Club 55: Saint Tropez’s Original Beach Club

Saint Tropez’s Pampelonne Beach is one of the most photographed stretches of sand in Europe, if not the world, with one section in particular getting more footage than most: Club 55.

Of the string of exclusive private beach clubs dotted on the three-mile long beach, the understated yet undeniably cool Club 55 is by far the most sought-after address along this stylish stretch of coastline.

Indeed, barely a day goes by in the height of the summer without some Hollywood star, supermodel or world leader being snapped as they arrive at the famous beach club, which inevitably comes with its own jetty allowing guests direct access from their superyachts moored in the bay.

Club 55 Saint Tropez’s Original Beach Club 1

Amongst last summer’s celebrity diners at the number one lunch spot near Boulevard Patch were regulars Sir Elton John and his family, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and his wife Isla Fisher and international artist Bono, who lives not a million miles away from Saint Tropez in Eze-sur-Mer.

In fact, tables covered by the restaurant’s signatory blue and white cloths are such a premium that reservations for lunch must be made well in advance over the summer months, as do bookings for the white sunbeds which adorn the club’s private beach under casually hung white sails.

The whole look is one of shabby chic, with a simple piece of drift wood with the words Club 55 painted on serving as the welcome sign to the restaurant.

Simple too is the menu at Club 55, with freshly caught fish, grilled steaks and huge salads made up of vegetables from the owners’ garden being amongst the favourites on the single page menu.

Prices at the restaurant are fairly standard for Saint Tropez but with views, ambiance and service to ensure memories that last a life time, there are rarely any complaints.

One of the first famous guests to fall in love with Club 55 was a young Brigitte Bardot, who came to Saint Tropez to film the classic movie And God Created Woman in the summer of 1954. Legend has it that Bardot and her then husband Roger Vadim, the film’s director, used to come to the restaurant every day for lunch.

Then just a simple wooden shack on the beach, the restaurant was adopted as a canteen for all those on the set of And God Created Woman, and the rest, they say, is history…

For reservations contact +33 (0)4 94 55 55 55 or visit the website club55.fr

Saint Tropez Beaches: What to look out for in 2016

Days lounging around on a white sandy beach may seem a long way away right now, but we find the months pass with alarming speed these days.

So we thought we would offer you a flicker of light at the end of this recurring ‘tunnel’, otherwise known as winter, and look ahead at some of the best beach clubs due to open in Saint Tropez this year.

Saint Tropez is famous for its highly exclusive and luxurious beach clubs, with dozens lining the three mile long white sandy Pampelonne Beach. The first, the legendary Tahiti Beach Club, opened in 1946, with arguably the most sought–after establishment, Club 55, setting up a short distance away on the same stretch of sand some nine years later – in 1955.

Saint Tropez Beaches What to look out for in 2016 (2)

It is virtually impossible to pick out our favourites, as they all offer an excellent service and share the same incredibly beautiful backdrop, but if we had to choose five, they would probably be:

  • Relative newcomer Riva Plage opened its doors to customers at the beginning of the last year. Situated along the Patch stretch of Pampelonne Beach close to some of our premier properties for sale and rent, it is a welcome addition to the more established clubs along this stretch of coast. For reservations call +33 (0) 4 94 79 96 95.
  • Another new restaurant which we expect to be making waves again this summer is Bagatelle, which opened in 2014 close to Route d’Epi. Bagatelle is owned by Aymeric Clemente and Remi Laba, a dynamic duo who also have successful restaurants in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, St Barths and Sao Paolo. bistrotbagatelle.com
  • We love the cool vibe and great tunes you can enjoy at Moorea, which boasts one of the most famous bars on the beach, Claudy’s Bar. The cocktails here are particularly good, as are the massages which you can enjoy in cabins on the beach. mooreaplage.fr
  • For a really fun afternoon on the beach, we recommend you head to Nikki Beach which belongs to the same family as Nikki Beach in Miami and St Barths. Here you can party to your heart’s content around the pool at this popular club set back from the beach by a few hundred metres. Nikki Beach will open this year for Easter, on March 27th. nikkibeach.com/sttropez

We mentioned Club 55 earlier, but we think this world-famous club deserves a few more lines. Hidden behind a discrete garden in the middle of Pampelonne beach, Club 55 is the favoured Saint Tropez restaurant of world politicians, Hollywood stars and supermodels. Here you will find delicious grilled fish, simple salads and bags of charm and ambience.  www.club55.fr