Monday, August 13, 2012

St. Tropez, France - A Saturday in St. Tropez

Ah, another summer has brought me to St. Tropez. My first visit was when I graduated college and it seems I’ve been here every summer since then. 

As soon as we got into port on Saturday morning we went straight to the Place des Lices for the outdoor market. I love walking through this market with its smell of lavender in the air, colourful cover-ups and bathing suits, panama hats, nibbles of olive pate and bread, antique Louis Vuitton trunks and bold and bright fruits and vegetables. Our first order of business was a giant bread/calzone with eggplant, as we had been up since 3:30am for our 6am flight from London and we were starving. It went down a treat. 

Next we stopped to buy some lavender sachets so we could be reminded of the south of France every time we open our dresser drawers back in London. This year I found these beautiful hand embroidered linen sachets that had many different designs. They were 3 for €10 and you get the lavender insert free, what a bargain! I think they make wonderful gifts and if you can’t get to St. Tropez, you can still buy them here.

The famous savon de Marseille soaps in every hue imaginable ... 

My favorite area of the market is the antiques and paintings section. I love to look at all of the vintage Hermes, Goyard and Louis Vuitton bags and trunks and try to image what previous life they lived with some unmistakeably chic owner... if only they could speak and tell their tale. Someday I will buy a vintage Louis Vuitton or Goyard trunk to use as a coffee table. 

What I'm wearing ... 
Knit dress and matching belt, Sandro. Grecian sandals, SE Boutique.
Handbag, Hermes Birkin. Sunglasses, Chanel. 

Its not easy being green: Stainless steel chronograph watch, Rolex Daytona.
Ring, purchased this trip in St. Tropez. Nails, Revlon Emerald (330).
After the market I did a tour of my favorite shops in the port of St. Tropez. The first one is the Parisian clothier Manoush (meaning gypsy) known for their super fun and embellished women’s clothing with an ethnic, bohemian flair.

Marinette Decoration is my favorite home store in the port. I love to wander through and imagine all the things I would buy if I had a beach house to fill in some stunning seaside locale. I especially love the sterling silver champagne bowl with matching flutes, the giant sterling silver framed glass candle lanterns with leather handles, and the red coral branch printed linens.

No trip to St. Tropez would be complete without a stop at Sandales Tropeziennes to purchase your own handmade pair of these original and traditional leather sandals, which originated here 80 years ago.

Cave Jeroboam is THE luxury wine store in St. Tropez. You can find nearly every champagne house and vintage here, as well as a great selection of local rosé wines, French wines from all over the country, and hard liquor as well. 

I'll take one of each please!
Lastly, if you haven’t received the memo, the mandatory beach dress in St. Tropez is a tiny bikini, a fabulous and flowy kaftan or cover-up, a bejewelled pair of sandals and some dangling earrings to top it all off. If you have come unprepared, don’t worry, Ananda (rue General Allard) is one-stop shopping to trick yourself out in this summer jet set uniform. 

After a lay down, we headed for early evening cocktails in the port. Our first stop was Le Quai: a perfect perch to watch the mega-yachts pull in; it becomes a fun dancing spot after dinner. 

We then settled in to the Bar du Port for the next several hours. We invited some new friends to join us and just kept the magnums of rosé coming non-stop. I love the way the Europeans take the aperitif hour so seriously: with every cocktail you get free bar snacks, and here at Bar du Port they offered 3 delicious cold salads served with mini spoons: a couscous with fresh mint, an orzo with vegetables, and a lentil salad with carrots. 

Then I almost dropped dead when my fashion idol, Karl Lagerfeld, waltzed right past me into the neighboring Pharmacie du Port. He does his own shopping?!?!?!?

After a very long and extended aperitif hour, we changed into our dancing clothes in preparation to boogie the night away at one of Europe’s most famous nightclubs, Les Caves du Roy

First, we caught an impromptu fireworks show and then we grabbed a quick gelato in port en route to the club, you know, just so we would have enough energy to rock the dance floor until the wee hours of the morning :-) 

What I'm wearing ... 
Dress and matching snake head belt: Roberto Cavalli.
Black Epi Leather pochette, Louis Vuitton.
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