Long wide soft sandy beach, fresh delicious seafood and a children friendly town is not expected a mere 20 minutes drive from Calais but Boulogne Sur Mer was a lovely surprise.
The short 40 minutes on the Eurotunnel to cross The Channel was thoroughly enjoyed by our boys. They thought driving our car onto the double decker train was 'so cool'. The time passed quickly. As soon as we ate our packed lunch, took a trip to the toilets we had arrived in France.
We decided to stop at the Carrefour hypermarket in Calais. We stocked up on some amenities but had we done our research we would have realised there's a small Carrefour nearby in town. It's small town so there's no need to stop off in Calais unless you're arriving out of ours.
We arrived mid afternoon and all the boys wanted to do was hit the beach. The weather was sunny and warm with a breeze.
They expended a lot of energy chasing the kite up and down the beach. There were only tears when big brother lost his grip and the kite blew along the coast. Imagine four grown adults and four little kids chasing it desperately trying to catch it before it flew up over the hills. Only lots of cuddles and the promise of a new kite could console big brother. Wny did the beach shop close so early?
It was a good time to get ready for dinner. You can see our spacious apartment in the photo above. It was right across the street from the beach. Super convenient and very comfortable.
We randomly picked a well reviewed restaurant - Fleur del Sel from Tripadvisor not knowing it was probably too posh for kids. Luckily we were the first ones through the door but we were all just so conscious the noise the kids were making that it made it much less enjoyable than it could have been. To be fair no one made any comments or gave us any nasty looks and the restaurant were very accommodating with the children. Still we did get out of there as quick as we could. After we apologised the staff said 'they're just children -it was no trouble at all' and from our experience after the weekend Bouloge sur Mer is a very child friendly town.
On Sunday morning we slowly made our way to the fish and grocer's market. There's just something about fresh local produce that makes me buy more than we can eat. Fresh bread and cheese made us too full for our lunch of simple fresh tomatoes and pasta. Be sure to try some of the local oysters. I don't think you can get much fresher than at the fish market. Thanks to other half's fish skills we were able to indulge in the freshest seafood.
The old town is beautiful and worth a walk round. We only discovered it when my friend and I nipped off just before dinner to buy some pastries for dessert. Be sure to not make the mistake we did as they do close and sell out early. After driving to 2 that were closed we did manage to find one just before it closed at 7pm - Le Délice de Palais. .From the handful that were remaining and unembarrassingly bought out of desperation they were really yummy. It's just a shame we had to share it with the kids when they noticed we came home with cake looking boxes.
It was a very relaxed weekend with very little planned and plenty of fresh air. We definitely made the most of the beach across the road and the play ground - it's an ideal destination for a short weekend. We didn't do many paid attractions but lots of walking around the town, beach and marina. For those wanting to entertain the kids with more culture there's the sealife centre, museums and cathedrals to keep you busy.