Hot spots: incognito in Saint-Tropez


Back in the 50s, the Bardot, Vadim and Barclay years gave star status to the village of Saint-Tropez. Through the swinging 60s and ever since, the famous port has continued to charm the world with its inimitable air of Bohemian chic. For those in the know, there are two St-Trop’: that of gleaming yachts with the bling-bling jet-set and the more confidential and authentic village. With an American Vintage shop nestled at number 59 on rue du Général Allard, we’re here to talk about the latter version of this Saint-Tropez.

The best beach: “La Ponche”

La Ponche, a small rocky inlet of the Gulf, started making a name for itself at the end of the Second World War. Boris Vian, Juliette Gréco, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir were just some of the big names to walk in the sand here. But it wasn’t until 1956 that the beach became a legend, when Roger Vadim filmed the famous love scene between Jean-Louis Trintignant and Brigitte Bardot in the cult film And God Created Woman. An appearance that would change the destiny of this micro-section of the coast. The literati of the moment, such as Françoise Sagan and Bernard Franck, also helped establish its reputation by choosing it for their summer homes. This beach was even described as “a refuge, a place to rest, love and write.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

La Ponche beach
2-6 Rue de la Rampe
83990 Saint-Tropez

The best Tropézienne cake: Marcel Cavazza

This local must-try pastry, originally from Poland, is made with pastry cream, brioche dough and pearl sugar. The Tropézienne is to Saint-Tropez what tomato is to pizza: inseparable. To savor a more innovative version, head for the family-owned pastry shop Marcel Cavazza, where Laurent Cavazza, trained at Lenôtre, daringly offers a berry version.

Marcel Cavazza
29 Bis Rue Georges Clemenceau
83990 Saint-Tropez

For a Parisian-free spot: the Hôtel de Paris

Yes, it’s a luxury hotel, but it’s smack dab in the center of Saint-Tropez. With its rooms decorated by Sybille de Margerie, its Clarins spa and its rooftop (one of the only ones on the peninsula), it’s a don’t-miss stopover. The hotel also offers deck chairs, cabanas and a suspended pool with a panoramic view of the iconic bell tower on one side and the famous Gendarmerie (transformed into a museum) on the other. As it’s packed in summer, opt to visit in low season to enjoy the unsurpassed calm of this indefinable location.

Hôtel de Paris
1 traverse de la Gendarmerie
83990 Saint-Tropez

Art in the Var region: the Venet Foundation

Need a dose of outdoor culture and sculpture? The Venet Foundation, in Le Muy, near Saint-Tropez, acquired a former factory and mill on a four-hectare estate and transformed them into an open-sky exhibition space with a lush green lawn. Hundreds of monumental works by the greatest names in conceptual and minimal art from the last 50 years are united here.

Venet Foundation
365 Chemin du Moulin des Serres
83490 Le Muy

AMV Journal is a space dedicated to encounters, discovery and travel. Every week, explore the musts, portraits and inspirations of American Vintage and its creation studio.