A lovely few days Down South

A full week ago, my wife and I took a mini-vacation Down South — in the resort town of Biarritz, tucked into the southwest corner of France — and I’ve been meaning to write about our trip ever since. In a word, it was lovely.

Biarritz lies on the Atlantic Ocean, and is about 320 kilometres south and west of our home base in Daglan. It’s  on the Basque Coast, a part of France we had never visited — and which turned out to be charming and beautiful.

For Jan and me, getting there was easy. We chose to take the train, rather than drive, and so we travelled by regional train from Le Buisson to Bordeaux. After a nice lunch break in Bordeaux, it was south to Biarritz on the TGV, the high-speed train.

And once we were settled in our beautiful hotel room, these are the kinds of ocean views we could enjoy:

From pool - 1

Looking up the beach towards the lighthouse.

Looking up the beach towards the lighthouse.

So what could we possibly find to do for three or four days? Well, our hotel had beautiful spa facilities, so we took advantage of them. And then of course, there was the dining. That included meals in our hotel (Sofitel Biarritz Le Miramar Thalassa Sea & Spa — how’s that for a mouthful?), but also in Biarritz itself.

On Saturday night, for example, we enjoyed tapas in the lively and welcoming Bar Jean. And for Sunday lunch, we headed to Chez Albert, where seafood is king.

Here’s an example of a seafood platter that had just been put together at Chez Albert (although not for us):

A seafood platter at Chez Albert.

A seafood platter at Chez Albert.

And here’s another of the platters, just waiting to be taken to a table:

Another Chez Albert platter.

Another Chez Albert platter.

To begin her lunch, Jan ordered a whole crab served cold with mayonnaise. Here it is:

Jan's entrée, on ice.

Jan’s entrée, on ice.

For my main course, I had the dorade, served with a Spanish sauce:

My main course -- fish with a Spanish sauce.

My main course — fish with a Spanish sauce.

Of course, man does not live by seafood alone. What would a nice lunch be, without dessert? And so this is the creation I had:

What could possibly be wrong with this for dessert? Nothing.

What could possibly be wrong with this for dessert? Nothing.

It’s a fair bet that we’ll be back in Biarritz again. Lovely spot.

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This entry was posted in Cafés in France, Food, French food, Holidays in France, Life in southwest France, Restaurants in France, Tourist attractions, Travels in and out of France and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to A lovely few days Down South

  1. marshp2013 says:

    Looks beautiful, Loren — I’ll have to add Biarritz to my bucket list.

  2. Rosemary McCaffrey says:

    Ha! That seafood platter reminds me of the one served to Mr. Bean. Loren, you were the one who led me to that charming movie, Mr. Bean’s Holiday. I always meant to thank you for that recommendation, so Thank You!!

    • loren24250 says:

      You’re very welcome, Rosemary. Yes, I know the seafood “tower” in that movie well — and in fact Jan and I and two friends of ours tried to order it once at Le Train Bleu in Paris, only to be told that they don’t serve the dish, but created it for the movie. Sheesh!

  3. Gaynor Black says:

    It looks gorgeous! Next time you must make it over to the Spanish side. I am planning for Miguel and me to tour the whole northern Spanish coast next summer and end up by popping over the border to Biarritz. Those oysters in your photos look very appealing! I haven’t had any since I left Toronto as the weather is too hot for them down here.

  4. Gaynor Black says:

    Spain is worth a trip in itself for sure! I hope you make it down to Málaga — along the beachfront there are little chiringuitos (beach restaurants) where they grill sardines in old fishing boats filled with sand. I will send a photo to you because its hard to explain.

  5. lepeyruzel says:

    Hi Loren, just came across this entry. Somehow missed your recent blogs! Biarritz is on our shortlist for our anniversary weekend in January . The hotel looks good…recommended?

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