Sunday, 3 January 2021

A stroll through Sables-d'Or-les-Pins


A bright blue sky with scattered white clouds, over a golden beach in the centre of the image and dunes covered with grasses in the foreground.

Let's go back to late summer, and stroll down the broad boulevard and elegant side streets of Sables-d'Or-les-Pins. This seaside resort in Brittany, France, was created in the 1920s by Roland Brouard. This estate agent from Saint Malo wanted to build a resort to compete with La Baule and Deauville. Behind the sand dunes, he built a fashionable and stylish town which hosted fashionable events including horse and sports car races, and jazz concerts. 

Photograph of a long building with a stone ground floor and two half-timbered gables, painted cream with rust-red woodwork. A sign says 'Garage'.

Its amenities included a casino and a high-class restaurant, as well as a garage for those sports cars - but also a chapel. The original building was a temporary wooden structure, described by the local newspaper in 1928 as more shed than place of worship - albeit appealing and well-attended. However, plans for its replacement came to an abrupt end when the Wall Street Crash and subsequent depression, followed closely by Brouard's death, brought the town's heyday to an end. Only in 1956 was the current chapel inaugurated - by which time Sables-d'Or had begun its new life as a family resort.  

Photograph of a small white chapel with steeply pitched grey roof and spire; its blue front door is sheltered by a porch which also has a steeply-pitched roof. In the foreground is the trunk of a tree.

The resort has a distinctive architectural style: stone and half-timbered buildings, some with sea-themed decoration, are well-spaced along wide streets. It remains a popular and attractive seaside town, even if the heady days of its glamorous prime have never quite been recaptured. 

Photograph of a large building on the corner of a road; its first two floors are stone, with doors and shuttered windows. The upper floors are half-timbered, with timbers painted in bright colours, and a hipped mansard roof with several steeply-pitched gables.

This blog previously visited Sables-d'Or to take a look at some slightly scary ice cream cones!

Photo showing part of a large fibre-glass ice cream cone with swirls of soft-serve ice cream and a disturbing face with the tongue poking out.

A photograph of a golden beach and turquoise blue sea, below a blue sky; in the foreground are plants and grasses on a sand dune.


No comments: