Tag Archives: French Riviera

Eze Does It: More South of France

After a few nights in Provence, it was time for a change of scenery.

And the views up in Eze are majorly stunning. Nestled snugly in the landscape between Nice and Monaco, the ancient village sits upon a hilltop known as the “eagles nest” and overlooks the French Riviera. With Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat directly below, and miles and miles of Mediterranean horizon, this pretty hamlet is Eze on the eyes.

We checked in at the Chateau de la Chevre d’Or, which is perched perilously on the rim of the cliffside. All the guestrooms are nestled in and around the old town, cobbled paths winding up to the top of the village, craggy stone walls cascading with ambrosial blooms.

Chevre D'or Port

Chevre D'or Arrival

Chevre D'or arrival Town

Chevre D'or Arrival Town Walk

We were ushered to the terrace and swiftly served a long-stemmed welcome drink. Clinking glasses, we peered out over the stupendous Cote d’Azur vista.

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1 View

Chevre D'or Patio

Chevre D'Or satute

Chevre Do rview

After drinks, we slipped through the ivy gates to meander the gently sloping breeze-filled pathways.

Chevre D'Or Gate

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Eze Walk

Eze Walk Stones

It was such a cool and peaceful time of evening to roam the twisty passages. Eventually, we found our way back to the hotel and climbed the steep red stairs to our room.

The next morning, I hopped directly into my bikini before shuffling out onto the balcony where breakfast had been set up.

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Eze Morning Breakfast

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Then it was down to the pool to catch a bit of sun before lunch.

Chevre D'Or Pool

Chevre D'Or Pool

1 View Pool

Chevre D'Or Pool Railing

Chevre D'or Loungers

Chevre D'or Lunch

As we watched the last bit of morning fog burn off the top of the mountains around us, we knew it was going to be another glorious day in Eze.

Secret Beach: Plage des Graniers

Today I discovered a secret beach! And thank goodness I did because Saint-Tropez gets unbearably hot and muggy by late morning. I was practically wilting in the heat, so we high-tailed it to the hills above town seeking the relief of a cool Mediterranean breeze.

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The summit above the port is crowned with the ruins of a magnificent 17th century citadel – and breathtaking views of the sea below. As lunchtime draws nigh, yachts are already starting to jostle for space to drop their anchors just outside of town.

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Beyond the ancient stone walls of the citadel, a dusty path winds down through the woods to a glimmering sandy cove. It’s the secluded location for a hip beachside restaurant frequented by locals and those lucky enough to hear of it by word-of-mouth. Surrounded by an overgrowth of bamboo, this free patch of beach is a discreet alternative to the ritzy beach clubs further down on Pampelonne.

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Seated beachside under white tasselled parasols with my toes in the sand, I followed recommendations to try the grilled fish. So glad I did! Lunch was fantastic – and the view was mesmerizing. Afterwards, I took a snooze on the warm beach and observed the 30-minute rule before a post-lunch dip in the crystal blue water.

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I've got sole but I'm not a soldier.

I got sole but I’m not a soldier.

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On the road back from Graniers beach, at the base of the citadel, sits the Saint-Tropez Marine Cemetery facing out onto the Mediterranean. It is the final resting place of many a brave seaman and a few notable Tropéziens. The beauty of this site stopped me in my tracks and, for a few moments, was a place for quietude and reflection. I’m not sure what happens after our lives on earth, but I couldn’t think of a more heavenly place for a soul to rest through eternity. I threw out a few silent prayers to catch on the wind, and continued on my traveler ways.

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One final look back at the striking blues of the sea and sky against the pure white of the sun-bleached crosses. I’m so glad I happened to discover this side of Saint-Tropez.

St-Trop ’til I Drop

The port town of Saint-Tropez is a shopper’s heaven. There isn’t much to do there but shop. Oh, and gawk at the monster yachts moored in the marina. Did you know it’s in the top 5 of most expensive marinas in the world? Yep, docking here for the week costs a cool 20,000 euros.

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I can’t shop on an empty stomach so first thing’s first – breakfast. La Tarte Tropézienne is a high-end patisserie with a stalwart presence around town. They are named after their signature pastry made famous by Brigitte Bardot whilst she was in town filming “And God Created Woman”, the picture that made her an international sex symbol. The main bakery on Place des Lices is a tony restaurant, perfect for a quality petit déjeuner.

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The original "Tarte Trapézienne" - Brigitte Bardot's favorite

The original “Tarte Trapézienne” – Brigitte Bardot’s favorite

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Omelette au fromage

Omelette au fromage

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Okay, time to hit the shops!

Espadrilles are a staple of any resort wardrobe, but they are practically compulsory on the Riviera. Perfect for slipping on and shuffling from the pool to the terrace, or home from the beach. Needless to say, they are everywhere in St-Tropez.

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Chanel had this pair of bad boys for me to lust after.

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Then I found a darling little boutique much more suited to my budget; L’Espadrille Tropézienne stocks a range of espadrilles with a modern twist and signature red rubber sole.

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Love these funky hand-painted graffiti ones

Love this funky hand-painted graffiti pair

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I did a bit more strolling around but after a few hours couldn’t cope with the rising heat so, like a seal, I had to slip away to find water. Can’t wait to post about the secluded beach I explored in the afternoon!

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des Maures

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Le Club 55

Lunch at Club 55 is a Saint-Tropez institution – and it’s always the first place I make a beeline for upon my arrival in the French Riviera. This shabby chic beach club offers everything you could possibly need for a day on Pampelonne beach: a popular restaurant, a luxury gift shop and, of course, the sea!

I arrived mid-morning and padded up the decked path lugging my straw beach tote to claim a prime waterfront spot for my lounger.

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You can tell it’s nearly lunchtime when the super yachts start to converge near to the coast. Celebrities are shuttled in on inflatable dinghys to the club launch as everyone makes their way to the restaurant behind the dunes.

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crabe

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I sprang for the crab special to start, followed by the gambas, which I dunked with fervor in the tamarind aioli. Simple, light dishes – mostly grilled – and presented with minimal fanfare.

On the way back to the beach, I popped into the boutique for a souvenir – which was quite an ordeal with so many beautiful things to chose from!

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I whiled away the rest of the afternoon’s golden rays sipping citron pressé at the beach bar, swimming, and prowling up and down the launch waiting for my ship to come in…

Only I think it already has.