We’ve only been back for just over two weeks, yet it feels as if our month in St Tropez is nothing but a distant memory. Between getting the last bits around the house done (remember, I used to live on a building site not too long ago), clearing out the new nursery (it’s our private little dump at the moment) and sorting out lil’ L’s autumn wardrobe (which, frankly speaking, is great fun), the tans are fading and so is the serenity that we had acquired down South.
It’s funny how I keep on going back to St Tropez, falling in love all over again year after year. Spending a day at a beach club at the infamous Pampelonne Plage is a special treat I now enjoy with my family. Below is my personal top & flop list of beach clubs in St Trop’:
Moorea Plage is my all time favourite beach club. I used to come here as a very young woman with my girlfriends, stretching out under the umbrellas to recover from yet another night out at Caves du Roy. In the years to follow, I have come back with my boyfriend, the guy who is now known as Big M, aka the husband. And now it’s the place we love to visit as a family, with little L and bump and bags full of beach toys. Charges for sun loungers and umbrellas are comparably reasonable, food is excellent, and they go out of their way to cater for children. Some of their staff have worked at Moorea for 20 years and longer, which gives you an idea of how family like the atmosphere here is. For a real treat try their seafood pasta, accompanied by an ice cold glass of Chateau de Pampelonne rosé. Complete your meal with a Café Gourmand: a strong espresso served on a small tray with mini versions of Tarte Tropezienne, Baba au Rhum, chocolate brownie and a glass of crème anglaise with fruit coulis. Slouch back to your sun lounger and enjoy the rest of the afternoon sun.
Second on my list is Nioulargo, mainly for its award winning Indochinese restaurant Kailargo. The crowd is slightly younger than at Moorea and I don’t get that warm and fuzzy familiar feeling when I march through the sand here. However, it’s nice for a change, plus they have their own little Barbarac ice cream parlour and sell toys in their beach shop – which doesn’t go amiss with little L.
If you fancy a bit of people spotting, reserve a table for lunch at Club 55. It’s the place where the rich and beautiful (more or less in either way) go. It’s busy, it’s overpriced, and it’s not my coup de champagne. I don’t want to go where Kate Moss goes when I’m home in London – why would I want to stalk her on holiday?
This is the place to be for champagne spraying rappers, wannabe champagne spraying rappers, starlets and wannabe starlets. Add into the mix a bunch of comatosely drunk English and Swedish girls and you’ve got Nikki Beach. A bit like China White in glistening bright sunlight. Pointless ten years ago, pointless today.