L’Hôtel de La Ponche – Lieu de Vie et de Culture

Grandparents evoke a thousand memories. When I think of mine I see cacti on the Côte d’Azur, the smell of lavender in my nose with the sound of the cigalles all around me as the sun goes down over the Mediterranean but one of my fondest memories is of lunching at the Restaurant de La Ponche during the summer holidays.

This quaint seafood restaurant (belonging to the renowned hotel of the same name) encompasses all the charm of the picturesque fishing village that Saint-Tropez once was before it was transformed into a playground for the rich and famous. Elegant and convivial, the terrace restaurant opens to the sea overlooking the beautiful sandy beach where Roger Vadim filmed Et Dieu Créa la Femme (And God Created Woman) starring Brigitte Bardot.

I guarantee you won’t find a better meal than the exquisite seafood from Chef Christian Geay and his staff at your service for more than 20 years. As a conceited sixteen-year-old I once tried to impress a group of family friends by ordering seiche avec riz à la sauce de son encre (cuttlefish with rice in ink sauce). I was deceived by the word fish in cuttlefish which I now know bears absolutely no resemblance to any fish whatsoever… it is in fact a freaky looking giant squid-like creature and I was far from delighted with my plate of tentacles covered in small suction pads. Unfortunately due to my Parisian pride I was totally unable to admit my error and was left with no choice but to finish the entire dish although I must admit that after a few mouthfuls I started to really enjoy this strange delicacy and now order it regularly… Fresh seafood here never disappoints!

Celebrated followers of La Ponche include Simone de BeauvoirBrigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve, as well as Romy SchneiderKylie Minogue and Jack Nicholson to name just a few and I highly recommend this hotel/restaurant to anyone visiting Saint-Tropez, especially those who are keen to discover the authentic culture of the town behind the superficial facade!

Take a look at the website for more information and when in Saint-Tropez visit L’Hôtel de La Ponche at 3 Rue des Remparts.

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