There’s plenty of choice for bars, bistros, cafés and restaurants in Le Touquet. In fact, it’s one of the best little seaside resorts on the Opal Coast though, for some reason it remains largely undiscovered for Brits despite its closeness to the UK. Just a 40-minute drive from Calais and you’re in a totally different world “the Monaco of the north” as those in the know have dubbed it. Chic, elegant, sporty with long golden sandy beaches, a race course, historic tennis courts, Paris style shops and a whole lot more all squished into this small town, there’s loads to do and see. With a choice of restaurants serving haute cuisine to street food, international dishes to local specialities, you’re never going to go hungry here. But there are two truly standout places that really shouldn’t be missed.
Le Pavillon le Touquet
At the Westminster Hotel, the Le Pavillon with a fabulous menu created by Michelin Starred chef William Elliot (sounds English but he is French!). There are lovely terraces and the view overlooks La Canche Lighthouse. I have to tell you, I tried the “tasting menu” at Le Pavillon and at 95 Euros it isn’t cheap but, I have never ever had a meal quite like it, memorably divine.
Chez Perard Le Touquet
In the centre of town, in the rue de Metz you’ll find the restaurant Perard. It was founded by a local man, Serge Perard who began by making soup from 1940 to sell at the market. His delicious fishy soup rapidly became famous from Le Touquet to Paris and beyond and was such a success that by 1963 Perard was able to open a restaurant in Le Touquet. The soup, whose menu he had refined by then, was adored by customers – it still is. So much so that Perard soup is now exported worldwide. Order the soup starter in the restaurant and you’ll be offered a free top up, beware – it’s filling and you’ll want to leave room for the lush main courses and delicious desserts!
Head to Perard today and you can buy two different soups, the Perard that’s in jars and sold worldwide, and the home-made soup that you can only buy at the restaurant shop. At 5 euros a litre, this delicious fish soup is a steal. It keeps for a couple of weeks in the fridge so take some home, just as those early customers did! Perard smoke their own salmon here and you can see the chefs cooking in the state of the art kitchens.
Enjoy a glass of wine and fresh oysters, sushi or soup at the swanky oyster bar or head into the brasserie for a fabulous lunch or dinner with locals who love this place. There’s a la carte or choose from set menus, there’s a very reasonable lunchtime “Perard menu” at 20 Euros. You can also get real bouillabaisse, the only place outside Marseille that I know where they get it spot on! And the restaurant shop is terrific, the freshest fish and ready-made fish meals to take home.