French Riviera

Its Friday morning February 4th and I am in the Munich airport en route to Gassin (via Nice). 3 days ago this was adventure was not even a thought in my mind. I have break before my next project and  so naturally I decided to jaunt to France. It helps that one of my dearest friends is living in Gassin (15 minutes from Saint Tropez) for the year.

This is a petit glimpse of some  adventures we had and suggestions of where to stay, dine, shop, sip rosé, people watch and of course where to find the best coffee and croissants.

Check out my post from July 2021 with a lot of additional favorite spots.

Saint Paul De Vence

I just love this medieval village, nestled in the mountains above the Mediterranean. I flew into Nice, Kate came and scooped me up, we headed to Saint Paul de Vence (about an hour from Nice) for lunch and a little exploring. The windy stone streets are full of art galleries and a large boules court is in the village center. When we came back in February 2020 we spent 2 nights in the cutest AIRBNB here. Saint Paul de Vence is home to La Colombe d'Or, also a fabulous place to stay or dine. Be sure to check out the history of the Colombe d'Or. It was a convening place for artists during and after WW11. A number of the artists couldn't pay for their stay so they left paintings and that is why they have the most incredible art collection. There is a wall that surrounds the village, you can walk all around the top of it.

Le Tilleul - Great lunch & Dinner spot
I have had both lunch and dinner here. It was warm enought to sit outside on the terrace. The food is fabulous and it has a great atmosphere.
Place du Tilleul, 06570 St-Paul-de-Vence France
www.restaurant-letilleul.com

Ramatuelle

The beaches of Saint Tropez are a bit more deserted at this time of the year, but no less breathtaking. There are only a few beach spots open at this time of the year, which means that the ones open are happening, especially on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon.

Le Migon - Plage de Pampelonne
This rustic beach restaurant instantly became one of my favorite spots at Pampelonne. Its located right on the beach and has a very simple ambiance, its not flashy like a lot of the other beach restaurants. We were adventurous and tried the sea urchin. Tasted like it had been pulled from the sea that morning, definitely required some rosé to wash it down. Make a reservation.
1550 Bonne Terrasse Quartier Bonne Terrasse Golfe de Saint-Tropez, 83350 Ramatuelle, France
www.plage-restaurant-le-migon-golfe-saint-tropez.com/

The Saturday market in Saint Tropez is the biggest. The market moved back to the quainter location in Le Place de Lice. The previous summer it was in the parking lot at the marina because of construction. Each village in the area has a smaller market throughout the week which are also lots of fun.

La Tarte Tropezienne - Place des Lices
I usually make at least one stop a day at one of the many Tarte Tropezinnes throughout the south.  This one has a great spot to sit outside and enjoy the people watching.
Places des lices83990 Saint-Tropez
www.latartetropezienne.fr

Brocantes - French Flea Market

Visiting the local Brocantes (a French word for flea market) is always a highlight of my trip. It is a lively encounter with everyday French culture, sometimes including a band and always a food/ beverage truck. I always pick up a few unique finds.   Our go to markets is the Cogolin.
www.fleamapket.com

Stay

Kate and Matt are renting for most charming home right below the village of Gassin. The house overlooks all the Minuty vines. Obviously this was a dream for me, we took daily strolls though the vines.

French Riviera

Domaine de Réve - Gassin

I am writing this from the terrace of Domaine de Réve. Sitting here, up on the hill overlooking where the vineyards meet the sea really is like the house is named " a dream".

I am so lucky to stay at my dear friend and the most fabulous travel buddy (Kate Holstein) home. I recommend renting a house if you can stay for any length of time. A kitchen and place to relax allows you to get accustomed into the French way of life and to feel like you are living here, at least temporarily, which to me, is a one of the most special parts of spending time abroad.

The French Riviera is known for incredible ocean views, picturesque towns, rosé vineyards and delicious restaurants. Domaine de Reve is located outside the picturesque village of Gassin, Les Plus Beaux Villages de France.

This guide covers some of my favorite stops along the way, spending days exploring quaint towns, swimming at European beaches, visits to the boulongerie, treasure hunting at the brocantes (flea markets),  enjoying delicious meals and of course the rosé.

I am already looking forward to my next trip back!

eat

La Forge - Ramatuelle
FABULOUS Italian restaurant!!! La Forge is a must, we went here twice. There are only a handful of restaurants in Ramatuelle and they are all located on the one coblestone street that has views down to the sea. The owners/chef Paolo et Francesca are beyond charming! The food is excellent. It is open for both lunch and dinner.
11 Rue Victor Léon, 83350 Ramatuelle, France | +33 4 83 12 09 86
www.laforgederamatuelle.fr

 
Atelie La Forge - Ramatuelle
Sister restaurant and market to their neighbors La Forge. This is a more casual space that serves delicous pizza and focacia. Additionally it is a market that sells the best of French and Italian products, beware its hard not to buy everything in here. Great place to grab some food and enjoy dinner at home.
5 Rue Victor Léon,
www.atelierdelaforge.com

La Verdoyante - Gassin
Nestled in the Minuty wine estates vineyard, La Verdoyante makes you feel like you're visiting family. It is located below the village of Gassin and overlooks the Minuty wine estates and the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. We enjoyed Sunday lunch here and you can tell it was the same regulars who come every Sunday.
www.la-verdoyante.fr

**under Pampellone Beach, there are reccomendations for restaurants

beaches

Morning and evening are my favorite times for a dip. Start your morning at the Boulongerie (La Tarte Tropézienne) with a croissant and cappucino, then take your petit-déjeuner and head down to the beach. Equally as nice in the evening to bring a bottle of rosé from any of the local winerys (Minuty is my favorite) and some cheese and head down to the beach.

Pampelonne

La Réserve à la Plage - Pampelonne Beach

Gigi

Pampelonne

Pampellone Beach

This is the beach to go to when you think of Saint Tropez. Situated in Ramatuelle but this is where most people in at Tropez go to beach. Long beautiful expanse of beach lined with small beach clubs. It is situated near our house so we enjoy coming for a morning dip after grabbing the essential cafe and pastry. The beach clubs have fun scenes if you want to have a day at the beach. Call ahead to reserve a beautiful beach chair/ umbrella where you can order rosé and snacks.The beach clubs have great food.
There is parking at many points along the beach for about 5euro. There are many beach clubs where you can have lunch (always best to make a reservation). And if you are making a day at the beach you can rent a cabana.

Jardin Tropezina - beach club, great dinner
Live music at dinner. You can reserve beach chairs during the day fun beach club for a beautiful dinner on the water.
www.jardin-tropezina.fr

Gigi
The ‘IT’ spot to be on Pampelonne beach! So fun to watch the scene. Completely open restaurant (only go if weather is nice), located a little bit back from Pompelonne beach. We went for a leisurely late lunch, try the pesto trofie, so yummy. Fun live music. Stop by the pool after for an espresso and rosé. They have the cutest yellow cars that drive around St Tropez to promote the club.
www.gigi-restaurant.com

La Réserve à la Plage
La Réserve is the beautiful beach club associated with five start hotel La Réserve in Ramatuelle.
www.lareserve-plage.com

L' Escalet

L' Escalet Beach

For something more low-key, head to the tucked-away cove of L’Escalet Beach, where you can spread out on a shore sans tourists. Bring your sneakers, it only takes about 5-10 minutes to walk to the next beach coves, which has crystal clear water and perfect white sands and a lot less people ( a lot of people sans swim suite). There are a few snack bars. Parking is first come.

Do

Local Brocantes - A highlight has been treasure hunting at the local Brocantes/ Flea Market. They happen all over and just a little time spent googling will show you where and when the best ones are. We have founds so many treasures for the house.

People Watching - St Tropez

La Tarte Tropezienne - Place des Lices
Everyone will be here in the morning from the chic families who are down from Paris for the weekend to the tourists. Grab a pastrie and baguette to go or sit outside and enjoy some fabulous people watching. Don't attempt to use their restrooms, if not dining there:)
Places des lices83990 Saint-Tropez
www.latartetropezienne.fr

Le Café - Place des Lices
My favorite spot is Le Café for an afternoon glass of wine and watch the world go by. Your drink always comes with a little something savory (chips, olives, nuts), you need to ask.
Trav. des Lices, 83990 Saint-Tropez, France
www.lecafe.fr

gassin

The closest village to Domaine de Reve.

stops for next trip....

Club 55 - And this we have to go to because it's famous...
www.club55.fr/en/

Les Moulins - restaurant
Go for afternoon drinks, so cute. Located in between St Tropez and Ramtualle on the way to Pampelonne beaches.
34 Chemin des Moulins 83350 RAMATUELLE | +33 4 94 45 69 72
www.lesmoulinsderamatuelle.com

Indie Beach House
www.indiebeachhouse.com

Next was Provence, for beautiful lavender fields and wineries amongst hilltop towns like Gordes and Menerbes (separate travel guide coming for Provence!).