Spending a day in Deauville, Normandy is perfect for sightseeing, sunbathing, shopping and eating! This swish and internationally re-nowned seaside resort has a designer shops, a Grand casino, golf courses, horse races and a sandy beach that stretches for days! No wonder it’s the destination of the rich from Paris and the famous from around the world for the annual American Film Festival. So, if you are looking for a weekend destination in Normandy, a day trip by the sea-side or a cultural day out Deauville is your answer.
Throw on a faux-fur daaarling, there’s a boardwalk waiting!
The station was built to bring in rich Parisians to this new glam seaside resort. It was rebuilt in the 1930’s to suit the demand.
There are plenty of parking mainly around the edges of the town. Try the main road along the beach front where you’ll find numerous carparks, or here by the Deauville public harbour on the Quai de La Marine.
One of the towns famous casinos peeks through the ropes of the yachts.
You’ll need to put money into the machine to park here, but if you don’t have the right change I have a great tip for you!
Pop into Le Berbere. We arrived late morning but found it open and serving coffee at the bar.
So I enjoyed a very French Cappuccino and we got the change we needed for the parking machine.
As soon as I turned the corner my love for Deauville floods back. It’s wonderfully peaceful this time of year, like an elegant lady sitting in a winter garden.
It’s a town for foodies as the quality of produce you can buy here is outstanding.
This is our favourite place to buy a pastry. Aux Délice de L”Etoile on 35 Rue Désiré le Hoc. The quality is undeniable.
Other enticing food shops are around every corner!
Dazzling wine bottles,
plus the freshest and healthiest take away food you’ve ever seen!
The large resinous trees, such a part of Deauville’s character, are protected. Their arthritic nobules look harsh but noble in the winter gloom.
It’s not just classy here in Deauville, but convenient too.
We caught the food market just beginning to pack up, beneath the embellished roofs that prance above the half timbered houses.
Take a stroll to this chocolate shop. It’s my favourite and I can’t walk by. I’ve tried. But, I can’t.
Au Duc de Morny is a traditional chocolate shop and it’s full of quality, beautifully presented treats.
I always grab a bag of these chunky chocolate bars. They are too good. You won’t want to share.
Back on the streets of this little, perfectly formed town you’ll come across the creative and often bold architecture.
Bow windows bring a little bit of Britishness, designed to increase the view.
So many are full of character and charm with colourfully painted carved balconies.
Chalets within the town have finely carved wooden balconies, large windows and hats for roofs. They look very grand and follow the “hygienist” movement of the mid-19th century. That is architecture that follows the relationship between the living environment and the residence. In Deauville this means the importance of nature, fresh air, sea and forest are confirmed.
The legendary hotels here are typically Norman and villa in style, half-timbering, lozenge-patterned brickwork, painted wood and multiple roofs. I love them, they are anything but dull!
This particular hotel has it’s timbers in ‘Normandy green’ to add a little harmony.
You can become Rapunzel at this one!
Hungry and tired from all our sight-seeing Andy finds a restaurant for lunch. So, we head to Brasserie La Cantine.
It’s a great brasserie at reasonable prices (for Deauville!).
The also have a very nice wine and cocktail menu.
This pork and camembert dish is very traditional from this region.
Duck and buttery potatoes.
Our fish and chips were perfect, except they served it on a brioche bun! I guess it’s a Normandy twist…
The desserts were good, not great. This coffee with ‘sweets’ was fun tho’.
Teurgoule is worth trying. It’s traditional rice pudding with cinnamon. It’s a typical Norman Dessert.
Fully fuelled we hit the quiet streets once again, passing smart designer shops.
Casino Barriere is huge and you’d find it difficult to miss it. It’s not really our bag, and the reviews are mixed, but if you arrive on a rainy day it might be interesting to swagger through.
We swagger past instead,
seeing more creative and often amazing architecture.
As well as seeing villas and chalets you may get to spot, over the white fences, a beautiful manor houses with green gardens, like this one, right near the beach.
We finally head onto the beach.
This endless stretch of foreshore has skies that have inspired painters and photographers for decades. Today the sky was a blanket of unyielding grey, but the scale is undeniable.
In summer you’ll get to see the famous and photogenic, five-coloured beach umbrellas. They are a symbol of Deauville, so make sure you grab a quick selfie! You can hire them from April – September.
It is a site of many sports including offshore regattas. If you can tear yourself away from the beach there are also tennis courts and sea-water swimming pools where records have been broken, skate parks and fitness trails.
Horses gallop on the beach in the mornings and evenings. It’s a thrilling spectacle to see.
When you’re not distracted by the beautiful shells that collect in strips after being abandoned by their slippery owners.
The seawater is beneficial to the horses after hard training. Catch them before 10am in the morning all year long and after 7pm on Sundays during summer.
At the back of the beach is the 643m wooden boardwalk has become a renowned meeting place.
Hidden behind the art deco cabins are the Pompeian baths cabins throwing you into the roaring twenties, and where the mosaic decor is on a bigger scale. There are shallow inside pools (extra clean for children paddling), fountains and flower beds that side.
The structure of this famous boardwalk is striking against the pure lines, concrete and mosaic of the cabins.
The boardwalk is made of an exotic rot-proof wood. It needs it. Being such a wide and deep beach it can get very blustery!
Since the American Film Festival, film actors and directors are commemorated by the inscribing of their names on the boardwalk plaques.
Some of the doors have been flourished with art work.
It’s impossible to walk by without striking a pose!
Reservations for your favourite cabin open every January (there are 250 to choose from).
With this area you can also find galleries, steaming and massage rooms, a hammam, an American bar, a hairdressing salon and some shops.
On the way out of town we drove passed the famous horse racecourse.
Behind it is a huge and well respected equestrian centre where horses are cared for and trained.
The Strassburger Villa, commissioned by Baron Henri De Rothschild, was built in Normand style in 1907, and has been reserved as a historical monument since 1975. It is sat on a small hill right next to the racecourse due to his passion for racehorses.
You can visit it during the summer months with a reservation. You can also rent it for private events.
It has a large grass garden with apple trees outside and original furniture, decor, knick-knacks and several horse paintings inside.
It’s a surprisingly full day for such a little town. So, we would thoroughly recommend a day in Deauville, Normandy. It’s well worth the journey for all you glam seekers.
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