Résidence de la Pinède
Plage de la Bouillabaisse, St Tropez, 83990
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Foodies, Honeymooners, Mature travellers, Escaping the crowds, Romance, Special occasions
Best for Gourmets - Expert review of Résidence de la Pinède
Among the resort’s most gracious hotels, La Pinède has what is, without much doubt, the finest restaurant in St Tropez. Chef Arnaud Donckele gained his second Michelin star in 2010 – and a third may not be far behind.
Two stars in St Tropez means, of course, that this is no place for the impoverished. St Tropez luxury restaurants don’t come much more sumptuous. A full dinner with drinks will cost at least £150 a head, a sum which could rise alarmingly if you’re careless with the wine.
The mighty outlay has, though, its compensations. The family-owned Pinède is a sort of sea-side manor house rich in bright period panache.
And its glorious terrace, clad in pines (whence the name), gives directly onto a private stretch of the Bouillabaisse beach. There are few more refined spots on the coast. If you don’t feel among the privileged here, then you really have become too blasé.
Young chef Arnaud Donckele comes from Normandy – though you would never guess this by the way he creates inventive magic with the best of Mediterranean ingredients.
Influences from both the Far and Middle East are woven into the mix, so that Vietnamese-style ravioli, and lamb with savory, both find their ways onto the menus. But Provence, re-thought and re-worked, remains the starting point.
Lunch is served underneath the pines at the outdoor terrace restaurant called, with startling imagination, La Terrasse. It can be a simpler and slightly less expensive affair than dinner – though, here, economy is relative. The Vietnamese-style chicken ravioli costs €39 a serving, a hamburger €38 and grilled lamb chops a mildly alarming €63.
You will, though, consider that a snip when you show up for dinner to discover that the same sum buys you only the cheapest main course at the hotel’s Vague-d’Or restaurant. Then again, if you’re coming here for an evening meal and you’re worried about money, you’re in the wrong place.
Settle back in the splendid indoor dining room or, better still, on the terrace and marvel as Donckele does audacious things with chicken, lamb and lobster.
Elegant and, especially out on the terrace at evening-time, almost impossibly romantic. This is absolutely the spot to pop the question (as long as the question popped is not: “Would you mind paying your half of the bill?”)
You don’t gain two Michelin stars by being sloppy. Staff here are smart, expertly attentive and friendly.
Right on the beach, just off the main road into St Tropez.
Lunchtime main courses start at €48 – though snackier items, like those €38 hamburgers, may be a touch cheaper. At dinner, there’s a three-course menu at €95 (available Sunday-Thursday) and four courses at €135. A la carte mains start at €62.
More information on Résidence de la Pinède:
- Price guide:
- French, Fusion, Mediterranean, Modern, Seafood
- Plage de la Bouillabaisse, St Tropez, 83990
- +33 494 559100
- Lunch, Dinner
- Opening times:
- Open April 28-October 2. Lunch 12.30pm-2.30pm; dinner 7.30pm-10pm.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Always essential