Château de la Messardière
Route de Tahiti, 83990, St-Tropez
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Foodies, Honeymooners, Mature travellers, Seasoned travellers, Escaping the crowds, Great views / scenery, Relaxation, Romance, Special occasions
Best for Outdoor dining - Expert review of Château de la Messardière
Here’s a place where you will feel yourself being enfolded into the St Tropez élite, if only for the duration of a meal.
On a hilltop a few minutes from town, the château isn’t so much a château as a sort of 19th-century folly – painted pale pink, trimmed with rather daft turrets and other, more Italianate buildings.
It is mainly a hotel, full of five-star panache and more columns than the Mezquita in Cordoba. Non-residents may, though, lunch or dine there, and thus get a taste of the 25-acre Mediterranean grounds, the quite stunning views across grounds and vines to the sea – and the ambitiously simple cooking of new chef Christian Farenasso. A bite of the sumptuous life, in short.
Two choices. Lunch is a less elaborate affair, taken on the terrace round the pool and running from club sandwiches and a house burger (at a meaty €28) through pasta dishes to grilled fish and meats.
Meanwhile, gastronomic cooking swings into action in the evening, in Les Trois Saisons restaurant.
The restaurant itself is a lovely mix of light Provençal tones and Oriental touches, leading to an enormous terrace with those outstanding views I mentioned above. And the elegance of the setting is matched on the plates – by cuisine rooted in the Mediterranean south but filtered through Farenasso’s imagination.
Look out for fillets of red mullet with potatoes in a light garlic mayonnaise and caviar. Or tournedos with a foie-gras emulsion – a signature dish.
At other establishments where he’s worked, Farenasso has generally picked up Michelin stars. The Messardière’s turn probably isn’t far off.
One of the advantages of being moneyed – or mixing with the moneyed on temporary basis – is that everyone evinces the warmest possible consideration for your welfare. I’ve often said that being rich means never having to do anything for yourself (except, obviously, earn, and then keep your hands on, the necessary cash).
This truth is borne out at the Messardière. Once through the rather fancy gates, the concerns, incivilities and sheer bloody obtuseness of the real world drop away.
Smiles and good behaviour are assumed. It’s all very civilised, and I would urge you to follow suit..
Formal and friendly in equal measure.
On top of a little hill, a few sinuous minutes from St Tropez centre and Pampelonne beach. The Messardière lays on shuttles to and from both.
At lunch, a club sandwich costs €26 and fish or meat mains start at €28. At dinner, there’s a three-course menu at €48, four courses at €68 and six courses at €96. A la carte mains are from €39.
More information on Château de la Messardière:
- Price guide:
- French, Fusion, Mediterranean, Modern
- Route de Tahiti, 83990, St-Tropez
- +33 494 567611
- Lunch, Dinner
- Opening times:
- Open April 15-October 30. Lunch 12.30pm-3pm. Dinner 7.30pm-10.30pm.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Always essential