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!
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
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,
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.
**under Pampellone Beach, there are reccomendations for restaurants
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.
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.
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.
La Réserve à la Plage
La Réserve is the beautiful beach club associated with five start hotel La Réserve in Ramatuelle.
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.
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
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
The closest village to Domaine de Reve.
stops for next trip....
Club 55 - And this we have to go to because it's famous...
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
Indie Beach House
Next was Provence, for beautiful lavender fields and wineries amongst hilltop towns like Gordes and Menerbes (separate travel guide coming for Provence!).