Deauville and Trouville are like the Baby Jane and Blanche Hudson of France’s Normandy coast. They depend on each other but the rivalry between them is intense.
It’s like What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? writ large.
Deauville is fêted as the prettier one – the Blanche Hudson – thanks to its race course, marinas and casino. It has been a popular playground for the great and good of Paris for many years. It even holds its own international film festival each year and in 2011 it hosted the G8 summit of world leaders.
Next door is Trouville (pictured), or Trouville-sur-Mer, to give its full name. Like Baby Jane, it blossomed first but has had to stand by as its sister stole the limelight. Nevertheless, it remains proud of the artists and writers that once flocked to its pretty port.
Trouville is decidedly more down-to-earth than its chic neighbour, but this is precisely its appeal. Deauville is highly manicured, leaving it all the charm of a film set.
In some respects, I see something similar played out in my home town, Brighton and Hove. As even its name suggests, it is a city of two halves. Brighton is the older, worldly wise sister to Hove’s grander but altogether more staid dame.
Like Deauville and Trouville, the pair have reached an understanding. Of sorts.