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A Sunny Afternoon on Trouville Beach

June 13, 2013

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It’s been a pretty miserable day weatherise; there’s no getting away from it. Is this really June? Fortunately, travelling by car, I was able to bring more clothes than a flight would allow and luckily I had a last-minute thought to throw my jeans and leather jacket into the car. They’ve proved invaluable!

A rainy lunchtime led me to head just down the road and back to Le Morny’s Cafe. I opted to sit inside for the first time. I liked it inside; it’s a typical French cafe cum brasserie. It was alive with chatter and people enjoying themselves and the welcome is always friendly. A Kir and some nibbles were followed by a chicken Caesar salad. It wasn’t a brilliant one but it was good and I was very happy sitting there for a while.

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I headed back in the rain to the villa but remarkably, the weather app on my iPhone proved correct and after a burst of fairly heavy rain at 3pm, the sun came out. I headed over to Trouville beach and walked along the boardwalk promenade.

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I saw a sign to Villa Montebello, which my guide book told me was the summer residence of Napoleon III and that it housed a small collection of art. I climbed Escalier Marguerite Duras – the early 20th century French writer and film director – and found myself on a road. At the stop of the steps I turned back to look down to the beach and was surprised and delighted to recognise the view (in the photo heading this post). It matched the photo print I’d bought at RGallery at the beginning of the week, and the posters I’d seen about town.

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Isn’t it a stunning view? I stood and enjoyed it for a while. Then I followed a minor steep road that led along the coast to Honfleur and stopped after a while to look back down on Trouville beach.

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Turning back I passed the mansion in my Michel Trehet print again and at the other end of the building saw the name, Les Roches Noire. This (seemingly exclusive) block of private residences was once a hotel. A sign told me that Marcel Proust stayed there a few times and declared it the best hotel in Trouville.

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Just opposite was the Musee Villa Montebello. I wasn’t sure it would be open but I climbed up the steep driveway anyway and was rewarded with entry for the small sum of €2.

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It really was a small collection but there were some nice Hambourgs, a Dufy sketch and in a glass case, an original Alexander Dumas letter. The view from the windows down to the sea was magnificent.

I crossed Pont des Belges again, back to Deauville, but this time in a nice sunny light.

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I’d had in mind to try another restaurant in Trouville for dinner that’s recommended in my Lonely Planet and elsewhere – Les Mouettes – but made a last-minute change of plan to go back to Les Vapeurs where I could enjoy the evening sun and some Moules frites again. I ordered a glass of champagne that came with some canapés.

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I decided to go with Normandy style Moules this time – in other words with cream!

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The sauce was gorgeous. The amount of cream just right so it didn’t overwhelm the flavours. And then, I simply had to have one of those amazing cafe gourmands again!

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Thus a day that had started disappointingly with cold and rain had ended wonderfully with a beautiful walk on a sunny beach and an excellent meal.

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