Hi friends! I hope you are all enjoying the short work week. Will and I just made our way from the south of France to Paris and are excited to venture out to the French Open and Versailles in addition to hitting some of our favorite spots in the city. But today I have a ton of pictures to share from our first day in Saint-Tropez and Grimaud!

residence de la pinede saint tropez on design darling

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we had a bit of a nightmare making it from New York to Nice. I booked us the cheapest possible flight with a layover through Lisbon and let’s just say after 24 hours of flight cancellations I learned the lesson to book with a more well-known airline next time. So long story short, we missed the first day and night of the first leg of our trip staying in Saint-Tropez, but we tried to make the most of the day and a half we did have! I’ll share where we stayed and what we did throughout the post as well as some of the places that are on my list for next time at the end of the post.

design darling saint tropez hotel residence de la pinede

residence de la pinede saint tropez

design darling saint tropez residence de la pinede

In terms of getting around, we rented a car from the Nice airport and drove an hour and a half to Saint-Tropez. We stayed in the Résidence de la Pinède a half mile from the center of Saint-Tropez and alternated between driving ourselves around and taking advantage of the hotel shuttle into town. The driving can get a little crazy with lots of tiny one-way streets and Vespas everywhere, but we loved the freedom of having a car and would rent one again on our next visit. Our hotel was gorgeous (worthy of a honeymoon, truly!) and I only wish we’d had nicer weather to take advantage of the pool and private beach! It drizzled on and off for most of the day but we did wake up early and catch the sunrise on our first day. 

design darling saint tropez

senequier saint tropez

design darling saint tropez boulangerie

We had dinner at Au Caprice des Deux on our first night and walked around Saint-Tropez to get the lay of the land (and a nutella crepe of course). The following morning we retraced our steps to a little boulangerie with the most insane pain au chocolat. One of my favorite things about visiting France is having a chance to use the language after majoring in French in college. I hate thinking that my language skills have faded since I graduated so I try to push myself to speak in French as much as possible while we’re there, even if it’s just ordering a pastry or two!

design darling port grimaud

port grimaud from saint tropez

port grimaud on design darling

With pain au chocolat in hand, we made our way to Port Grimaud, a tiny seaside town that reminded me of a more quaint French version of Venice with all the boat-lined canals and colorful little homes. The rain held off for a few minutes so I could snap a couple photos in the sunshine before we had to run back to our car for lack of an umbrella. It was still pretty early in the morning so there weren’t a ton of businesses open but I’m glad we made a quick pit stop!

design darling grimaud

grimaud france

grimaud on design darling

roses in grimaud

grimaud day trip

pink hydrangeas in grimaud

grimaud day trip from saint tropez

Next we drove up to the village of Grimaud where our friends Amy and Lauren had been staying for a few days. It felt much more in bloom than Saint-Tropez — there were flowers at every doorstep and my camera and I were in heaven. 

cuyana summer hat rachel pally linen katy dress

rachel pally linen katy dress and j.mclaughlin victoria bag

rachel pally linen katy dress

design darling in grimaud wearing rachel pally linen katy dress

jmclaughlin natural victoria circular wicker bag

rachel pally linen katy dress on design darling

I wore this linen dress and it felt just right for the south of France (but will also feel right at home on Nantucket this summer). I started the day in espadrilles but quickly changed into my trusty Jack Rogers when I realized how hilly Grimaud is. We got our 10,000 steps in and then some! I’ve also been living in this hat (seriously you’ll see it in every post from our trip!) and love this wicker circle bag.

design darling club 55

club 55 on design darling

For lunch we drove to Club 55, a blue and white paradise right on the beach with the most unbelievable turquoise water. We shared a bottle of rosé, steamed artichoke (my favorite!), and various dishes while listening to their band and watching the rain from our covered table. It reminded me of a more laidback version of Galley Beach on Nantucket — prime real estate with fantastic food and drinks and a view that’s worth every penny. 

Amy’s friend Lucy was kind enough to host us for dinner at her family’s home near Grimaud and it was such a magical evening. Lucy is not only the hostess with the mostest but an insanely talented wedding photographer and lifestyle blogger down in Charleston. It was such a treat to meet her after following her work on Instagram over the years and such a beautiful way to cap off our short but sweet stay in the south of France!

Had we made it to Saint-Tropez as scheduled, I would have loved to visit their Saturday/Tuesday market and La Plage des Jumeaux, which looks like a stripe lover’s heaven. We also had reservations at Bello Visto and La Table d’Augustin that I would love to make it to next time we find ourselves in this beautiful place!

I hope I didn’t lose you with the photo overload. Next up will be Nice but in the meantime you can follow our Paris adventures on Instagram!

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12 thoughts on “SAINT-TROPEZ & GRIMAUD

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  1. Mackenzie all of your pictures look so wonderful!!! I have followed your blog over the years and I recall that you have been to Positano as well. My fiancé and I are looking at either getting married in the Amalfi Coast or in the South of France, but neither of us has ever been and we are trying to decide which one would be better for us travel to from Dallas, TX to elope just the two of us and have a romantic wedding ceremony with the most breathtaking views! :). Therefore, I was curious as to which one was your favorite and if you would be biased to eloping at one over the other? 😉

    Thank you in advance for your time and help!

    1. How fun!!! Personally I would pick Positano. With the steep cliffs and endless ocean, you’d have a hard time finding a spot without a breathtaking view! Congratulations! 🙂

  2. Would love to know who you rented your car from in Nice- I’m working on trip details for a similar Nice/South-of-France excursion in July and thinking a car rental is inevitable! Trip looks dreamy!

  3. “Je voudrais un pain au chocolat”…yep still the most important (and useful) phrase I remember from my French lessons in high school 🙂
    St Tropez looks beautiful, I’d love to visit some day. Enjoy the rest of your trip!
    Daisy xo

  4. I just got back from Paris this weekend! I went back to Versailles, and it was magical as ever. If you can, I recommend trekking to Petit Trianon and The Queen’s Hamlet in the back part of the property. It’s incredible. I was blown away by empty it was back there, too. It’s so stunning. Have a great time!