The Christmas lights in Le Touquet Paris-Plage (to give it its full name) are always a joy at Christmas. That this town knows how to really turn on the glamour and the glitz is no surprise – it has always attracted the rich and famous thanks to the wonderful architecture, chichi shops and gorgeous Opal coast beaches.
The town was “created” in 1912 and has remained as well-manicured and smart as the original designers intended. There are very strong British connections here, much of the land was bought by wealthy Brits in the early 1900’s and when Noel Coward visited in 1928 he really set the scene for the global jet setters of the day. Le Touquet was named “the Paris of the North” and the rich and famous flocked to enjoy its many pleasures. Film stars from Marlene Dietrich to Sean Connery who signed his first James Bond Film contract there; musicians, writers and politicians – all of them stayed here. Ian Fleming wrote Casino Royale after visiting Le Touquet’s Casino. Winston Churchill and so many of the British Government stayed here that one point it was said that the British Cabinet had opened shop there!
It still pulls in celebrities keen to have access to Parisian quality shops, great bars and restaurants but with something more. It’s also family friendly and has a lovely beach, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt take their children here sometimes.
I visited for the weekend Christmas market which is held in the art deco covered market (usually mid December, but check website below for confirmation). I love the beautiful architecture of this 1930’s building with its high vaulted, beamed ceilings and brightly coloured tiles. In the high street every shop is decorated and in the chocolate shops you can be sure that there will be something to tempt every one.
The streets are lined with a displays of winter flowering plants and colourful leaves; twinkling lights festoon the streets, Christmas trees are lit up on every corner and in the park the band stand is spectacular at night.
This is a really pretty, sophisticated town and the lights are absolutely lovely, elegant and full of oh la la!
More info at Le Touquet Tourist Office website