BeachNuts Beach Guide for:
Trouville sur Mer
Trouville in Calvados, Normandy is France's oldest seaside resort and one of its prettiest. Often unjustly deemed the down-trodden relation of its neighbour Deauville, Trouville is a town that oozes with elegant charm. Situated between the sea and the Normandy countryside, Trouville is a combination festive seaside resort and traditional fishing port.
In the 1830's, Trouville's golden sandy beach and close proximity to Paris established it as a premier tourist destination. Trouville attracted numerous artists, including Monet who was inspired to paint the evocative La plage a Trouville. Today, Trouville is a family-friendly resort with few pretensions. Its expansive one-and-a-half mile beach with wooden boardwalk, along its length, is lined with opulent villas whose architecture has been preserved in its 19th century state. Trouville's by-gone-era charm is what sets it apart from many modern seaside resorts.
The boardwalk is fringed on the sand-side with attractions for the entire family including mini-golf, bouncy castles and pony rides. These attractions do not detract from Trouville's charm. The meticulously clean sandy beach is safe for children as the water is shallow for a long distance out.
Close to the beach, there are many restaurants that offer excellent seafood, while the town's casino built in 1912, in the style of a Louisiana paddle steamer, is terrific place for a hand after a day at the beach.
Anyone looking for a relaxing vacation at a charming, family friendly beach town.
West of Trouville are the beaches made famous by the D-Day landings.
Trouville has the best ecological Aquarium in France and a wonderful Art Museum in the beautiful setting of the Villa Montebello.
The Normandy countryside is dotted with cows - the source of Normandy's cream and butter. Orchards around town produce delicious, juicy apples, that are transformed into cider and Calvados.
Deauville with its luxury shopping and hotels, hippodrome (horse racing tarck) and interesting architecture is only 5 minutes away.
SEA Brittany Ferries (08705 360630) www.brittany-ferries.co.uk) sails overnight from Portsmouth to Caen. From there take the A13 and turn onto th A132 for Deauville and Trouville. P&O Portsmouth (0870 2424 999: www.poportsmouth.com) sails from Portsmouth to Le Havre; just a short drive away on the A29
Le Central is a classic brasserie: an old-fashioned place that advertises "pure butter cooking." Diners enjoy platters piled high with oysters and other raw shellfish. There are omelets, steaks grilled over a wood fire, and golden frites. Be sure to reserve ahead, because the restaurant gets busy, especially at lunchtime after the nearby fish market closes.
Les Quatre Chats
A popular Parisian-style place is Art Deco in character with some 21st century touches, including an open kitchen and a mezzanine. Both the menu and wine offerings are listed on a blackboard. The food is fresh and well-prepared, but the main attraction is the hip crowd.