How to have a good night out in Provence
Provençal nightlife can be as wild or as tranquil as you like. In spots like St-Tropez or Monaco - but also Nice and Cannes - the rich, the beautiful, the famous and the wannabes move from early bars to late bars and onto clubs, embracing excess (and much else besides) through to dawn.
Champagne may cost the equivalent of the GDP of a small developing country - and may also be sprayed, rather than drunk.
Meanwhile, in up-country villages only a few miles away, you'll struggle to find much open after 9pm - or earlier, off-season. Night-time revels are limited to quiet dinners on the terraces of those places which do stay open.
These are all the revels I need these days but I understand that younger, friskier elements crave the intensity of being at the centre of the summer swirl. You'll find details of such places on my Cannes nightlife, St-Tropez nightlife, Nice nightlife and Monaco nightlife pages.
The best are, though, and by definition, hellishly popular. I've seen the queue at the door of the Caves-du-Roy in St Tropez stretch back 100 yards or more.
And actually arriving at the door is no guarantee that you'll get in. Big guys are trained to refuse people unsuitable for their establishments. So, if you're not famous and beautiful - the only sure-fire sesames - then, to put all the advantages on your side:
- Don't arrive already drunk or even merry.
- Don't be boisterous in the queue.
- Dress as smartly and fashionably as you can manage.
- Don't arrive in an all-male group.
You'll still have a devil of a job getting in - but, at least, you'll have done all you can. Meanwhile, I'll be on that up-country terrace with a bottle of rosé and a loved one, thanking the good Lord that I'm not in the queue with you.