Monday, 24 January 2011

112. A word from your faded correspondent

24th January 2011. Ac-tor Simon Williams, writing in the Delhi Telegraph over the weekend about Biarritz, talks of its faded gentillity.. Just as it's "known" that Venice smells*, so it seems to be received wisdom among travel writers that poor old Biarritz is akin to an old lady living on her memories.. a little down at heel, some flaky paint here and there, roots showing and in need of a discreet makeover. Nothing could be further from the truth than this.

* There's absolutely no truth in the oft-reported 'fact' that Venice smells..



OK, like all ladies d'un certain âge, she has had a past.. but the Biarritz I know is sparklingly clean, bright and has s-t-y-l-e in spades. "Faded gentillity..?" Not even close. I'd take the Grand Old Lady of the Pays Basque any day in preference to some soulless, style-free, modern high rise resort (the holiday equivalent of a blonde bimbo). If bimbo is what you want - fine - but not for me.
Hotel du Palais (right)
Simon also waxes lyrical about the Hotel du Palais (no surprises there; mentioned here & here), the Café Jean (we prefer the Bar Jean previously highlighted here & here in these pages) and finally he recommends a visit to Cazenave in Bayonne (yet another favourite of ours). 
I can't fault his choices at all! (he must have read this blog!)

Here's a view of Biarritz through Spanish eyes..
However, I would take issue with his fatuous claim that "Biarritz is a bit like Cornwall in the summer, only warmer.." That statement could only be true if you imagine that Hull resembles San Francisco - because they both have suspension bridges..!

He was going so well until then too! Apart from that, Simon, a good column..!

So... marks out of ten? Let's be kind:

"Royaume Uni.. neuf points!" 

A quick dose of "Father Ted" is called for..
video

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