France, Uncategorized EUROTRIP: SAINT TROPEZ, WHAT A WASH OUT! 4 September 2010

Everyone’s heard of Saint Tropez, the French Riviera seaside playground of the rich and famous. We are neither, but I was keen to check it out anyway 😛 We thought it’d be a fabulous idea to mingle with the *ahem* upper crust of society and soak it all in, not to mention laze about on the beach and jump into the beautiful ocean.

Sounds all magical and lovely, right?


As we drove in, it started to rain. Not just a drizzle, but a big freakin’ downpour. As we neared, we saw cars. A LOT of cars. Let me just say that this was the biggest and worst traffic jam I have ever been in. The highways were backed up for miles, and on a 90-110 mph highway, we were going at…….. 10-30 mph. We basically spent twice the amount of time getting there as we should have, it was pouring with rain, we were both busting to pee, and I was getting rather irate with it all.

What happened to my perfect sunny beachside bliss? It had scarpered off, that’s what.

In fact, when we finally made it into the little town of Saint Tropez, it was so JAMMED with cars and people in the pouring rain that it took us almost 1 hour to just make a small circle (and I mean SMALL) in the town, as the streets were completely chockers. We were both just about ready to kill someone (or rather, 90% of the people there, so there’d be way less traffic and people, LOL), so ended up not even bothering to park and wander around the main Saint Tropez town – not that we could find a parking anyway.

So instead we headed straight to the famous Saint Tropez beach, called Baie de Pampelonne beach. There were less people in the area, which is to be expected ‘cos of the heavy rain. The only problem? There were no clear signs or indications as to how to get to the beach! We drove all around, despite having a GPS, trying to find a road that would lead there.. and finally we found one. It was a given we couldn’t get out and frolic in the sand, and we certainly didn’t want to anyway. But what we DID see was a little beachside restaurant that we braved the rain and ran into.

I’m glad we discovered that restaurant, at least! It’s called La Plage Des Jumeaux and it was adorable. I can see how it would be massively packed and absolutely GORGEOUS if it were sunny blue skies. In fact, it was already a full house which surprised us. Chris was amused as on his way in, he saw all these fancy luxury cars parked outside – Saint Tropez really is for rich people 😉 The inside of the restaurant is spacious, and the floor made of planks of wood. The outdoor balcony area would be divine if it wasn’t raining, as it looked out onto the beach and ocean. Oh how sad I was the weather was crap and we were stuck inside!!!

Inside the nautical-looking La Plage Des Jumeaux

A glass of Cassis wine

Bread with an olive pesto (delish)

We ordered a (giant) pot of mussels and fries. The mussels came perfectly cooked – bitey and springy and with a lovely subtle flavour. They were regular-sized shells but small mussels, is this normal in France? I’m used to Australian mussels which are huge and fat, larger than an oyster. Loved ’em though, and those fries were fantastic. Then again, when do I EVER dislike fries? 😉

The Grilled fish was their “Le Plat du jour” (dish of the day) and didn’t disappoint. Beautifully browned and crisp on the outside, tender and flakey on the inside. Lovely.

FANTASTIC mussels and fries

A lovely fresh grilled fish

And of course… Tarte Tropézienne. Whilst Marseille has its Bouillabaisse, St Tropez has its Tarte Tropézienne! It’s a simple cake dessert that is executed so perfectly I always have to order it when I see it. And yes, it’s what I often get when I’m eating at La Gerbe D’Or in Australia… .so I was very keen to try the true-blue authentic version in Saint Tropez itself 🙂

Verdict? Freakin’ EXCELLENT!! Fluffy brioche with sandwiching a thick layer of crème patissière and butter cream…. how can you possibly go wrong with that combination? It was served chilled so the cream was like a rich ice cream.. and it was flat out delicious. I must find a place in Shanghai that does this, and does it well. So far I haven’t seen it 🙁

Tarte Tropézienne!

What the outside deck is like, when it’s not raining

Picture perfect! *envy*

And after that, we left Saint Tropez. Apart from the lovely lunch, it was totally fruitless, uneventful, and just pissed us off 😉 Hard to believe and we felt like we stepped into an alternate universe, because Saint Tropez is famous for sun, sea and surf!! All we got was rain and shocking traffic. Boooo.. such bad luck 🙁

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Oh, what a disappointment! And I really hate it when it rains. At least the food made up for it, right? I’ve NEVER seen Tarte Tropizienne before. It looks awesome! Just another example of the absence of authentic food in Shanghai…

Oh, what a disappointment! And I really hate it when it rains. At least the food made up for it, right? I’ve NEVER seen Tarte Tropizienne before. It looks awesome! Just another example of the absence of authentic food in Shanghai…