Elton John, David Furnish and eight-month-old Zachary spent most of August in St. Tropez. Where did the doting parents go when they wanted a little beach time? The same place Naomi Campbell celebrates her birthday every year. Le Club 55, one of the most exclusive beach clubs on St. Tropez’s three-mile Pampelonne Beach.
Getting reservations for Sunday brunch at this beachside landmark is nearly impossible, not because it caters to celebrities (anyone’s welcome), but because everyone from Saudi princes and fast-lane billionaires to film and rock idols like to dine under tamarisk trees on its white-canvas-shaded deck. Lunching at Club 55 has long been a St. Tropez rite of passage.
The featured attraction? A gorgeous megasalad with monstrous heads of cauliflower, tomatoes big as softballs and perfect mushrooms, carrots, scallions and cucumbers, all artistically arranged atop a thick slab of cork. Oh yeah, and the beach.
Club 55 was launched in the year 1955 after the mother of Patrice de Colmont, the current owner, was asked by Brigitte Bardot, who mistook their family cabana on the north end of the beach for a restaurant, for 80 roast beef sandwiches. She wanted it for the crew on her film, And God Created Woman, that turned St. Tropez into the household name it is today. Even though it’s open to everyone and remains faithfully democratic (the King of Belgium was once asked to wash his own dish to help out the overbooked kitchen), Club 55 requires reservations.
It has a relaxed family-friendly vibe (that’s why Elton invited pal Neal Patrick Harris to come along with his 10-month-old twins) complete with backgammon tables, beach umbrellas and foam mattresses and its beach boutique sources the best small labels from around the world including handmade fabric sketchbooks and diaries by Willow Rose.
Click here, for more on the club the French call Cinquante Cinq.