Tag Archives: Boulogne

New Ferry Service To Boulogne? Euroferries Express Says Yes!

Nova Star ._New ferry link puts Boulogne back in limelight
BOULOGNE’S new ferry link with Kent signals the town’s comeback after years in the shadow of Calais, according to the Euroferries Express company, who plan to operate between Ramsgate and the French port.

Per Staehr, Shareholder and Board Adviser said “We are pleased that we will be well placed to reactivate France/UK service utilising the recently commissioned Nova Star RoPax and further look forward to making additional announcements regarding the introduction to the Channel of our High Speed vessel plans.”

The President and CEO, Mark Amundsen of Nova Star Cruises Ltd welcomes the vessel deployment, for which there has been strong interest, and we are pleased to have reached agreement with Euroferries Express Ltd and look forward to working closely with them.

Civic chiefs in Boulogne expect an overdue renaissance of a town for centuries loved by the British but side-lined for nearly 10 years by massive investment in its northern rival.

The important day visitor as foot passenger, car user or the traditional coach visitors all now use Calais and head south to Boulogne. Coaches still make the trip but nowhere near as many as when there was a direct link and for foot passenger this destination has long gone.

The specialist shops and restaurants that are part of the charm of Boulogne and so attractive to Kentish visitors remain ready to receive this traditional visitor.

New shops will be opened in the terminal; the new 4km dual carriageway already links Gare Maritime with the national motorway to Paris and north Belgium.

The completion of the 9m Euro Port project makes the London-Dover-Boulogne-Paris journey quicker than going via Calais. In a few years’ time, the port redevelopment scheme with hotel, casino and shops is set to forge closer links between town centre and port.

The President of Boulogne Chamber expects 3.5 million passengers a year to use the new service and terminal.

“For Boulogne people, the link was psychological and economic. The announcement about the link, will have people of Boulogne smiling again.”

He accepts that some 80 per cent of passengers will be British. “Our challenge is to increase the number of French people going to Kent,” he said. He is keen to promote social and educational links between Boulogne and Kent, especially Ramsgate and Canterbury.

Boulogne has held a place in the affections of Kentish people for many years. While they may go to Calais and Cite Europe for Tesco and Auchan, the new terminal shops will be very convenient, and the Francophile with love of fine French cheeses, fine old architecture and character gravitate to Boulogne to experience the excellent selection of restaurants.


Boulogne’s new hub port
Massive re-development has taking place at the port of Boulogne, with a new ferry terminal now completed.

The ferry berth at the new terminal, named the Hub Port, is prepared for Euroferries Express NOVA STAR, due to use for the first time this autumn to Ramsgate with its commercial port adjacent to the Marina and Victorian seaside town; ready to meet demand for increased passenger and freight in the SE.

New facilities have been provided for British and French border controls, as well as all the other accommodation required in support of a modern port terminal.

Frogsiders View

We seem to have heard all this before – on several occasions, and we understand that the Port of Ramsgate authorities have yet to approve the plans.  However, the willingness of Boulogne to invest in the much needed improvements to the ferry terminal infrastructure and facilities is encouraging.  Let’s hope it happens this time.



More on “Welsh” ~ and a recipe

Following up on our recent post about the “Welsh Festival” in Boulogne,  The Pas De Calais Tourist Board has published a recipe for the local version of this famous dish, together with a very helpful explanation of the history of its name.

Here is the recipe:

And here is our translation of their explanation of the name’s derivation:

The dish was originally named Welsh Rabbit in order to signify its nature as a low quality substiute for rabbit meat.

In fact, during the 17th and 18th centuries, “Welsh” was the term commonly used for any counterfeit or substitute goods of a lower quality then the real thing.

In Wales the dish is called, “Caws-Wedi-Pobi” (meaning cooked cheese).  it is known in many countries on the European continent, where it is usually called “Ramequin”, or “Käseschnitte“.

The Little Book of Cheese Tips, £2.99

According to the experts of the Pas De Calais Tourist Board, this Welsh dish was originally made with “Chester” cheese (what we Brits call Cheshire), but is now made with Cheddar, since, they say, Cheshire is not so easily obtainable.

“Welsh” Festival continues in Boulogne over weekend

The restaurants around the Place Dalton in Boulogne are putting on a Festival of “Welsh”.  It’s a mystery how this dish has become a local speciality in this part of France, but it’s true that if you’re stuck for choice in a brasserie or cafe, you can always go for a Welsh and you’ll rarely be disappointed.

Choir Needs Singers ~ any Frogsider Tenors?

If you enjoy singing there’s a choir in Boulogne that would like to hear from you. This e-mail message has been passed on to Frogsiders from The Anglican Church in the Pas De Calais.


I am conductor of LYRIADE 62 in Boulogne and we are recruiting new
members for 2012. We are just about to launch into a project on André
Campra’s Requiem and would like to invite any singers who may be interested to join us Tuesday evenings 8pm at Boulogne Conservatoire.

The choir is currently 40 strong and of good quality and an informal audition of 10 mins is asked of new members. Possibility of a visit to Southend next year to sing with the Southend Choral Society.

TENORS PARTICULARLY WELCOMED!! (same problem here as in UK)

Thanking you.

Ian Ward.

ps – I also conduct a choir in Hesdin so this might be of interest to your
congregation there as well.

To be put in touch with Mr Ward please contact Frogsiders via our Contact Form, and we’ll reply with his contact details.

Anglican Church in the Pas de Calais – News

Once again the church here in the Pas de Calais is being forced to make a new start. Our Chaplain has decided to leave the parish early and is taking up a new position in Zurich. Thus again we will be all facing a period without a resident priest. Fortunately we do have help to hand for which we are most grateful. The Reverend John Porter who was a chaplain here some time ago has agreed to conduct some services in Hesdin while The Reverend Paul Bennett from the Mission to Seafarers in Dunkirk will help out in Calais. The Boulogne congregation has just decided to have two services a month, the 1st and 3rd Sundays, at the Convent in rue Denacre in Boulogne St Martin, at least in the short term.

We will have to rely on visiting priests but inevitably some of these services will be lay person led. However we are trying to make them somewhat special. Thus the service planned for 6th November will be a Remembrance Day Service led Paul Glaister with music by Charles Vandezande. On 20th November there will be a priest led Eucharist Service –at 10.30 On 4th December we will hold a special Advent Carol Service led by Lalage Glaister with readings by the congregation and Carols selected and played by Charles Vanderzande..

On 17th December at 4pm there will be Christmas Carol Service in the Church at Estreelles followed by Mince Pies, Mulled Wine and a stall selling Christmas Goodies: This service is always well attended by both the British community as well as the French residents from the local village. Charles will again be playing the organ and we will have carols in both English and French. In Boulogne the following day 18th December there will be a Eucharist service with additional carols.

We therefore look forward to a challenging time ahead and hope that the local community will be able to support us and we will of course welcome all who wish to attend these services. For further information please go to our website at http://anglchurch.free.fr/new/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=29&Itemid=47

Anglican Church in Boulogne

On Sunday May 1 at 10.30 we shall be having our first Eucharist at our new location.

Monastère du Carmel – 2, rue du Denacre – 62280 SAINT MARTIN BOULOGNE – Tél : 03 21 31 66 63 – Fax : 03 21 91 75 01 – courriel : carmelites.stmartin@wanadoo.fr

We shall be serving a celebratory glass of bubbly after the service.
Also note that exceptionally, for May only, we shall be having a second 1030 service on Sunday May 15 instead of the scheduled 530 service – we hope to see as many as possible.

Cod is “off” at La Matelote!

This article originally appeared in Frogsiders magazine pages in 2009.  Written by Ian Blackshaw with additional background material by Patrick Hay

One of Tony Lestienne's signature dishes - Warm Lobster Salad

This fine restaurant, run by chef/patron,Tony Lestienne, celebrated its thirtieth birthday in 2009. Its distinctive antique furniture, paintings and eclectic artefacts combine with creative cooking and the fine – but rather pricy – wine selection to ensure a memorable visit – and a Michelin star.

La Matelote takes its name from a famous local fish wife who sold fish from the quayside in Boulogne. A portrait of her is on display in the main dining room.

Apart from the a la carte menu, the restaurant offers three formule (set) menus, including an eight-course menu degustation, which shows off Tony Lestienne’s ‘signature’ dishes of warm lobster salad, monkfish with parmesan gratin and raspberry millefeuille.

On our recent visit, we opted for the great value €31 menu, recently reduced from €35 to reflect the change in TVA charged for restaurant food. So, what did we have to eat?

Between us we had a long-time favourite, fish soup and a delightful salmon starter billed as le fondant de saumon mi-cuit a l’aneth. This lived up to its exotic name and expectation.

Fish featured again in the main course – after all, this is a restaurant by the sea in Boulogne, reputedly the premier fishing port in France. The whiting (filets de merlan) didn’t disappoint and I was equally pleased with my veal served with courgettes aux sesames.

Tony Lestienne (centre) - not serving cod

One variety of fish you won’t find on the menu at La Matelote is cod. Chef Tony told Frogsiders he won’t serve it any more as he believes the species has become threatened through overfishing. He has tried to convince other restaurateurs in the area, but in vain, so for the moment he leads the way as the only chef to have taken this conservational stand. “I serve a lot of rouget, now,” says Chef Tony,” it’s an excellent fish, as is lieu noir (pollack) and they are not under environmental threat”.

After the course of local cheeses, my wife had an apricot desert served with a fromage blanc sorbet and, being a chocoholic, I couldn’t resist le parfait chocolate tiede, biscuits aux noisettes. As in many fine restaurants, the desserts are ordered at the beginning of the meal and much time and care, therefore, is taken over their preparation and presentation.The meal was topped and tailed with some mouth watering appetisers and delightful mignardises (home-made chocolates and sweets), and washed down with a half bottle of Macon Villages 2007 and a 2003 Bordeaux Superieur. The bill, tax and service included, came to €121. Fine dining and well worth the price!

Since 1991 Tony Lestienne has also run the popular brasserie restaurant at the “Nausicaa” Sea World centre, on the seafront close to the site of “La Matelote”.  In this glass fronted panoramic seaview restaurant you can eat wonderfully fresh seafood, prepared under Tony Lestienne’s supervision, at very reasonable prices.  (Frogsiders thinks there’s something gloriously and appropriately French about going to the Nausicaa centre and then sitting down to eat its inhabitants)

Restaurant ‘La Matelote’
80 bd Ste Beuve
Boulogne sur Mer
Tel: 03 21 30 17 97
Fax: 03 21 83 29 24
Website: www.la-matelote.com

Closed Sunday evening and Thursday lunch time

Nausicaa Restaurant
Open every day 12.00-15.00 & 19.00-22.00 including Sunday evenings
Reservations Tel: 03 21 33 24 24

Ferry bad news

Another one hits the dust

According to a story in “The Connexion” today, LD Lines are about to pull the plug on their Dover Boulogne fast ferry service.

Personally I never used it.  I thought it seemed expensive and unreliable, and I found the timetable inconvenient.

Perhaps they’ll have another go at it when tourism from UK to France picks up after the Gordon Brown recession has passed – maybe in about 30 years, then.

Free Classified Advertising in Frogsiders!

Do you have something to sell or something to announce to English speaking residents and homeowners in Northern France?

From today all advertising in Frogsiders Classified section is absolutely FREE OF CHARGE!!

Anyone can place an announcement or advert.  To place your announcement or advertisement, click on the “Classified Ads” tag at the top of any Frogsiders page and just follow the easy instructions.