Three Hours or Less from Paris by Train: Trouville-sur-Mer

(Photo by Richard Nahem)

Earlier this month we visited the delightful seaside town of Trouville-sur-Mer on the English Channel. Located at the beginning of the long, rugged coastline of Normandy, Trouville-sur-Mer is approximately 30 minutes from the better-known town of Honfleur.

We boarded a 9:43 train from Paris Saint Lazare station and arrived at the Deauville/Trouville station in an hour and 45 minutes.

Exiting the train station, we walked along the waterside dotted with half-timber houses and a nostalgic 19th century carousel. The town fish market was in full swing, with vendors piling their fresh caught lobster, clams, oysters, shrimp, and mussels on to mounds of ice. Many of the stalls had stand-up bars and we were tempted to join the locals who were enjoying raw seafood platters with glasses of chilled white wine, but we decided to hold off till lunchtime.


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Trouville-sur-Mer has one of the few sand beaches in the rocky Normandy coast, making it easier to walk on. We rented one of the bright colored striped umbrellas lining the beachfront, which cleverly turn into a mini- cabana. Relaxing on the beach for a few hours, we took a quick dip into the chilly but refreshing English Channel.

Famished from the salty, sea air, we lunched at Brasserie Les Vapeurs, the classic seafood restaurant from 1927 in the heart of town. We sat al fresco under a red awning, feasting on a plat de mer, a seafood platter of clams, oysters, crab and lobster plus a pot of mussels steeped in white wine, served with crispy French fries. After lunch we craved something to satisfy our sweet tooth and discovered a hip tea salon, restaurant and home design shop, Villa Gypsy. After a latte and a yummy, home-baked lemon tart, we browsed the home boutique and purchased a locally weaved area rug.

A magnet for artists and writers, Trouville-sur-Mer pays tribute to their works with benches along the beach walk marked with their names- Monet, Gustave Caillebotte and Marguerite Duras (a Trouville resident for a period of time). Perhaps the most cherished is poster and graphic designer Raymond Savignac, whose whimsical, seaside designs grace a series of banners along the beach and also fill the The Montebello Museum.

The Barriere family has a longstanding tradition of building and operating opulent casino resorts across France, including Cannes, Deauville, and Biarritz. A regal, Beaux Arts style building constructed in 1912 in the center of Trouville houses the Casino Barriere Ouistreham. The expansive, 65,0000-square-foot space contains a casino with slot machines, table games, roulette, and poker, three restaurants and live entertainment spectacles.

Next door to the casino is another Beaux Arts, 1912 gem recently rejuvenated by the Sofitel Group, Trouville Cures Marines Hotel and Spa. The five-star hotel is part of the MGallery brand, a collection of boutique hotels, which are inspired by life, literature and culture. We strolled through the bright and airy lobby decorated with teal blue, velvet sofas, white tile floors and a white lacquer grand piano. We settled into one of the high back couches and sipped on the summer signature cocktail of rum and mango liqueur mixed with splashes of cherry bitters and lime, pineapple and cranberry juice at the chic Bar d’Eugene.

Le 1912 is the only Michelin star restaurant in Trouville-Sur-Mer. It is helmed by chef Johan Thyriot, with a dramatic interior designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel, referencing the glamour of the turn of the century.

Thalasso Spa offers a vast range of services and treatments with a staff of 45 specialists including hydro-therapists, dieticians, masseurs-physiotherapists, sports coaches, beauticians, and osteopaths. An indoor swimming pool, gym, and a menu of over 50 spa treatments plus weekend packages, make the hotel a year round destination.

We couldn’t leave Trouville without some souvenirs, so we picked up some seaside specialties at J’irai Revoir Ma Normandie, including a bottle of Normandy apple cider, salted butter caramels and peanut flavored fudge. La Fameuse Madeleine de Proust is a specialty boutique stocking buttery Madeleines, a favorite pastry of beloved French author Proust, packaged in tins with an illustration of his image on the cover.

We had a few extra minutes to take one last stroll before we boarded our train back to Paris; we admired the ornate, late 19th century mansions with rows of box hedges edging the beach.

Trains from the Saint Lazare train station in central Paris to Deauville/Trouville station depart almost hourly.

Trouville Cures Marines Hotel and Spa
Boulevard de la Cahotte, 14360

Villa Gypsy
65 Rue des Bains, 14360

La Fameuse Madeleine de Proust
65 Rue des Bains, 14360

J’irai Revoir Ma Normandie
2 Rue Amiral de Maigret, 14360

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