Idyllic Deauville

 

The nobility of the Normandy region have always amused themselves by racing horses that they also breed.

Today, there’s a string of stud farms in the entire area – altogether 1.400 farms that produce over half of the thoroughbreds of the entire country.

Some 5,000 of them go under the hammer each year in the famous sales ring of Arqana.

 

At age 18, Adolfo Cambiaso came to Deauville with a 10 handicap.

 

Some of the biggest race horse owners have had homes in Deauville for ages, and lately, French owners of show jumpers have bought properties, too, which means that their top riders, Kevin Staut, Pénélope Leprévost and Patrice Delaveau have also based themselves in the area.

 

After some fierce competition from a sweltering Sotogrande, the cooler turf of Deauville is back again with the professionals of the polo world. Here, the newly renovated polo field continues to be the scene of the coveted Gold Cup  which was inaugurated in 1951.

The Gracidas, the Heguys and the Pieres family have all come here to play, just as Adolfo Cambiaso who at age 18 came with a 10 handicap.

 

To mark the Year of the Horse, the town has planned a number of special events including three equestrian art exhibitions that start from April.

The most spectacular event will take place on the  beach when the French Republican Guard, for the first time ever, will make a charge with some hundred horses. A scene that  goes to prove that Deauville is not just for competitors and the horsey tribe – is it also a living work of art to behold.

 

Not to miss

Destined to be a “a world of luxury and elegance” Deauville has its fair share of luxury hotels. The most famous, apart from Hôtel du Golf up in the hills, are Le Normandy and l’Hôtel Barrière Royal that have views on the beach. The latter is the address of the racing and the polo tribes, decorated by Jacques Garcia with the cosy bar, l’Etrier – the stirrup. Rather than traditional newspapers, one finds Le Turf and the Racing Post in the elegant breakfast room.

 

Another must is the department store, Printemps, which is situated in a traditional Normandy building from 1912 – the year, Deauville’s casino was etablished and Coco Chanel opened her first little shop.

 

At the market place, Place du Marché one finds local produce such as calvados, cider, wild mushrooms,  tens of different sorts of butter – and hundreds of different sorts of cheese. There are also stands that sell old books, maps, lace and leather goods.

 

Trouville, Deauville’s alter ego, and next door  port, boasts some of the best restaurants for eating fish – the most famous are Vapeur and Central.

 

©horse-tales.com

 

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