A rather interesting DM hit my Twitter inbox on Thursday morning and soon after an even more interesting email. Nike wanted me to go out to Anglet, France to document The Roundhouse 2 launch, do some surfing and enjoy France. My only obstacle was work, but after some frantic phonecalls and shift swapping, the three days were free and the confirmation was sent.
First of all, let me explain a little about The Roundhouse:
The Roundhouse 2 is the second instalment of a project by Nike to give the skaters and surfers of Anglet (and anyone who wants to pass through) the chance to explore 'The Chosen' campaign.
The 2000m2 contemporary space lies just off the Les Sables d'Or beach (one of Europe's original surf locations) and boasts a unique Skate, Surf and lifestyle experience. Featuring a pool, skate area, skate/surf store, Nike ID space, the chance to interact with the Nike 6.0 & SB team's and an editorial suit. The editing space gives the chance for people to work on their own content and monitor the progress of The Chosen.
The Chosen is all about inspiring people and supporting the grass roots of sports. Nike are offering the chance for one Crew or Team to live like one of their Pro athletes for a year and if that wasn't enough of an incentive they're throwing in some free stuff and a stack of cash.
All you need to do is submit a video of you and your crew doing what you do best, whether it be skate, surf, snowboard or BMX. Check out the recruitment video for more info.
And check out The Chosen website HERE
Back to the trip...
Fast forward past the weekend, a 5am start, a last dash run to Luton airport, hiring a BMW 118D, a potential speeding fine and a traffic jam we (Simon from Nike, Mikey from The Times Sunday Style and I) arrived in sunny Anglet.
After dropping off our bags and switching to some shorts, we rushed down to The Roundhouse (as we were late) to check out what was happening. In true French style, nothing was actually ready yet, the stage was still being set up, the bar was still being stocked and other than a few interviews, there wasn't a great deal going on. But it did give me the chance to take a look round, whilst it was empty...
By now, we'd all worked up quite an appetite and decided it was time to check out the local cuisine. After checking out a few places on the beach front, it seemed no where was serving "proper" food, so we ended up settling for Tapas. Four plates of everything was the order and plenty of bread to boot. We were loaded up with cured ham, salami, deep fried calamari and mussels.
The food was pretty spectacular, as was the view..
With some time to kill before the launch party started, we headed back to the hotel to freshen up (in my case have a disco nap) and get ready for the night ahead.
A short time later and after a hunt for a parking space, we were back at the Roundhouse for the official launch party head lined by the Black Lips. On arrival there was already a healthy queue and the Roundhouse was packed with Nike France staff, skaters, surfers and media. Of course we went straight to the bar and ordered three Heinekens.
As the night drew in, the drinking commenced and the Black Lips came to the stage. Bringing bags of energy and continuous encouragement to the crowd to smash up the barriers in front...
After the gig, we decided a late night snack was needed and headed back to the beach front in search of nourishment. The French don't do kebabs (or at least not in Anglet) and the restaurant we ended at up would only serve us pizza, so again it was four of the best. I think we ended up with a cheese & tomato, pepperoni, rocket and a steak & guacamole combo.
Most things taste great post alcohol, but let me tell you, if you ever see a pizza with steak, iceberg lettuce and guacamole on a menu FUCKING ORDER IT!! That is the most epic shit, ever! After a dessert of Tiramisu, I was pretty much done, so it was back to the hotel for an early rise.
Day 2 was a much more relaxed affair, a surf lesson and then putting what we'd learnt in to practice. I was pretty excited for this and after a reasonable journey following "Surf Audi" to some surfable waves (for amatures) we arrived at a beach (which I've forgotten the name of) and got our wet suits on. After some excellent tuition from Mattius, I had a great time in the water and although I didn't manage to get up on my board, it was still a lot of fun.Obviously there's no shots of me in my wet suit or of me surfing but here's an obligatory beach shot..
The rest of Tuesday was pretty relaxing and after Mikey departed home, Simon and I headed into the local town of Biarritz, for some sight seeing and food. After quick stop off at an amazing bakery, we found ourselves wondering the sea front in awe of the colossal waves pounding the rocks and checking out the local scenery..
After that, we found a restaurant where I had placked beef with peppercorn sauce and pommes frites, which was yet another treat for my taste buds and headed back to the hotel to get an early night. We did stop off to grab a couple of snaps of the amazing view of the Biarritz sea front on the way home though..
Wednesday morning was another early rise and a drive back to the airport at Bordeaux, finally arriving back in London at around 3pm after a great few days.
I wanna send out a massive thanks to Simon and everyone I met from Nike and a big up to Mikey from the Times (if he ever reads this).
Don't forget to check THE CHOSEN: www.nike.com/CHOSEN
The Roundhouse 2 runs from 16 July - 23 August.