October 12, 2015

The Badlands of Biarritz

A spontaneous roadtrip to the heart of European surfing

  • Written by Iona Goulder
  • Photography by Emily Scarlett Romain

A spontaneous road trip to France took Emily Scarlett Romain, photographer and long-term collaborator with the British clothing brand and magazine Badlands 777, through vineyards and villages in Aquitaine down to the rustic French town, Biarritz.

The heartland of the epicurean Basque region, Biarritz is on the wild Atlantic coast, where waves brought the first surfers in Europe to its shores in the 50s. Everyday people line the golden stretch of Grand Plage and for sunset, head up to Rocher de la Vierge for the perfect sunset. “The way the sun hit the coves and the cliffs is mesmerising, and the views across the sea to the Spanish Basque country were amazing,” Emily tells Amuse.

Biarritz comes to life at the morning market on Rue Gambetta: locals come to meet, shop and play chess. “The atmosphere was a mixture of calmness, and bartering locals who invoked a sense of utter chaos. We stopped to eat seafood and fresh oysters eaten straight from the stall. Then we left with foie gras, fresh cheese, bread and sweet kiwis – an Aquitaine speciality,” says Emily.

Lunches at Le Surfing, and dinners at Chez Albert were followed by warm, boozy nights at Bar du March. “It’s a bustling place filled with conversation and rowdy basketball supporters – France were playing that night. We chatted in broken French to some locals and tasted endless bottles of local wine.”


Recommended on

More from

Featured on