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Arcachon – a stunning beach town in France


My Husband decided to book a long weekend away in Arcachon. Around 50 minutes from Bordeaux, its placed in a natural basin of the SW French coast line. The villas stand proud and whitewashed. Lots of fret work, which I love and marvel at. Husband of course just wants to know where the bar is but he does indulge me, with a trot around the harbour and Amuse Bouche of Architectual site seeing.

Archachon is spread out over a few kilometres of soft sand with magnificent villas at one end and a natural sheltered harbour at the other. The boats bobbing in rhythmical time soothes the soul. Our hotel was placed by the harbour which was very residential and quiet. The town centre in contrast was a bustling hive of activity.

Sunday was market day!  French and tourists alike busy buying produce and local goods, whilst the more relaxed tourist sat in the cafes drinking expresso, looking in on the throng of people rushing by.
The husband and I wandered around the market and ended up in the undercover part which reminded me of the Barcelona markets. Fresh fish and vegetables displayed with eating areas in the back of the stalls. Waiters busy with customers and wine being poured.

I always love the way the french make lunch an ocassion rather than a function. A working day is halted at 12 o’clock with most shops closing and staff sent home for lunch for 2 hours. How civilised that family’s reunite in the day for a meal rather than late in the evenings, when you are too frazzled from the working day to care. 

From the centre of Archachon we drove a few Kilometers down the coast to Dune Du Pile. The highest Dune in Europe! I certainly knew about it when we climbed all 150 steps, to find we were actually only 3/4 of the way up!

110 meters high there was a magnificent view, once my knees stopped feeling like jelly. It’s 2.6 km to the end, not that we walked it. No! We flopped in the warm sand marvelling at the view and the fact a few of our fellow tourists were on their phones! Heads buried rather than marvelling at the view and all it’s breathtaking beauty. Sad really! 

Once we caught our breath we headed back down and into the closest restaurant, for a much earned panache.

The following day we caught a ferry,  just, I might add. OH sprinting to the boat, I certainly have never sprinted and never intend to.

The boat took us the short half hour on a sea of glass to Cap Ferret pronounced ‘Fret’ not the animal. The captain allowed us up front of the boat, so we could view the baisin on all sides.

As we arrived at Cap Ferret we were advised to eat in ether two restaurants as you alight from the jetty. One was a pub with substantial meals but the other was a little up market, with London prices to match . 

We decided to walk around Cap Ferret and build up an appitite! Cap Ferret is wooded shops down the high street, a  eclectic mix of practical pharmacies, boutique clothes shops and the obligatory Tabc. Most were shut as the tourists had left but I would love to return to see it in the height of the summer, it’s a lovely a mix of boho hippy chic and cafe culture.

OH strode on dodging the boutique clothes shops, took a left towards the light house and the yachting club, both were shut. We wandered back down the high street and into the Pinasse Cafe.

OH quickly sat me looking out on the waters edge. We marvelled at the festidious labour of the mollusc farm in front of us. Workers bent at 45 degrees, lovingly washing and relieving the molluscs of sea debris. It was fascinating to watch. 

We swiftly ordered from the extensive menu and both ordered the same Entree! This was a mistake as both plates were huge ! 

OH ordered white fish with Caribbean rice and I the stuck with Polenta and pistachios , both were delicious. We washed it down with an excellent bottle of prosecco. 

 

Dessert was ordered just for me! However, this has always been a danger for me as OH, although he professes he can’t eat another bite normally polishes off my dessert, before I have lifted my spoon. Te cheek! 

I so love Creme Brûlée and I wasn’t disappointed. It was creamy and velvety with the right about of sweet crunch toffee on the top. An excellent finish to a fabulous weekend away.

SJ X 

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