A day trip to Calais

This weekend, I headed over to France with my work's annual day trip. I hadn't been the previous years but this time I decided to go for it. As it turns out, there were some extra seats available so I was able to take Marie with me for a day of shopping, sleeping and attempting to speak French.

The coach was leaving from my workplace at 5:45, so Marie picked me up at 5am. I didn't even know that time existed on a Saturday! After a 4 hour journey, we finally arrived in Calais where we had a couple of hours to spend.

First Marie and I made a beeline for the beautiful town hall as we'd seen a huge Mickey Mouse figure and sparkling Mickey and Minnie silhouettes in the grounds. It turns out he was part of a Disney Christmas event but it wasn't starting until a week later, unfortunately!

Although I'd estimated the building to have been built in the 18th Century, it was actually constructed in 1911. The architecture was truly beautiful, especially the wonderfully ornate clocktower that could be seen for miles.

By now we were feeling thirsty so we went in search of a cafe. On the way, we passed my friend who recommended a pub she had just visited with her sister. To my delight, we were served Coke bottles with names on, so I had an awesome French name label (I was Garcon). 

After having a little rest in the pub, Marie and I decided to explore the area. It was an absolutely beautiful day with a blue sky that looked glorious against the quaint French architecture.

Having not eaten since 6:30am, we stopped off in a patisserie where I bought a pain au chocolat and communicated with the worker in only French. Having not studied French since I was in year 9 (a whopping 12 years ago!), my linguistic abilities are severely limited. However, I managed to communicate with "Bonjour. Pain au chocolat s'il vous plait" and then, when she started asking me a bunch of questions, "Parlez vous Anglais?" She just laughed (kindly!) and didn't repeat what she'd said, so it can't have been important. Then it was just a matter of "Merci! Au revoir!" I was so proud of myself! 

Hard-earned pastry in hand, we popped across the road to Parc Saint Pierre in search of somewhere to sit and snack. 

This fountain was the perfect place! Doesn't it look like something out of Beauty and the Beast? It was so peaceful and serene! 

Oh, and the pain au chocolat was glorious! 

After a couple of hours, we all boarded the coach and headed over to Cité Europe. By this point, we were pretty hungry so we headed to a pub for lunch. Since I was in France and all, I knew what I had to eat...

Yes, I ate snails! Or escargot, as they're officially known. I'd never eaten them before and had no idea that they would come out still in their shells! I was a bit confused at first with all the implements but Marie helped me out. They were delicious, with the texture of squid and a garlic sauce. Yum! 

Once we'd filled our tummies, we had a little browse around the shops. This wasn't the most exciting part of the day as the shopping centre just looks like The Oracle in Reading. It's not particularly big or cheap, and most of the shops are exactly the same as those we get in the UK: New Look, H&M, The Disney Store, Zara. However, I did make a sneaky little trip to Sephora!
It also had these beautiful Christmas decorations with an Alice in Wonderland theme, featuring animatronic rabbits and clocks everywhere. 

I eventually got home at 10pm, so it was a very long day but I had a fantastic time! 


  1. This looks so fun! I've never been to Calais, but my mam and her bestie used to go on day trips (wine buying trips *cough*) all the time! They still go sometimes :) i had no idea Calais was so pretty! You are so brave trying snails as well, not sure I could! Actually I couldn't at all, I'm a vegetarian haha! Funny how I don't know if they're included ... :/ xo
    amber love

  2. Wow! It all looks so beautiful...well except for the snails. ;) Love the Alice in Wonderland theme! x

  3. I've never been to Calais, it looks beautiful! I always forget how easy it is to get to France. I'll have to plan a day trip soon! x

    Under Blue Lights

  4. gorgeous pictures, calais is beautiful :)

    i've got a giveaway over on my blog if you want to check it out :)

  5. Oh I love Calais! I was there on Monday, but as it was just to take the Ferry to Dover, I didn't get to go into the city. I'm craving a pain au chocolat right now, haha! As I live in Paris, it won't be hard to get one, after my morning shower and before going to class, I'll go and get myself one, haha! But I love this post, amazing pictures! What a lovely trip!


  6. Calais looks like a beautiful place to visit! I've only really been to the south or the west of France and the places I've visited have been a bit less traditional in nature. I'd love to visit Calais though, the stunning town hall is enough to grab my attention and place it firmly on my travel bucket list!

    Charlotte / coloursandcarousels

  7. Lovely photos...Calais looks so pretty! ^_^

  8. I never really thought of Calais as a place to go for a day trip, usually it's just for passing through. I did find out that they had Sephora in France, so I'm tempted to pop down there to take a look :)

  9. sounds like you had a lovely time! and the photos are pretty, i'm now really wanting to visit calais, haha:-) and that town hall looks just stunning! x

  10. Ooh, I wish I lived down south so I could pop over to France for a day. Calais looks so pretty, and being able to do a mini holiday without having to stay overnight sounds like a great idea!

    Rachel x
    The Inelegant Wench

  11. That's awesome you work does that, i wish mine did! Gorgeous photos xx
    Love Vicki ♥ victoriajanex.co.uk


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