Food + Wine

Beach Food for Hungry Surfers

by Cathay Che

La Grande Plage and Villa Eugénie, Biarritz, France

Ride the waves: Parisians have been summering in Biarritz in droves since the 18th century, but for the surfer set, October through April is high season. Even though wet suits are a must ten months of the year, don't expect to have this surf spot to yourself. Six beaches, spread out along nearly four miles of coastline, offer prime waves for every skill level. It's always fun to find surf in the city, and the beach breaks at La Grande Plage (best for advanced beginners) are right off Biarritz's main casino-lined strip—think of it as Waikiki for Francophiles.

Tide your appetite: Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III, built the gothic Hôtel du Palais in 1854. And, yes, to dine in her white-tablecloth, crystal-chandeliered, Michelin-starred namesake restaurant, Villa Eugénie, you'll have to swap your swimsuit for something a little less revealing (jackets are required). The kitchen's classic French masterpieces, perhaps spider crab velouté or Pyrenean suckling lamb, are well worth the sartorial effort. Plus, the views of La Grande Plage through the floor-to-ceiling French doors will whet your appetite for tomorrow's surf.

Villa Eugénie
Hôtel du Palais
1 Avenue de l'Impératrice
Biarritz, France
Tel: 33 5 5941 6400
Dinner entrees $47—$98

Next: Things are looking swell in Sayulita >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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