Just two and a half hours from Paris by train, which depart several times a day from Gare Saint-Lazare, Deauville is the destination of choice for many well-heeled Parisians looking for a quick weekend break away. With the recent warm weather and the arrival of spring, now is a perfect time for a visit before the summer crowds descend. Here we round up some of the key addresses to pass 48 hours by the sea.
The most fashionable address in Deauville, Hôtel Barrière Le Normandy is located in the heart of the town and housed in a grand and traditional neo-Norman style building. It is a favourite of visiting celebrities, especially those attending Deauville’s famous film festival, and its easy to see why with its old fashioned elegance.
Each of the 271 rooms are decorated in beautiful Toile de Jouy, a traditional French pattern associated with Normandy and updated at the hotel in a contemporary range of colours, with wooden beams and chandeliers adding the finishing touches. Film fans may want to book the Un Homme et Une Femme suite, which pays homage to the famous film by Claude Lelouch, whilst the spacious Presidential Suite impresses with its large private terrace overlooking the Norman courtyard.
Golfers should head to four-star sister property Hôtel Barrière L’Hotel du Golf, also a good choice for those simply wanting to get away from the centre of town and take in a sea view and green fields. The hotel offers a great range of activities, including a driving range and three 9-hole golf courses, tennis courts, padel, and a private and peaceful outdoor pool. Golf lessons are also available, as are bikes to hire. Guests looking for something more relaxing can dine in the Lassay restaurant, which offers a fantastic view for lunch or book a spa treatment courtesy of prestigious Parisian beauty brand Biologique Recherche.
La Belle Epoque
The elegant surroundings of La Belle Epoque at Hôtel Barrière Le Normandy make for a memorable evening dining on perfectly cooked local seafood and classic French dishes. The restaurant’s take on a Baba au Rhum, the Baba Flambé, makes a showstopping, and boozy, end to the meal. Le Bar du Normandy, where Coco Chanel and Winston Churchill were once regulars, is also open for an aperitif or after-dinner drinks.
A Deauville institution, Le Ciro’s has seen a roll call of stars pass through its doors from Sylvester Stallone to more recently, Morgan Freeman. And if it’s good enough for Hollywood royalty, then it is also good enough for French presidents — Nicolas Sarkozy and Emmanuel Macron have both also dined here. One of the specialities is Ciro’s take on the Marseille dish bouillabaisse – not to be missed – while the piled high seafood platter is perfect for sharing as a starter.
Planches de Deauville, Lais de mer, 14800 Deauville
Pâtisserie François Gayet
You could easily miss the delicious Pâtisserie François Gayet, which sits pretty much alone on a street just behind designer store Lancel. Everything is homemade with seasonal ingredients, including Gayet’s own take on a Baba au Rhum (which it seems is a popular Deauville dessert). You can’t sit in, everything is to take away, but cakes can be saved for a goûter and the croissants, pain au chocolat and brioches make a delicious breakfast treat.
75 Rue du Général Leclerc, 14800 Deauville
Chez Madeleine Fromagerie and MB Fromagerie
If you want to pick up some of France’s famous cheeses, then head to Chez Madeleine Fromagerie or MB Fromagerie. Both also offer a good selection of cheeses from Normandy, including a speciality form Deauville, and staff will happily talk you through the options if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the choice.
Chez Madeleine Fromagerie
13 Rue Breney, 14800 Deauville
60 Rue Gambetta, 14800 Deauville
No trip to the seaside is complete without an ice cream, and arguably the best in Deauville can be found at Martine Lambert, who offers something for every sweet tooth. Expect to queue, but it’s worth it!
76 Bis Rue Eugène Colas, 14800 Deauville
If you’re looking for refreshments on a sunny day then Café Marius is not only slightly off the tourist track, but even better, has a rooftop terrace. A must-visit for an apéro on a warm summer’s evening.
19 Rue Gontaud Biron, Toit Terrasse – 1er etage, 14800 Deauville
Deauville’s Designer Stores
The town is famous as the location for Coco Chanel’s first-ever boutique, so it’s perhaps no surprise that designer shops are aplenty in Deauville, from Hermès to Louis Vuitton. Housed in Deauville’s neo-Norman style buildings, the usually grand stores blend seamlessly into the town’s famous architecture and offer a more relaxed shopping experience than Paris for a spot of French designer shopping. Most are located just by Hôtel Barrière Le Normandy right in the centre of the town.
La Maison Deauville
Located in a pretty neo-Norman house set just slightly back off the street, La Maison sells an eclectic selection of homeware handpicked by the owner, from glass bottles made by artisans to beautiful ceramics and throws. There is also a small selection of stationary, jewellery, and clothing.
13 Rue Edmond Blanc, 14800 Deauville
Here you can find the all-natural candles and scents by prestigious brand Secret d’Apothicaire, made by hand in Normandy, as well as a selection of vintage linens, crockery and other decorative homeware.
27 Rue Breney, 14800 Deauville
Le Duc de Morny
The lovely old-fashioned gold leaf signs of Le Duc de Morny chocolaterie are sure to draw you inside to sample its range of delicious artisan chocolates, and our choice for the best in Deauville.
59 Rue Désiré le Hoc, 14800 Deauville
La Cave de Deauville
For those looking for a tipple to take home, a bottle of Calvados or French vin perhaps, head to the tiny but well-stocked La Cave de Deauville.
48 Rue Mirabeau, 14800 Deauville
Antiq ô thé
Antique aficionados should walk just a few minutes out of town centre to Antiq ô thé, which sells a small but impressive collection of 18th and 19th century antiques, and, more unusually, a selection of tea from Parisian tea house DAMMANN Frères in the back room.
1 avenue de la République, 14800 Deauville
Table et Porcelaine
One for the more serious home-cooks is Table et Porcelaine, which sells a range of professional kitchenware. The nautical-inspired kitchen linens also make a perfect souvenir of a weekend by the sea.
48 Rue Désiré le Hoc, 14800 Deauville
The Deauville Markets
Head to Place du Marché, just by Place Morny on Deauville’s market days, which are every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday morning all year around and on Sunday and public holidays from March to October. Here you can pick up local produce such as fruit, veg, cheese, and fish, as well browse a couple of vintage stalls. If you just want to soak up the atmosphere and people watch, there are a couple of cafes and their terraces well-located right on the square. An organic market also takes place on Thursday morning in the square de l’église, the location of the Saint Augustin church.
Deauville’s famous Barrière Casino makes a fun night out for those who fancy a flutter. Inside the high ceilings, columns, crystal chandeliers and rich red and gold décor by renowned designer Jacques Garcia make an impressive setting for splashing a little cash. For those who prefer not to play, the casino also houses a theatre, a perfect replica of the Petit Trianon at Versailles, which hosts a variety of performances, as well as its own nighclub, the Brummel Club. If you’re staying, eating, or drinking at Hôtel Barrière Le Normandy, ask about the tunnel which will take you directly from the hotel to the casino.
You don’t need to be a guest at Hôtel Barrière L’Hotel du Golf to enjoy one of its three 9-hole golf courses, driving range or golf lessons. There is also equipment to rent if you didn’t bring your own, a pro shop, and the Club House, open for lunch and drinks after you’ve finished practicing your swing.