Awoke quite early to an overcast day, had breakfast of bread and croissants. Croissants not very nice – rather tough in fact so won’t get any more. Long treks to the loo etc. are a nuisance, and even more annoying when they run out of paper and you have to go back and fetch it!
Went to Le Touquet in the morning, an amazing little place, similar to Deauville in many ways, but set in a woodland. Some very expensive little shops – mainly clothes, but also antiques, and an amazing number of estate agents – there seem to be several new developments of flats for sale, as well as tasteful architect-designed residences. The main street leading down to the beach is a mini Bond Street, quite as expensive and exclusive, presumably for the benefit of the smart Parisians who come here. (The Brighton of France?)
Bought some food – bread, ham, 3 langoustines and a pot of soup to take home from a fish shop which had this vast cauldron of fish soup bubbling away in a corner, a cunning way of using up the bits and pieces! Ate our lunch in the vast car park near the beach – several other British cars there, having picnics, and some French. Went on to the beach as the weather was improving, sand was very fine and pale. Strong winds blowing, and some sand yachts (chars à voile) racing along. Decided it was good kite-flying weather and had a successful time with it. A beautiful brown pointer dog (or rather bitch) came up to us with a stick and ordered us to play with her, and stayed with us all the time we were on the beach – hope she had an owner nearby, she was certainly a beautiful animal, and in fine condition. The ‘front’ at Le Touquet is a strange mixture of the old 20’s and 30’s buildings and the new blocks of flats which are far less picturesque. The whole place has a vaguely PG Wodehouse air, it would be no surprise to meet Bertie Wooster along the streets. A ‘Tournoi de Bridge’ was being held this week – just imagine the harpies and vultures playing in that. Swings on the beach being dismantled – summer is ending.
Drove on to Boulogne, the coast is a very sandy one, with big dunes. Passed some ‘National’ buses on continental tours. Decided to visit the Boulogne hypermarket which is at Auchan, in the village of St Martin. This is a large and typical hypermarket complex, with parade of shops and the food etc. store. Their wines were interesting, and the food good too – bought veal chops for tea, and pork for Andrew, and a cherry and mirabelle tart which (at 10 fr) was very cheap. All had ices (I had a passion fruit, which was delicious) and then the children had chips as well.
Came home in fairly grey weather and cooked the evening meal – mushroom pancakes garnished with shrimps, veal or pork chops and mushrooms, salad, and tart. It was all very tasty and much enjoyed. Children played table tennis after – we watched and David played. Some awful French children on bikes being a real nuisance, David told them off, so did a Frenchman. Incidentally the food in the restaurant here is ridiculously expensive – 14-15 francs for entrecote and chips. So we decided to ignore it!