Recently, the children and I were coming up with suggestions for days out.
One thing that J mentioned – which has actually been on our bucket list for a while – was lunch in Paris (a picnic at the Eiffel Tower to be precise!) so I looked into it.
Sadly, the cost of the Eurostar tickets was simply prohibitive (£800 return!!!) for a day trip. But J and G are undeterred… it was time to think outside of the box!
And my mind drifted back – many many years ago, some friends and I had gone to Calais for the day. The plan was to have an elegant day in France. It’s fair to say that day was incredibly memorable for not being at all elegant, but it was hilarious and a trip that can still make us laugh today! And what’s more – it cost £1!!! This is how J & G would spend the day in France!
We booked our tickets from Dover to Calais with P&O ferries for a very cost effective £29 (apparently the tickets for £1 stopped quite some time ago) And we booked a premier Inn for the Friday night, just to take the pressure off having to get up TOO early!!
So on Friday night… we headed to our very favourite UK restaurant chain… It wasn’t the best we’ve been to service-wise, but the food was (as it always is!) perfect. We’d never been to this particular branch before and I think it’s quite disconcerting for staff when we know the menu better than they do… and, no, we don’t actually want what IS on the menu… we’ll be ordering something different (and yet always the same!)
Then we headed off to St Pancras. On the way, J spotted Optimus Prime. To say he was delighted was an understatement.
J had wanted to take the train to France… so this met his expectations! Not quite the Eurostar, but good enough!
We stayed at a premier Inn that night. I love them. Sure, they’re not the most luxurious, but they are clean and safe and always well staffed… We didn’t arrive until almost 9pm and our ferry was at 8:25am the next morning, so all we needed was a nice clean bed! Just the ticket!
And then we were off!
We’ve taken quite a few ferries in our time, and J was a little disappointed that this one didn’t have a cinema… but he more than cheered up when he saw the arcade games…. It was time for France!
We decided to head to Boulogne Sur Mer… simply because it sounded pretty. We were not disappointed. It’s a beautiful town, with a gorgeous pedestrianized area in the fortified old town… with lots of lovely shops and interesting monuments. And (as it turns out!) quite a few pokemon! J is very into Pokémon Go at the moment and he caught 5 while we were there while G practised her French…. Great work!
While there were LOTS of other activities to do (including a fab looking Sea Life Centre), the weather was just too good to ignore the fact that there was a lovely beach right in front of us! So, the afternoon was spent paddling and playing in the sand.
We even found time for a little ice cream!
And then it was time for home.
The children were shattered by the time we got home, but it was a brilliant day out and one we will certainly do more often.