Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lunch in Biarritz

French Village Diaries Biarritz
The perfect spot for lunch in Biarritz

The same day that the Tour de France boys were leaving Carcassonne and heading to the Pyrenees, we were pounding the tarmac of the dual carriageways for the four-hour journey by car to the same mountains. Our paths were not destined to cross however as we were off to the Basque country with our bikes, to tackle our own mini mountain stage. With friends organised to look after the animals the bikes were loaded into the car and the remaining space filled with muesli bars, walnuts, chocolate, bananas and pasta pots. Despite looking forward to sampling the regional delights of Basque gastronomy, I couldn’t possibly leave home without any provisions; I’m funny like that.

We set off through the sunflower fields that gave way to the Cognac vineyards and that by the time we stopped for coffee had become Bordeaux vineyards. From Bordeaux to Biarritz we drove through the flat forested Landes; baby trees, big trees, fern covered forest floors with pretty purple flowering heather, asparagus fields and huge maize plantations. So different from where we live and where we were headed. Just north of Bayonne we got our first glimpse of the mountains. Huge, looming mountains. Steep, pointy mountains. Mountains that made my short, stubby legs feel weak just looking at them.

French Village Diaries Biarritz
The old fishing port Biarritz
With Ade desperate to stretch his legs in the mountains and me pleased to be visiting an area I’ve had on my wish list for a while this was a trip designed to please us both, but lunch in Biarritz was an added bonus for me and a bargain at only 1.60€. We seemed to drive forever on dual carriageways interrupted by roundabouts, through uninspiring out of town areas. Something that seemed even more difficult on empty stomachs, although to be honest wasn’t much easier on our way out of town later. We even found ourselves on the same stretch of road going in the same direction on both journeys.

French Village Diaries Biarritz
The promenade Biarritz
We parked in the Bellevue underground car park and emerged into the sun, to see the sea and all was forgiven until we saw the crowds. After a pretty stroll through terraced gardens we made our way to a waterfront terrace where lunch was served without delay - as I unpacked the homemade quiche and we ate with just the sparrows paying us any attention. A walk along the promenade to see the old fishing port, the rocky outcrops and pretty beach tents and we were happy to leave, although we may return out of season one day. Without the crowds it may be more our sort of place.

French Village Diaries Biarritz
The beach tents Biarritz

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