After a quick breakfast in the hotel, we went for a walk around Montreuil town centre. We had seen a bakery across the road from the hotel, and thankfully it was open. We bought a Tart Normandie – an apple and frangipane tart. I have no photos of the tart unfortunately and it is now half eaten! We bought a little pear tart, macaron with a strawberry and cream filling, and a frasier (creamy strawberry dessert) which we had eaten in Perth during our holidays in April.
It is a shame we didn’t buy more of each, as these treats were out of this world. I can still taste the macaron 3 days later.
We found a cheese shop just off the main square (where the market is held on Saturdays), and bought calvados cheese and camembert. Which reminds me Hubby, we’ll need to give the car boot a good airing soon!
We also stopped at a greengrocers and bought some heirloom tomatoes, garlic, apricots and pears. I made a simple tomato and mozarella salad for dinner last night using the tomatoes I bought.
After taking a few more snaps of the citadel and town square, we checked out of Le Patio, and headed towards Le Touquet, a seaside town about 20 minutes drive away.
While Montreuil sur mer was absolutely quiet for a Sunday morning, the atmosphere at Le Touquet was the total opposite. We parked by the seafront and walked to the town square, where there was a Sunday market and it was heaving. There were some activities for kids – a toy tractor ride and pony rides which everyone queued patiently for. I once queued up to take a photo with Elmo in NY and to say I’m a big kid would be an understatement. I was tempted by the €2 pony ride but did not want to inflict my weight on said animal.
They sold fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables, wine, champagne, costume jewellery, confitures and a variety of kitty kaboodles. The booze stalls were extremely busy, unlike the costume jewellery stall which is where I headed and bought a necklace.
It was almost lunchtime and we asked for a table for two at Le Chope Bistro. The bistro was full of locals which was a good sign and moules frites seemed like the popular choice. I opted for sole meunier which cost €19.50 and it was served with boiled potatoes and a salad. The sole was delicious as was the lemon butter sauce.
Hubby wanted something light (and touristy!) and ordered an omelette with ham which was served with a big mountain of chips.
After we were fed and watered, we decided to get a move on and visit the WW1 memorial in Etaples.
According to a plaque at the entrace, Etaples was the biggest Commonwealth war cemetary in France. The memorials for the fallen soldiers were well-kept and we walked around noting names, ages, origins – they were all someone’s brother,sister, father,mother,husband or wife. If it weren’t for their bravery, the world would be a different place today.
After Etaples, we decided to make our way to Calais to stock up on wine before boarding our Eurotunnel shuttle. Hubby saw a sign for a beach at St Cecile and did a little detour from our intended journey. This is the sight that welcomed us.
Shame we didn’t pack our bathers – it was about 22 degrees celsius, families were out on the beach sunbathing, having picnics or having a splash in the water. The beach was sandy unlike Nice. I still have sand in my shoes from our walk on the beach.
Alas, it was time to head back to Calais. We stocked up on wine at La Grande Boutique du Vin, which is at exit 44 on the A16. Our shuttle back was at 17.40 or so, which went by in a blink. Unfortunately the traffic heading back to London was typically slow and heavy for a Sunday evening but we got through it.
Thanks for a lovely trip Hubby, and for all the driving you did. Lake Constance next!