I woke to cloud – though sun is promised later – but set off anyway on foot to explore Deauville and find my way across the river Touques to Trouville. It isn’t far and easily walkable. Deauville is known as the more chic sibling due to its racetrack and casino. After Coco Chanel opened a boutique here in 1913 the rich and famous followed. I saw the beach cabins on my walk along Deauville beach last night named after film stars.
The wonderful Belle Époque villas were soon filled stars of the screen, politicians and those who are simply very rich! But it’s Trouville, the more down-to-earth sibling, that developed first. Originally a small fishing village it attracted artists and writers in the 19th century and gained prominence as a destination for the Impressionists. The whole area around here, stretching north to Etretat – its coastline and cliffs famously painted by Monet – is a place of pilgrimage for anyone interested in Impressionist art.
The art is one of my interests in coming here, but it was – as is usual for me, I know! – food that was on my mind this morning as I walked surprisingly empty streets at about 10am and discovered the market in Deauville in full swing. It’s such a treat to see food of this quality. We are seeing it a little more in UK with the growth of farmers’ markets but really you have to go to one of the new designer markets like Borough Market (now a tourist trap) to see so many stalls of such quality.
The local area is a gastronomic heaven, especially if, as I do, you love seafood and oysters. Here’s some of what I saw this morning:
I continued on and crossed the Pont des Belges to find an enormous market on the Trouville side of the river. There was everything you could possibly want to buy, including beds! Most stalls specialised in one thing – bread, cheese, fruit & vegetables, meat or charcuterie. But in the third of the photos to follow, you’ll see a stall typical of France where a local farmer will lay a variety of homegrown goods on the table: vegetables, homemade preserves, vinegar and pickles, etc. The last photo sees endive (chicory in UK) being sold as I’ve never seen it before – the whole veg with the root which is freshly severed as you buy. Talk about fresh!
Well, any of you who know the Single Gourmet Traveller will be wondering, How did she do all this without stopping for coffee! So that was my next stop, at Dupont Patisserie & Boulangerie for a Petit Dejeuner Complet.
Then I headed back across the bridge – buying some fruit in the market. Passing wonderful chocolatiers and stopping at another Boulanger near Villa Caprice to buy a simple pissaladere (French pizza) for lunch – and looking at the cakes, but not buying after my breakfast indulgence!