When I was planning the itinerary of Paris on this recent Europe trip, I realised that there wasn’t really anything that I really wanted to see or do in Paris so we decided to do a crazy day trip down to Bayonne to visit a friend who lives around there.
It was crazy because it was a 5 hour or so TGV ride one way. Bayonne is about 770 km away from Paris. So yeah, we took the 7.23 am train to Bayonne and arrived back in Paris at 11.49 pm. The insanity is how we spent almost 11 hours travelling back and forth only to spend just below 6 hours in Bayonne.
Still, I’m really happy that I made the trip down despite the long journey and how the orange-infused hot chocolate I had from L’Atelier du Chocolat was probably the trigger point of my really bad case of flu. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that the chocolate from L’Atelier du Chocolat was problematic or anything but it’s so damn good and solid (ie, heaty) that compounded with dehydration from not drinking enough water and the cold in rainy Paris, I succumbed to illness. No regrets still. Chocolate >>> sore throat + flu. #priorities
Bayonne is probably what we’d describe as a really small town/village; small enough to cover the entire town on foot in a couple of hours. However, our intention was more to visit a friend than to be a tourist in Bayonne. We spent like 3 hours eating and chatting. Hahaha. Initially, we thought of heading over to Biarritz but after our long lunch, we’re like screw it. Let’s just walk around within Bayonne.
You can’t go to France and not talk about french food right?
We went to this really nice café/brasserie place that my friend recommended that serves really, really, really nice food.
I had this lomo (pork loin) dish cooked in a pretty traditional Basque style as I was told and it’s SO DELICIOUS. OMG. I’m drooling as I remember the taste of the dish while typing this. SO GOOD! It is admittedly a little more salty than what I’m used to but this is the real deal y’all; legit fresh ingredients and quality cooked food.
You can’t go to France and not have duck confit right? So many places I’ve been, I find that only the Chinese and French can cook duck meat nicely; it just isn’t really done as well in the other cuisine styles that I’ve tried duck.
As I’ve mentioned, they are pretty serious about being traditional in the Bayonne/Basque area so this duck confit is the best I’ve had in France thus far.
Come dessert. WHOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I don’t say no to chocolate (unless I’m super sick like recently) and I’m pretty particular with my chocolates as well and the chocolate brownie cake is no joke. DAMN SOLID. It’s so worth getting a sore throat for this. LOL.
Sweeter than what I’m used to but so damn bloody good as well. The apples are stacked solid and the base is soft but firm. Plus it’s such value for money for the serving!! We practically don’t get such quality and servings like this in Singapore anymore. Going old school and back to the rural-ish basics is so delightful.
So for it all, it was about €13.50/pax for a main, dessert and coffee (which we skipped).
This is not a sponsored post or anything but you can find this lovely brasserie, Le Thiers at 3, Rue Thiers 64100 Bayonne, France. They open Monday – Saturdays from 7.00 am – 8.00 pm. Lunch is only available from noon – 3.30 pm. Closed on Sundays.
After lunch, we walked around Bayonne and the place reminds me a little of Firenze, Italia but newer, cleaner and less crowded.
There really isn’t much to see or do in Bayonne given it’s size but it is lovely no less. It’s probably great as a pitstop place when you travel through the entire South of France or through to Spain I guess.
Finally, if my friend is still living around there the next time I go to France, I should really plan to visit the South of France proper and not throw it in as an afterthought. Hahaha.