Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

St Tropez; This Season's This Summer, the Beaches of St Tropez's Pampelonne Peninsula Celebrate 50 Years of Playing Host to Some of the World's Most Beautiful, Rich and Fashionable People. This Season, St Tropez Is

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

St Tropez; This Season's This Summer, the Beaches of St Tropez's Pampelonne Peninsula Celebrate 50 Years of Playing Host to Some of the World's Most Beautiful, Rich and Fashionable People. This Season, St Tropez Is

Article excerpt

Byline: ALISTAIR SCOTT

Tanning at Tahiti Plage, where Felix Palmari, who started the Pampelonne beach clubs in the days when they could be reached only by Jeep or Land Rover, still personally presides over the mandarin-and-white Tahiti empire. The place to hang out is the main bar, where you are served by the ever-genial Jean-Yves, St Tropez's hardestworking barman.

Having "The Egg" at Spoon, Alain Ducasse's pretentious restaurant in the star-packed Byblos Hotel. The Egg turns out to be boiled; perfectly good but scarcely a culinary breakthrough.

Otherwise you are invited to "zig-zaguer" across the three columns of the menu to order. But be warned, there are subtle unwritten rules: "Mais vous pouvez pas zig-zaguer comme ca, Monsieur!" I was told.

Sinking aperitifs on the balcony of Le Sube, a modest three-star B&B by the port. The entrance is notoriously hard to find - which keeps it exclusive.

The French call it a Bar Anglais, but we would probably call it an American Bar.

It has wonderful leather armchairs, dramatic sailing pictures, and it serves good cocktails, malt whiskies and wines by the glass. The tiny balcony offers fascinating views of the comings and goings of yachts and their owners. It's world-class richpeople watching.

Staying discreetly at the Hotel des Lices (00 33 494 97 28 28, www.hoteldeslices.com), a laid-back, unpretentious threestar a stone's throw from the Place des Lices. It has a pool, small air-conditioned rooms, and is a two-minute walk from the five-star Byblos. Doubles from E130 ([pounds sterling]91) B&B.

Dining at Le Palm, the most fashionable new restaurant in St Trop. Decorated in a lounge style with lavish quantities of silk and velvet, the cuisine is contemporary Provencal: boeuf hache finement is chauvinistically described as "the ancestor of the hamburger".

Getting a parking ticket from one of the sexiest wardens on the planet - it almost makes paying the fine a pleasure.

Hiring a four-poster at Nikki Beach, a branch of the French-style Miami beach club that opened here last year and has overcome teething problems to become the hottest on the peninsula. (Naomi Campbell had a birthday party here earlier this summer. …

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