Monday, September 3, 2012

Biarritz, France - Day Three in the Basque Country

The last day of our bank holiday weekend brought us to the beautiful Atlantic coastal town of Biarritz in France. Biarritz is a well known surfing destination and also famous for its two big casinos on the beach, and as a former holiday destination for many royals.  In 1854 Empress Eugenie (the wife of Napoleon III) built a palace on the beach, which is now the lavish Hôtel du Palais.

Hotel du Palais 
After a morning walk all around La Grande Plage and a visit inside Hotel du Palais we hit two of my favorite French boutiques: Maje and Sandro. Luckily the sales were still on and the GBP to EUR exchange rate was pretty favorable. We couldn't resist. The manager of the Maje store recommended a light lunch on the beach at Bleu Cafe, which is exactly what we did. It is a great spot to people watch and enjoy the salty sea air. 

Salade La Grande Plage 
If you decide not to stay at the grande dame, Hotel du Palais, then a nice boutique option very centrally located directly across the street from Les Halles is the Hotel de Silhouette. Rooms are small, but very modern and they have a lovely and peaceful garden as well as ample parking. 

Those are plastic sheep, don't worry, there is no livestock at the hotel!
We spent the afternoon walking around the rest of the town and watching the surf activity on the beaches; just being out in the summer sun is enough for us Londoners!

No trip to Biarritz is complete without a stroll through Les Halles, or the covered food market, which is open everyday from 7:00am to 1:30pm, including Sundays. There are over 100 traders of different food products from bakeries to butchers. You could spend an entire day here drooling.

Shopping at Les Halles
Another must-stop is the chocolate and macaroon store called Maison Adam. Your biggest problem will be figuring out what to buy. Everything is delicious.

For dinner we headed to this cute little fishing village on the sea and went to the well-known seafood restaurant Chez Albert

One shoulder silk top, Roberto Cavalli (made famous by Charlotte in the Sex and the City 2 movie). For sale here.
White pencil skirt, Banana Republic. Gold chain necklace, borrowed from my mother.
18K rose gold Happy Sport Chronograph with mother of pearl dial,
diamond bezel, 5 floating diamonds and alligator strap, Chopard. Similar here.

Chez Albert is most famous for their massive crustacean platters:

Catch of the day: tuna steak with mashed potatoes 
Basque vegetables
Molten chocolate cake with mint chip ice cream and orange glaze
For a pre-dinner cocktail, or to dance until dawn, I highly recommend the eight minute drive to Bidart to the beach club Blue Cargo. This place is literally smack on the sand and the sunsets are amazing. 
c/o The French Glam & Chic by Laura
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