In a town of about 4,000 inhabitants, Deauville has a thriving dining scene, thanks to the weekend influx of Parisians and tourists who are drawn here for the horse festival, polo and film festival. . Franco-Korean couple Mi-Ra and Charles recently won a Michelin star for their fusion creation L’Essentiel, which includes dishes such as tom yam-style prawns with salsify and horseradish.
The elegant La Flambée showcases local ingredients – try the millefeuille of andouille sausage and onions. Locals love Marion, a modern brasserie with a delicious lunch menu (€22) and desserts such as tarte tatin with thick Normandy cream. For a platter of oysters, prawns and crab, walk over the bridge to Trouville and Les Vapeurs brasserie, opposite the fish market.
The recent opening of Les Franciscaines has changed the cultural landscape of Deauville. A 19th-century monastery has been spectacularly transformed by contemporary architect Alain Moatti to create a performance space in a chapel, temporary exhibition spaces, a permanent museum, a garden café and a library. multimedia community. It’s an amazing quiet place.
Once you’re away from the crowds, it’s quiet on Deauville’s famous boardwalk, Les Planches. The way the light changes every day here attracted impressionists including Monet and Boudin. Time stands still, as if the sea and the sand are yours. For me, Les Planches is as beautiful as winter.
The Place du Marché has a real community spirit among the vendors and vendors. It is where everyone from Deauville comes to shop, sit in a cafe truck, enjoy an aperitif or have dinner. In July and August the open-air market operates every day, and is the place to buy Norman specialties: camembert and pont-l’évêque cheeses, artisanal cider and calvados, and delicious charcuterie. When the market closed, cafes and bars spread out over the square.
There are cocktails at L’Équilibriste, ice-cream and cake at Les Accords Parfaits, and lunch at the Yacht Café. Although Deauville is known as a summer resort, there are events all year round – cinema, music, book and photo festivals, and international polo and golf matches – so the Place du Marché is always busy. We even have a hip craft beer bar, Sales Gosses, which is always great after midnight.
Deauville has a large beach, with several green areas in the middle. But the green country is easily accessible by bike paths. A gem near the hamlet of Bénerville-sur-Mer, just three kilometers away, is Parc Calouste Gulbenkian. It was bought by an Armenian art collector in 1937 as his private shrine, and given to Deauville in 1973. With flower gardens, lawns and gardens, it is the perfect place to read a book, meditate on silence or picnic. In the middle of summer, the park is a place of peace, with little wind.
Life at night
Whether you gamble or not, visit the Deauville Casino, its Grande Salle is full of roulette and blackjack tables instead of the usual slot machines. It was here in 1959 that the writer Françoise Sagan, tired of Saint-Tropez, won 8m francs (old) at the gaming tables and used it to buy land in the nearby village of Équemauville.
Few out-of-towners know about Café Marius, a rooftop bar full of lush greenery: it’s like a private club and perfect for sunset drinks. I also love the historic wood-paneled cocktail bar at Hôtel Normandy and the Brok Café, a Cuban bar with live music.
The nightlife here will not compete with Cannes or Saint-Tropez, but for clubbing, Le Point Bar, opens at 11pm and parties until dawn.
In the centre, a few minutes from the beach, the hotel Le Trophée (doubles from €135 B&B), is very popular with visiting writers and artists.
Deuville native David Ezvan runs the Librairie du Marché bookstore in the half-timbered market square.