It’s very hard to think of anything better on earth than watching the sunset from a Saint Tropez beach club, so I suggest you start there- lolling about on a comfy lounge bed with a cocktail and listening to the chilled summer beats ramp up and get you in the mood for the night ahead. Any of the clubs along Pampelonne Beach will do the trick nicely, while Nikki Beach is famous for its DJs, theme parties and high prices (and increasingly grumpy staff as the season wears on). With models and billionaires spraying champagne and dancing on tables by the pool, this is celebrity, indulgence and debauchery at its finest. Prepare for the madness.
Back in town, Café de Paris on the waterfront really needs no introduction. The alfresco area on the port offers some of the best people watching on earth, while inside the décor is plush and glamorous, with red velour couches and gilt-framed mirrors. Spend an hour or two here, soaking up this quintessential Saint Tropez experience and watching the jet-set hop on and off their yachts.
As the evening rolls on, hit the very trendy Bar du Port for pre-dinner tapas and drinks. Sit outside on the terrace with the view of the port, or sit by the bar in the classical décor and listen to the DJ, who starts out chilled and ramps up as the evening goes on. This is a great place to get the night started- but be aware; this St Tropez favourite evolves through its many personalities as the hours tick over, so you might find yourself staying a while as it segues from restaurant to trendy bar to popular late night hotspot.
Meanwhile, if you’re after suave sophistication with a dash of celebrity, head to Octave Café, an elegant piano bar playing jazz music and serving cocktails and tapas until late. The atmosphere here attracts both the locals and the celebrities; Liza Minnelli has been known to grab the mike here and sing a few songs.
If all the glitz and glamour is getting a bit much, retreat to Kelly’s Pub, an Irish bar where casual clothes are welcomed and you’ll look a bit silly in a dress made of glitter. The drinks are much cheaper here, and the clientèle is a good mix of locals, yacht crew and tourists getting away from the madness and enjoying a place where you’re allowed in wearing flip-flops. Guinness on tap, naturally, and the bar will often be lined with jagerbombs. With a lovely view of the port from an outside terrace, this bar offers good fun, a nice ambiance, and absolutely no star-spotting.