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Friday, June 29, 2012

St. Tropez: Le Paradis

The beaches of the South of France are exquisite.  And probably one of the best known of all is St. Tropez.  I finally made it to St. Tropez this trip - a spot I have always wanted to see.  

Arriving there by boat from Cannes wasn't such a bad way to get there - traveling along the sea atop the cool blue water.  A bonus was missing the traffic getting into St. Tropez.  We actually passed the city of St. Tropez and docked at the white sanded beach of Pampellone.  Arriving at Le Club 55.  Walking from the dock to the sands was like entering another world.  Founded in 1955, Club 55 is a beach club with loungers and parasols and a restaurant, all nestled under Australian pine trees.  A weathered path leads you from the water to the bar to the restaurant.  It is the land of the tres chic, where the fashionable meet the laid-back romantic.

Walking the maze back to the restaurant is an exceptional experience in and of itself, and at the end you find yourself in a beautiful haven of blue and white table cloths with canopies hanging from the trees providing shade to the guests. It is a cocoon of the grand smells of the sea, muffled laughter and cushioned sofas to rest upon.

Lunch under the canopies with McCall
Ladies with crudite
Sea bass
The food is excellent as well - and the portions are not small. I was delighted at seeing a group of ladies with the crudite plate that looked as if it had all just been picked from the garden, put on a plate, and delivered to the table.  Our table feasted on prosciutto and melon, steamed artichoke, mussels and the biggest whole grilled sea bass.  Not to forget multiple bottles of the house white wine from a close, local vineyard, Domaine de St. Joseph.  There is something about the atmosphere that puts you in an instant good mood, and everyone seemed joyful and relaxed.


Shawna with the toys and in new purchases
After lunch: shopping.  Club 55 has the most incredible shop that all shop-lovers must go to.  We were immediately enticed with the cozy pillows for sale outside.  And then there was the assortment of beautiful canvas bags, the wall of colorful sarongs, and various sundries.  Inside was packed with racks of tiny bikinis and swim trunks.  There was a wall of whimsical children's toys, bracelets and more bracelets, cotton dresses, and oh so much more.  We found ourselves outfitted with bikinis and thin sweaters for the afternoon breeze on the ride home.  

Le Club 55.  We will miss you.  And look forward to another day, one day, finding ourselves in a small pocket of paradise.  Merci.

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