Oops. I promised to write something about the Tra expo at Palazzo Fortuny but I need to postpone that for tomorrow. So instead, I am going to pitch Cabourg as a nice week-end getaway spot with kids. Cabourg is a beach town at about a 2h30 drive (without traffic). It hs the advantage of being a nice beach – clean, big, relatively low undertow, good sand for sand castles – and being relatively inexpensive. I stayed for 4 dayw there last week and had a ball with the youngins. The casino is pretty small and hard to squeeze money out of. But the hotel it is in inspired the Grand Hotel of Balbec in Proust’s A L’Ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleur. Proustian references therefore abound – Blvd Marcel Proust, the Balbec Boulangerie, the Resto Proust…you get the idea. It is a beautiful building and active luxury hotel with a private pool and beach as well as several restaurants. WARNING: the restaurants beachside that are immediately adjacent to the hotel are pretty bad. Of particular non-interest (read: to be avoided) was Café de la Digue which was way overpriced with terrible service and tasteless food. On the other end of the scale, Le Biquets’ about 300m west of the hotel beachside was excellent with great food, a good winelist and super service – catering parents and kids alike. Highly recommended.
So there you go. Cabourg is quaint, not overdeveloped, attractive and a great place for a quick weekend with the kids outside of Paris. It is far less touristic and expensive than, say Deauville and Trouville, and more attractive IMHO than Houlgate or Honfleur and closer than Bayeux. The kids loved it. Of course, like any beach community, it is less attractive when it is cloudy and rainy and as this is northern France, the sunny days are outumbered. But who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky and have loads of sun like we did.