The Last Word
Say again? More than a mere port, it’s a tale of two towns: Calais-Nord is a manmade island surrounded by canals and basins. St Pierre hugs the island to the south and southeast. Between Notre Dame Church and Richelieu Park in Calais-Nord lies Hôtel Meurice. Established as Le Chariot Royal in 1771 by the postmaster Charles-Augustin Meurice, it changed name and address in 1815. The relaunch was aimed at the demands of British travellers touring the Continent. All sorts of modern conveniences were introduced: residents’ lounges, English speaking staff, a currency exchange and even its own branded soap. The hotel was rebuilt in the mid 1950s in a stripped back neoclassical style. A sweeping staircase leads from the open plan ground floor to bedrooms on two upper floors overlooking a garden to the rear.