When I think about Cabourg, Normandy, I think about Marguerite Duras’ words in Hiroshima, mon amour, Nevers, Nevers, the boring town in France where the main character of the novel spent her teenage years after the second world war.
But Cabourg, Cabourg doesn’t sound like Nevers, Nevers to me. It sounds like a mix of Marcel Proust, his search for the “Temps Perdu”, his long stays at the wonderfully chic Grand Hôtel, and the French 80s film La Boum with Sophie Marceau as a teenager discovering love in Cabourg, thanks to her sparkling nan, Poupette…
Ah la la, Cabourg is very romantic to me and the “Belle Epoque” is still at each corner of the seaside town with its old stunning 20s and 30s villas. Even in the middle of the Summer, some remain closed.
Parisians used to come on holidays in Cabourg. For the last decades, money has run out, families had to sell or divide the “rococo” villas into flats, or have simply given up the traditional – sometimes so boring – family holidays.
Cabourg, its Avenue de la Mer where I remember I bought the first issue of Les Inrockuptibles because Morrissey was on the cover – I thought: finally a magazine who thinks music like me -, its night-club Le Palace and its long nights, early mornings at weekends and the nightmare to come back home a dozen kilometers away.
But nevermind, we were young, didn’t care, wanted to live, dance and get hammered.
Cabourg and its Garden Tennis Club. Yes, the souvenir of our mother playing a semi-final or even a final against the 1st Argentinian female player. I was on the coke refueling and encouraging her. She lost after a brave battle.
Well, so many memories making me want to come back almost 30 years later. Had it changed? No. Not to me. Marcel Proust’s lost time is somehow very much in the air of this seaside town with a soul, the allied thankfully didn’t bomb. A romantic-nostalgic place that still really works for me…
A great place to stay: La Villa Les Mots Passants, a few meters away from the Avenue de la Mer and about 10 min away from the Grand Hôtel and the beach.
The villa has a great shabby chic deco, dedicated to another wonderful writer: Guy de Maupassant, – hence the “jeu de mots” with les “mots passants” (passing words!) -.
The landlords of the Villa are very welcoming and friendly. The icing on the cake: a book of the master will welcome you on your pillow!