Mid last week, I was sat in work looking out the window on yet another rainy day. We were in desperate need of sunshine which prompted me into looking up a mini-break online. Unfortunately, living in London doesn’t guarantee you cheap last-minute deals on the Eurostar or for flights to Europe.
I checked an option which had never crossed my mind – the Eurotunnel. The overnight rate was very affordable, and I looked up Tripadvisor for places to visit near Calais. Montreuil sur mer was a favourite, and I got us booked into a lovely little hotel, La Patio right in the centre of town.
We set off on Saturday morning just after 8.30am for Folkestone and it was a good 2 hour drive. We arrived at the port earlier than planned and managed to get ourselves on an earlier train. In case you’re wondering how it works, you drive your car into a double-decker train which then travels through the Eurotunnel and the journey to Calais takes about 30 minutes. Once you’re there, disembarkation takes about 10 minutes and you’re driving into the North French countryside before your know it!
Montreuil sur mer is a lovely fortified town approximately 30 miles or so from the Eurotunnel port in Calais. We travelled on the A16, and Hubby did very well driving on the other side of the road in our own car. We did come off the A16 at Bolougne sur mer and were heading towards Le Touquet when we decided to leave it for the next day.
We drove into Montreuil sur mer, which is at least 20 minutes drive away from the sea, and were very impressed with the fortification.
Once we found Le Patio and checked in, we decided to explore our new surroundings. There were a number of bakeries, cheese shops, a big church, and a good selection of restaurants. It was afternoon tea time, and we were getting peckish. Although there were bakeries, none of them had dining facilities. Fortunately we stumbled upon a little Creperie near the church.
We both ordered sweet crepes. Mine was banana and chocolate, while Hubby ordered the pear, nuts and chocolate combo. I’m surprised we even stopped to take photos – we were famished and the crepes were soft, melt-in-your-mouth treats.
I wanted to rest before dinner – it had been a long day after all.
When we checked in earlier in the day, the owner asked if we wanted to book a table in the hotel restaurant. I remembered reading positive reviews for the restaurant and booked us a table for 8pm.
We were not disappointed. The food was brilliant and the service was top notch. A 3 course meal costs €25 per person, plus €3 or €4 supplements for the seafood platter or fillet of beef.
I ordered the seafood platter, while Hubby had Normandy oysters to start. We were spoilt for choice – I’ve never had seafood so tasty and fresh. The portions were generous, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted my main course after polishing the entire platter!
For our main courses, I ordered lamb tagine which was served with couscous. The lamb stew was baked in the oven rather than a tagine (but the flavours were still amazing), and it had lovely courgettes, carrots and potatoes. I mopped up the stew with freshly sliced bread. It was beautiful.
By this stage, we had very little room left for dessert, but I knew the best course was yet to come. Hubby ordered the apple tart (I can’t remember what flavour ice cream came with the tart, but it was delish!) while I had the millefeuille.
Hubby and I had a Campari and Kir for our aperitifs, and shared a bottle of red wine. I forgot to take photos of the amuse bouche, which was melon and parma ham (which I passed on to Hubby. He said it was tasty). The bill came to just under €100 which was really good value for the amount of food and drinks consumed over the course of the evening.
So if you’re ever in Montreuil sur mer, make a note to dine at Le Patio – fabulous food and service.