It is hard to believe that yet another holiday is upon us, it seems like yesterday we had Easter holidays and after a bank holiday weekend we have now another nine days of the school holidays...
For me around this time of the year I head to St Tropez for what is usually the best week of the season. It's sunny, warm, quiet and St Tropez is just at its best during this time of the year. The people who go there are mostly London-based and making the most of the week off school but there are also lots of other chic Euros...so off to St Tropez I go.
I have postponed the trip by a few days because the weather wasn't great and to be honest, there is nothing worse than being down there with bad weather. No movies (in French yes, fine for me but a disaster for everyone else), no kid’s entertainment, no gym to go to...all is gloomy when it's grey and rainy. The only thing one can do is eat and drink, which is what one usually does down there, but with bad weather one has to streeetcchhhh the lunches ...i.e. more courses and more rosé to make the day go quicker.
So basically I have been told to pack "jackets" and "cashmere" by my girlfriend Laetitia who lives there and runs the famous "Le Yaca" hotel. A favourite among the classy Euros and a very special and beautiful place...
The packing is actually easy as I pack what I wear in London right now but add the beach pieces. Being May, the beach wardrobe is a bit less high Summer and I take long dresses for the beach instead of sexier beach pieces I would normally wear. As usual I count the outfits needed for every day and throw some extra sweaters and suggested jackets. On my packing list: my IDA Ivy Skinny jeans in Noir, favourite R13 and Isabel Marant t-shirts, a black jacket and a red jacket. My new Givenchy black trousers (dressier than jeans) which will go with aforementioned t-shirts or with my Gucci bodysuit and red little jacket. Current/Elliott boyfriend jeans also come with, which can go for day (if weather is bad) or night with my new Celine grey pumps and grey top. All can be mixed and matched. I have worn my white Manolos a lot now so time to switch to the grey, which go with everything as well.
I am finally packing my new Suede Isabel Marant mini skirt. So Brigitte Bardot. I love it and can't wait to wear it down there. It looks vintage and I know I am going to wear it all Summer...For the beach I take my new Isabel Marant boho black/white dress. It's long sleeves, tight bodiced and tres bohemian. I love it and feel a bit like my hero, Florence Welch. Amid the sea of pastel beaded beachwear, it will for sure standout...I also pack my new "Jen’s pirate booty" cream lacy number and it is perfect for this time of the year. Unpacking my suitcase and looking at the wardrobe, I am satisfied and may it be sunshine or rain, I am covered!
I spend the weekend with my girlfriend Zena and we have a great time just going to lunch, dinner and walking around town. Bank holiday Monday at Club 55 is literally London on the beach...by the end of the day I counted running into 30 people I know! I don't think I run into that many people in a week in London!
The 3 days we spend together feel like a week as we fit in lunches (Club 55, Les Salins and Bora Bora)bars (Senequier for end of day and sunset, Maison Blanche for pre-dinner cocktails and Le Quai for after dinner)
restaurants (Salama, Le Yaca and Cristina Cri), shops (By Marie, Alamanda, Martine Chambon, Leonard are the best) the market etc...we find some very cool crochet dresses, cardigans and vests on the market. All very cheap at 25 Euros a piece and I am already putting the outfits together for the Ibiza Summer...
At the Club 55 shop, I am being treated by Zena to another cool SU cotton beach "poncho". I love that brand. It's chic, cool and classic. I also pick up a new panama hat, not easy to find the perfect shape for one's face actually but I succeed this time around. St Tropez changes every year, shops close and new ones open or they simply relocate to different locations. This year however the town has become very much a LVMH shopping mall, much to the despair of the locals and others...I guess we like things to stay as they are but the reality is, life is about change. Evolution. It may not always be at the pace and in the direction we like it but it is inevitable.
The Maison Dior is just sumptuous. The weather is gorgeous all week except for one bad day, and lucky us as it is horrid in London. I love driving around in my little red Fiat 500 which I always rent down there, so easy to drive and park anywhere! That car is so little but actually one can fit a large amount of small people in the back...4 (with fishnets too) was my achievement one Summer!
So you see one can be chic, practical and cool...I spend the rest of the week with my boys enjoying the beauty of my local beach Les Salins, which is one of the few beaches in St Tropez where you literally eat with your feet in the water. Manu has been running it for over 20 years and his daughter Celia has now taken over. Going there is like being embraced by your favourite Aunt...St Tropez has many faces but to me it is a place where I have many lovely people whom I so look forward to see from one year to another. The town is so clean and well kept, it is such a beautiful village, and walking the streets early in the morning or at sunset in the evening is a real delight.
The boys know where they want to eat, they have their favourites. The first night they always want to eat their "tagliatelle du Yaca" which is basically pasta flambéed in alcohol (but we forget that bit as they are mildly underage) and cheese sauce in a huge Parmesan wheel. It is absolutely divine and I’m glad they appreciate the divinity of it as much as I do! (My thighs on the other hand do not....)
Another favourite is Canastel for their pizzas, which are lighter than air, truly. We love the pizzas at Chez Bruno too but they are very salty and much heavier and we feel like camels lost in the Sahara the next day, so so thirsty!
They call themselves their best customers as they could easily go for crepes daily. So for my last night they get to stay in with take away Nutella crepes and I get to go out for dinner with my dear friends Anette and Uli and their friends, who have also adopted me by now. Everyone is happy. Life is good. Honestly, is there anything better than having a piece of Parmesan cheese, sharing pasta and having a fantastic vino with friends you love? We fly back home with a tan, a full stomach and a smile on our faces...