Wednesday, July 29, 2009


My first visit to Mers-les-Bains was in the fall of 1986. At that time it was a town that had seen better times: the paint on the carved wood trim of the Belle Epoque shore front villas was pale and peeling. Nevertheless, I was strangely attracted by the faded colors and the past glory and we returned regularly to visit, if only for the supremely fresh and delicate Channel sole of Mon P'tit Bar at Le Tréport.

Mers is one of three "sister" towns on the border of Normandy and Picardie at the mouth of the River Bresle, the other two being Le Tréport and Eu.

Although Le Tréport and Eu can both claim origins in the Middle Ages, most of the buildings which make up the historic district date of Mers date from the last quarter of the 19th century and the early 20th century. Villa Parisienne and Villa Française are from this period.

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