one of my favourite shops at home – India Jane.
The attention to detail is wonderful. It makes the apartment feel like a home and not an impersonal ‘holiday let’.
It’s just a short way down the road to the main part of town. I intended to do a little shopping and look at possible places to eat later. But when I found a wonderful charcuterie cum traiteur, Breton, I couldn’t resist just buying food there to bring home and eat on the balcony in the warm evening sun. I was pretty tired after a long day’s travelling and this easy option seemed the best idea.
Apologies to people who object to foie gras but it is simply one of my very favourite things. To follow I had a delicious slice of courgette quiche and I made a simple tomato and red onion salad to go with it.