tel: +33 321 05 13 33
Fine Dining in
(restaurant, oyster bar and fishmonger)
62520 Le Touquet
Le Touquet is often called
seaside resort was very popular with wealthy Parisians,
beginning of last century, witness the extravagant residences
in Art Nouveau style.
It all starts on April 25, 1837,
when notary Jean-Baptiste
Daloze buys a plot, simply called "Le Touquet", for the
pricely sum of 120,000 francs. In return the wealthy Frenchman receives
4000 acres of dunes, to make a hunting ground of it. Daloze's fortune was made long ago
and the man will reside more and more in his new domain, including the
2000 acres which he planted with pine trees. In 1874 Daloze invites the owner
of the French newspaper "Le Figaro", Hippolyte
on his property for a hunting party. The newspaper magnate asks his
friend why he doens't convert his plot into a seaside resort. Daloze decides to follow his
friends advise, and renames his domain "Paris-Plage".
The new resort is a challenge for
the highest paid architects of the country and soon
the reputation of "Le Touquet Paris-Plage"
exceeds the country's borders. In 1894, visiting Englishman John R. Whitley noticed the new resort and its potential. Whitley has higher degrees from
various universities, speaks four languages (English, French, German
and Italian) and loves "project starts". From the heirs of Jean-Baptiste Daloze, he buys a
plot near the seafront and establishes the "Mayville Company
Ltd", supported by a committee of more than fifty members, including
Louis Pasteur, Sarah Bernhardt and the Duke of Morny.
On December 16, 1902 Whitley buys
the remaining 2,700 acres from the heirs of Daloze and obtains the
majority of Le Touquet Paris-Plage. Whitley procures that by the end of the "golden
years" 1920, just before the great stock market crash, most of the
British glitterati have a cottage in Le Touquet. A
private airport is opened and that is when the English smart set start
"hopping" the English Channel to play golf, attend
at the local "Horse Racing Course" or play an evening of
the casino. It is said that Ian Fleming was in Le Touquet when he found his
inspiration for his fictional casino Royale-les-Eaux in
the novel "Casino Royale" ...
Currently only 5500 souls
(called Touquettois) live permanently in the resort, but during the
holidays find the streets are thronged. Le
Touquet also offers a large number of hotels, including some very
exclusive, as the four star Westminster Hotel & Spa,
with rooms with price tags up to € 850 per night
atmosphere at Le Touquet is hard to describe, you might label
it as a kind of "miniature Monaco".
Amid all the exclusive boutiques
and posh restaurants of Le Touquet, there is a restaurant famous for
its ... soup. It was founded by Serge
Pérard, born in 1921, who is nowadays nicknamed "the pope
of fish soup". It
all started during World War II, when this part of France was occupied
by the Germans and there were very strict rules for fishing at sea. Serge Pérard went with
his friend Maurice to the port of Boulogne Sur Mer to find if anything
was worth picking up and found that despite the war and food
shortages, the fish heads were nearly free.
Back home Serge boiled the
fish heads and ate them with some potatoes. Later that night he tasted the
broth left, added some herbs and onions to it and enjoyed his
first fish soup.
For nearly 20 years Serge
Pérard kept the fishsoup recipe for himself, while he
gradually improved it to perfection, adding shellfish and
1963 there was no fish-eating culture in France, but Serge
Pérard decided to take the chance and opened the first fish
restaurant in the country. His soup was a great success in the small Le
Touquet and when Parisian beau monde went back to work in the
capital,after their holidays, they craved after the soup
meet that demand Serge spend some time in Paris, where he
learned how his soup could be preserved. From
then on, the fish soup of Pérard is for sale in sterilized
on a small scale in the kitchen of the restaurant on Rue de Metz, but
meanwhile, nearly half a century later, there are about ten thousand
jars a day made in a factory on the outskirts of Le Touquet. Pérard once wanted to
transfer his soup business to the fishing port of Boulogne,
but the city of Le Touquet called it a "landmark" and offerd
Pérard a piece of land. The soup of Pérard is exported to over
twenty countries, even to Saudi Arabia, where it is very
The Pérard restaurant is still on the same site as in 1963,
on the rue de Metz. The
interior hasn't changed in style and feel in all those years, with its pink tablecloths, orange chandeliers and
copper decoration it is like a time machine. The dining room seats up to eighty gourmets.
Besides the restaurant there is a fish and an
oyster bar. It sometimes
happens that yours truly drives from De Panne to Le
Touquet only to buy a nice fat fresh sole, of over
750 grams... The
quality of the fish and the friendliness and expertise of the
fishmongers at Pérard make the journey worth it.
Serge Pérard is now over
eighty, but his business is still on. Pérard has worked hard for it
and for his soup and his motto is:
"I'm not rich, but my soup is"
Bar and Restaurant Perard
67 rue de Metz
62520 Le Touquet
Since I've written this page, I've had a number of dinners at
Pérards. Each time I've enjoyed the delicious fish soup (à volonté!
) and was never disappointed.
If you want real value for money, I can recommend the menu of the day
, a three course meal (starter + main course + dessert) whereby the fish soup can be chosen as a starter.
(Currently -april 2014- at 26 Euros p.p. )
The main course with this menu is the 'fish of the day' (what else
would you expect in France's oldest fish restaurant?) The dessert
can be chosen from the card.
Warning: the first time I choose this menu, I was seduced by the
waitress... to have a second and third portion of soup. The result was
that I was unable to finish my dessert: an enormous 'île
flottante'. This 'floating island' was the largest one I've ever had in
any French restaurant. Since then I've learned to restrain myself and
nowadays I keep it to only one extra portion of soup, no matter how
sweet the waitress might be :-)
Pérard no longer have a website, and since the restaurant is
quite popular, it is highlty advisable to make a reservation.
Especially during school holidays and weekends.
fax: +33 321 05 62 32
De Panne (BE)
April 14, 2014
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TRAVEL TIPS !
Practical advice on your holiday to France
cultural restaurant in a converted barge,
spectacular location on the Mont de Fiennes, with panoramic view over
Calais and the English Channel,
"Gare des Années Folles"
theme-restaurant in an old railway station,
Sailly sur la Lys
59114 Saint Sylvestre-Cappel
situated on the seafront,
fishmongers, restaurant, oyster bar in the
62520 Le Touquet
62200 Boulogne Sur Mer
Fast Food Resto's
Buffalo Gril (recommended)
Flunch, Pizza Paï,
my starter page