Sunday 30 September 2007

Sur le Continent

Last weekend we had a trip to France. It was a quick hop under the channel and a short drive down to the Cote Picarde/Baie de Somme area. It appears to be one of those areas that is bypassed or ignored by the British. Some French friends of ours have a mobile home down there, and we had arranged to meet them for le weekend. I’m sure I’m missing the point but the actual Baie de Somme was not over impressive. It’s obviously a place that is important in natural history terms, although not important enough to stop French hunters being let loose with guns to blast ducks and goodness knows what else to kingdom come. In many respects the bay is not too dissimilar to The Wash, just longer and thinner. Sadly we didn’t go armed with binoculars so we couldn’t see the Phoque.

There are some wonderful little towns near and on the coast, including one called Brighton, which is nothing at all like its namesake in the UK. A mix of sleepy promenades and buzzing bars and restaurants seem to be the order of the day in most of the towns. The weather was gorgeous but surprisingly the people were not in great abundance. It was just so pleasant wandering around.

Fishing is a significant industry on this part of the coast. This means that there are an abundance of fish stalls and fantastic fish restaurants. Saturday night saw us out at a restaurant in Fort Mahon Plage; it is supposedly quite famous throughout France. You can believe it as the food was fantastic. There were also queues outside the door for the second evening sitting. They were turning people away in droves. It was a good job our hosts pre-booked our table. I had Hareng Doux for starter followed by the ubiquitous Moules Frites, the like of which I’d never tasted before, and for pud a couple of dollops that were L’Ile de Flottant. Scrummy.

Me skimming stones

It was a hectic weekend bombing down there and back in such a short space of time. Plus when you get there you don’t want to come home. The journey was helped and made a lot easier by both The Armchair and Thomas Tom. I hope we can return soon.

P.S. Sorry for any French misspellings but I couldn’t be arsed to check the correct ones. Why our closest neighbours haven’t learnt to adopt English yet is beyond me. If the Americans can just about manage it surely the French can!

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