E left for University this morning. In a few days I may be immensely sad, but for right now, I am just incredibly proud of her and excited as she starts out on a great new adventure. Before she headed out, I concocted an evil plot to wrench her from her friends and ensure some quality family time, I kidnapped her this last weekend and took her to Deauville with the family; me, Mr French, M and La Fashionista.
E and I took the train. Two hours from the Gare St Lazare to Trouville-Deauville and then a 2 minute walk to our hotel. I love European train travel!
After a long walk along the beach, we headed to Dupont for their famous hot chocolate, but it was closed, so we opted for cocktails at Le Drakkar. Our faces fell when we saw the cocktail menu. It was a very sad little list. But the two girls next to us were drinking something that looked light, refreshing and absolutely delicious, which brought us to DISCOVERY #1 / Pamplemousse Rosé; a glass of rosé with creme de pamplemousse*, basically a summer kir, served with ice cubes and grapefruit wedges. La Fashionista let us know that it was THE drink of the summer and I totally get it, it was absolutely YUM! Nothing serious, but exactly the right flavours for the moment.
The next morning was bright and beautiful. The nearly mandatory Normandy fog had stayed at bay. We were thrilled, enjoying a great run that became something of an adventure when I insisted the tide was going out and encouraged Mr French to follow me to the cove at the end of the beach. 3 minutes later he shouted for my attention and pointed to the break-water we had just passed. 3 meters of the beach had disappeared under the waves, and by the time we ran the 3 minutes back, a full 6 meters had been engulfed. We
had to climb the break-water back, but with each step I took, the beach got further and further away. Half way across, I was totally stuck, my only option to jump into the waist deep water and wade to shore.
Which made for a somewhat soggy moment as I savoured an orange pressé by the sea. For lunch we took the little Bac to Les Vapeurs in Trouville and I spent the entire, mercifully short ride making stupid jokes about forcing E to take the Bac again, which earned me plenty of adolescent eye rolls.
Their patience with my sense of non-humour was rewarded much later that afternoon by DISCOVERY #2, a sunset stroll along the beach on horse back. The Pony Club de Deauville organises these rides on weekends, tide permitting. The tide permitted and it was the highlight of out weekend.
Dinner that night was DISCOVERY #3 / L’Essentiel. My trusted Lefooding app had nothing for Deauville, yet everytime I did a google search for suggestions, this name came out at the top of the list. Standing in the hotel lobby earlier in the day, I had just said the word and the receptionist had gone into spouts of ecstasy. She knew her food, because the food was FANTASTIC French-Thai fusion. Lots of explosive, fresh flavours very high quality ingredients, like Wagyu beef. So good, I’d go back tomorrow and kind of wish there was something this tongue tingling exciting in Paris.
This weekend was a dream, with perfect weather, fantastic food and family. The perfect goodbye as E heads off into the sunset…
Pony Club de Deauville / 02 31 98 56 24 / firstname.lastname@example.org
L’Essentiel / 29 rue Mirabeau, Deauville / 02 3187 22 11
*pamplemousse = grapefruit
What a lovely memory for you to have of Es last weekend with you.
It brings back poignant memories of a day i spent with my son before he was leaving for uni. And as I was telling you last week, somehow I had the feeling he would not come back. It was a rite of passage and our relationship changed on that day. Still mum and son but now two equal adults for after that day he made his own life and I had to develop a new relationship with him and find where I fitted in.
What a wonderful adventure E is starting on. Good luck to her. I am sure she will soon appreciate even more. What she has left behind.