A beach club that celebrates Italian cuisine, bungalows with their feet in the water, an institution steeped in luxury… Between newcomers and must-sees, here is an overview of the addresses in the Tropez not to be missed this summer.
Indissociable from the Bardot myth, from dream villas facing the Mediterranean, from vineyards as far as the eye can see, from yachts of gleaming luxury, clad in so much marble that it is almost a miracle that they can still float, from a fauna of film icons, rock stars, writers, artists… whose creative fantasy went hand in hand with a life of assumed opulence. Saint-Tropez marked the golden age of the French Riviera. For decades, this vision, so strongly anchored in the collective memory, made its actors believe that they were unsinkable. Too much desired, too much frequented, the Var village had stopped reinventing itself, often giving in to glitz, cuisine and soulless rhythms. The holidaymakers went there in a form of dreamy nostalgia. Until the summer of 2019 when the coastal law reshuffled the cards. All permanent construction is forbidden on the beaches, and some of them have to close. The town of Ramatuelle then launched a competition to award the best spots. A disaster for the purists, a happy revival for the restaurateurs and hoteliers enrolled in a healthy competition, bringing in its wake a wave of new addresses.
Casa AmorBook here
A spicy breeze from Tulum is now blowing over Pampleonne beach with the opening of Casa Amor. The new bohemian beach club of the Moma Group, the place offers, with its feet in the water, a cuisine that gives pride of place to wood-fired cooking and recipes between Mexico and the Orient imagined by chef Akrame. With the sound of a DJ, the atmosphere heats up throughout the day under the aegis of a team of expert night owls (Joàquin Justinien, Tony Or, Bryan Anzala and Hugo Henn) who are accustomed to travelling the world to organise anthological parties.
Loulou RamatuelleBook here
Located in the place of the former Voile Rouge, well known to purists, Loulou in Ramatuelle is the first restaurant in the south of France of Gilles Malafosse and his sister Claire Malafosse. Ideally located, this hot spot is getting a new decor signed by Burberry this summer. The symbol of the British brand, imagined by Riccardo Tisci, Buberry’s Chief Creative Office, the TB Summer monogram, comes in a range of sandy shades and adorns the deckchairs, cabanas, cushions and parasols in the middle of a garden populated by olive trees flirting with the deep blue of the Mediterranean. Under a pergola, where the sun shines, the menu, illustrated by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, is created by the chef Benoît Dargère. An ode to Italy, linguine with vongole, truffle pizzas and creamy burratas are served on the plates. Before the music slowly increases in decibels. The plus? A pop-up store (also available online and in a range of Burberry boutiques) where you can treat yourself to a selection of men’s and women’s pieces – all revisited in the new print.
Proof that Italy never ceases to inspire Laurent de Gourcuff (Paris Society), who after the inauguration of the Bambini terrace in Paris, is extending his culinary empire dedicated to his sunny cuisine to Saint-Tropez. Named Gigi, this new summer restaurant has pitched its tent on the Epi beach. At the end of a fine sandy path, surrounded by dense Mediterranean vegetation, visitors sit on pretty cane chairs, around tables adorned with vintage floral tablecloths. To the tunes of Dalida, Raffaella Carrà and other Italian hits that alone evoke summer, the culinary ballet mixes courgette flower fritters, grilled fish, fresh pasta and gourmet waffles. There is also a bar with bellinis, a kids’ club with inflatable buoys, private dining spots, a petanque court, hammocks for napping, a swimming pool under the pines and a Holidermie spa offering kobido treatments and shaping massages according to the Renata precepts.
La Réserve à la plageBook here
Last summer, La Réserve inaugurated a table with its feet in the water on the famous beach of the Presqu’île. Dressed with cane hangers, ochre and white striped benches, Greek ceramics… Philippe Starck designed the decor. On site, visitors can choose between lying down in the shade of a canisse, diving into the waves or sitting down at the restaurant run by Nicolas Cantrel. With a focus on simple and efficient southern cuisine, the fish is grilled over a wood fire and the seasonal vegetables are flavoured with Provencal herbs. At the end of the day, a few tapas are shared around inspired cocktails.
Club 55Book here
A must when visiting Saint-Tropez, Club 55 gathers, every day, a colourful fauna as only Saint-Tropez has the secret. Hollywood stars who come by boat, art collectors, crowned heads, boho regulars… Who meet in the shade of a pergola, leaning on tables covered with Provençal tablecloths, to taste the great classics of the house: Niçoise salad, raw vegetables, catch of the day and fresh rosé.
Lily of the ValleyBook here
Since last summer, Lily of the Valley has had its own beach club. Facing the transparent waves of Gigaro beach, this new summer space is also decorated by Philippe Starck and draws its inspiration from the myth of the gardens of Babylon. With a handful of cosy tables and comfortable loungers with their feet in the water, the kitchen pays homage to the tasty recipes of the boot, from the northern lakes to Sicily.
Lovers of Mediterranean cuisine will find plenty to enjoy at Playamigos. This beach club with its striped benches and delicate ceramics takes your taste buds on a journey from Greece to Lebanon. On the menu? Grilled feta, fattouche salad, calamari a la plancha or linguine with tomato and prawns flambéed with Pastis.
Cabane BambouBook here
On the edge of the beach road, on a small sandy path where two Mehari vehicles struggle to pass, the Cabane Bambou is one of Saint-Tropez’s best kept secrets. Hidden behind dense vegetation, this charming hut has been reinvented in an ecological and sustainable version. More respectful of the environment, it swaps its concrete structure for natural materials (wood, vegetal mesh…) and embraces solar energy. New for the summer, Sho Miyashita is in charge of the kitchens. With an Asian twist, the menu features Karaage fried chicken, silken tofu and spicy grilled fish.