Plane trees, boules & a morning market: the hub of St Tropez.
St Tropez’s vast sunlit central square is where the resort’s accumulated bling and its real village life meet up – and come to a perfectly satisfactory accommodation.
Folk in shades and Bentleys slow down that older village ladies might cross to do their daily shopping. Senior blokes paying boules admit celebrities into their ranks – as long as the said celebs are any good at the game. Otherwise, the boulistes aren’t impressed. They’ve seen it all before.
Meanwhile, all manner of life scurries, ambles or lazes under the plane trees – except on Tuesday and Saturday mornings.
Then, one of Provence’s better markets colonises most of the square. As well as being a magnificent food larder, this affords the opportunity to pick up things like handbags at a tenth of the prices in the big-name boutiques nearby.
At any time, the best way to appreciate this vast and lively space is to take a terrace table at one of the bars around its edge. Order something chilled, and survey the spectacle. Let me suggest either Le Sporting or the Café des Arts – where the boules players tend to congregate after their exertions. If you’d like to try boules yourself, the Café lends out spare sets.