Photo: OT Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

Le Touquet – Paris by the sea. If it’s good enough for the Macrons…

Just a 2 hr, 30-minute ride from Gare du Nord (pack a snack for the train from L’Etoile, Thierry Marx’s bistro) and you can become Touquettois for ze weekend!

As soon as their schedule allows, President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte head off to Le Touquet-Paris Plage for R&R in the villa Monéjan, inherited by the first lady from her family, the Trogneux artisan chocolate makers, established for five generations.

Photo: OT Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

“Once Upon a Time in Le Touquet” is this year’s Christmas theme from Le Touquet’s Tourist Board. Explore the Christmas Village at weekends and on Wednesdays when local business pop-ups and suppliers showcase Christmas shopping with decorations, local baked treats, gifts and candy.

Photo: O. Caenen/ OT Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

Meanwhile, here’s the best kept secret: head where the locals shop for Christmas at the Marché Couvert (covered market rue Jean Monnet) on the weekend of the 8th-9th December.

Saturday 15th December is also a date for the diary, when the town hosts their Christmas parade.

Photo: O. Caenen/ OT Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

Take a ride on the Christmas market carousel, or tap into your inner Maé-Berenice Mèité on the town’s ice rink located in the heart of Le Touquet (Jardins du Palais des Congrès, Place de l’Hermitage).

The 1st of December is when Father Christmas arrives in town – leading an enchanted parade – with fireworks on the seafront.

Photo: O. Caenen/ OT Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

The Christmas village showcases a light display and skating rink; young ones will never be bored when they discover the exciting pop-up indoor kids’ zone jam-packed with activities and toys.

There’s music everywhere, jazz performances run from 22nd-29th December at the Salle des Quatre Saisons and on the towns’ main streets.

Photo: O. Caenen/ OT Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

And the phare (lighthouse) beckons – showcasing a mini-museum with 274 steps to the summit – a great calorie burner! Combine this with the eclectic retrospective of French artist Hervé Di Rosa’s work (until May 2019). Tarif for both 7€. Musée du Touquet-Paris-Plage, angle des avenues du Golf et du Château.

Where to stay and eat

Book a room at the legendary Hôtel Barrière Le Westminster, the jewel of the Côte d’Opale, with the elegant Michelin starred Le Pavillon restaurant. Or, families seeking a relaxed bolthole, stay at one of the town’s boutique style hotels, such as the three-star Bristol.

Photo: OT Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

Reserve at Café Brasserie des Sports, a favourite with the Macrons, according to Gala magazine, for the excellent Sole Meunière, “Rattes du Touquet” (local potatoes). Or try the rib sticking “Potjevlesh,” a great winter warmer, washed down with mulled wine, or “Welsh Rarebit”, made with Cheddar cheese. Dessert Crepe Suzettes are irresistible.

Need to Know:
Festivities begin 30th November 2018 and run until 6th January 2019. For more information visit http://gb.letouquet.com

See you there!

The lighthouse at Le Touquet. Photo: OT Le Touquet-Paris-Plage
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