St. Tropez is like a dream. The infamous destination on the French Riviera is the hottest summer "see & be seen" spot - hands down. The quaint village on the sea has some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere in the world. There is an ironic competition however between natural and manmade attractions. While the beauty of the mountains, the color of the deep blue sea, and the overall landscape are breathtaking... it's the manmade creations that might have you gasping for breath. Yachts, Breasts, & Lips - all get bigger season after season!
While it is the glitz, glam, and vulgarity of some of the tourists that make St. Tropez a guilty pleasure for people watching, somehow the excess is diffused by the spirit of the village. It's the charm of the shops -tailored for this "at the beach" experience. The farmers market and antique fair on Sunday is not to be missed. Where else can you buy Hermes & Heirloom tomatoes while in flip flops, and take a boat ride back home??
If you can - arrive by boat. Traffic on wheels is insane. I go on a friend's boat whenever I visit, but there are public ferries from a few nearby towns as well. We make a day of it by arriving early and having breakfast on the harbour. Then a little shopping around, maybe an ice-cream & we are out. I never stick around long enough to make it to Les Caves du Roy at the Byblos hotel, but I'll leave that to Paris Hilton and whoever she is working for that summer! If you plan it well you can have lunch at one of the chic beach clubs West of the village. This year we found a great alternative to Club 55. Cabane Bambou is beautiful and breezy. They have a super friendly staff and a clientele that is a bit less saturated with Americans than 55. I love Club 55, but sometimes you want low key. Of course there are so many options... New Coco, Nikki Beach, Tahiti, etc. If you have kept to your bikini diet all year, then hit the nude beach that is just next to Cabane Bambou - what's more exotic than being naked on the French Riviera?
This year I was also so happy to see two amazing art exhibitions in St. Tropez. The Botero sculptures are large and dominating - which is typical of the artist's work. There is an overt sexuality to Botero's sculptures that is somehow able to be shock and sooth at the same time. A perfect choice for St. Tropez!
At the Louis Vuitton boutique, the French fashion house hosted a showcase of an artist known for his witty cartoons of society and scenery. Jean-Jacques Sempe and his creations are -oh- so French. You probably recognize his unmistakable style from his numerous covers of The New Yorker. Sempe (as he is usually referred to) always has an ironic twist on a situation. Usually his aim is to make you laugh - which he achieves time and time again. Many times, we are laughing at ourselves as we recognize the silly hypocrisies we all live with day to day. Never mean spirited, Sempe's observations are more a pat on the head, than a slap in the face. Also a perfect artist to be shown in St. Tropez! In fact, the artist has referenced this playground of the rich and famous many times over the years. For a closer look at some of his work, and to learn more about Sempe - click LOOK.