Europe,  France

Living the high life in Deauville

Looking rather windswept on the beach at Deauville with Jane

We have been in Deauville for just over a week and have had an incredibly special time here.  I have already blogged about our visit to Bayeux.  The other highlights for us have been spending time with friends and a day trip to the D-Day beaches (more of that in the next post).

Our friends own a lovely apartment right in the centre of town and our time with them was very civilized and wonderfully relaxed.  They took us to two Deauville institutions that you have to do whilst you are here – the mini golf and the horse racing – and spoilt us with delicious food and wine and great company day after day.

Deauville is apparently the closest seaside resort to Paris and is often called the Parisian Riviera. It is one of the most prestigious seaside resorts in all of France, as can be seen from the smart designer shops, casino and sumptuous hotels.  The town has a splendid wooden boardwalk along the front, built in 1923, with a row of beach huts each bearing the name of a Hollywood star (the town hosts an American film festival each year) and you can rent deck chairs and parasols for the day. What is funny though is that, as Jane pointed out, people put their chairs facing the boardwalk and not the sea! Seeing and being seen is obviously an important pastime here for some!

The mini golf was a lot of fun. It is a good course – just enough level of difficulty to challenge the adults, but not so hard that the children lose interest. Steve wasn’t with us this day as he was finishing some work in London, but Jane’s sister in law and niece were with us and at times it did get quite competitive!

The Hippodrome de Deauville is a good sized racecourse right in the centre of town.  It is small enough though to feel you are quite close to the riders and we particularly enjoyed going to the enclosure before each race to study the physique and form of the horses (or maybe to choose which jersey we liked best) before placing our bets. There was a minimum €2 bet, which meant we could just have a bit of fun and not worry about losing lots of money. As well as the excitement of the horses thundering past us in close proximity, we saw one false start and one rider fall off his mount. Fortunately all was well and both the rider and the horse were OK.

Deauville - horse racing 2
At the horse racing in Deauville – you really are very close to the action!

We stayed for 3 or 4 races before most of the children started to get really tired so we returned to Jane’s, leaving Steve and Alice to watch the rest of the day’s racing. We have had quite a few late nights since we have been here, including one when we stayed over at Jane and Steve’s, and the children were struggling a bit. They were very happy to go back and chill out in front of a DVD.

All in all it was a fabulous week. Jane and I even managed to sneak off for a while to sample some cocktails at a nearby bar whilst Steve and Andy prepared dinner. What a treat to have some girl-time together, just the two of us!  Then on our last day, they came over to the campsite to try out the pool and water slides, which was also a lot of fun.

Deauville - campsite waterpark
The slides at Camping La Valee de Deauville – the brilliant swimming pool/waterpark at our campsite.

It was wonderful to catch up and spend so much time with them all. Thank you, Jane, Steve, Alice and Emily for such an enjoyable week!

Campsite: Camping la Vallee de Deauville
Liked: brilliant swimming pool/water park with slides, a tunnel, waterfall, jacuzzi and more! Great location only a few minutes drive from our friends in Deauville.
What we didn’t like: no toilet paper or hand soap in the toilet blocks.
Score: 8 out of 10

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