Friday, June 1, 2012

Paillotes--One of My Favorite Things

Every summer they appear. To my great joy and excitement. Along the stretch of beach that runs between the towns of Carnon and La Grande Motte, the paillotes are rebuilt for the season.

Paillotes are seasonal restaurants right on the beach with sun loungers and parasols for the taking, all day if you like. You pay a set fee for the chair, its cushion, a parasol and lunch of a big salad and bottle of water. All you have to do is relax.

It's what I dream of when I dream of a holiday. And somehow, I actually live here and can drive the 20 minutes to my favorite place. We took the day yesterday while all three kids were in school to do just that. We arrived at 9:30 and left at 3:30 with swimming, napping, reading and eating, plus a small bottle of cold pink wine in between.

{blackberry photo, but you get the idea}
We're thinking this should be a weekly tradition until the end of the school year. A mid-week break in our own neighborhood, lying on the beach and watching the world go by; sailboats zipping across the Med, airplanes flying overhead bringing and taking people to and from our petit coin of paradise, Stephan the Daniel Craig looking waiter delivering big salads with wedges of orange melon and soft goat cheese toasts on big trays, joggers and walkers and dogs and kids parading past all day long.

My favorite time of the year has officially arrived.
Do you love summer?
Tell me your dream destination. Or borrow mine. There's a beach lounger waiting for you...


  1. I'd like summer a lot more if I didn't have to go to work I must say. Still at least my office is air conditioned, unlike my house.

    I don't have a dream destination, there are lots of weird mini hotels I'd like to stay in all over the world that I've seen in newspapers online.

    This time of year is probably best for the paillotes before the kids are off school and the crowds arrive with plastic boobs and an overdose of botox.

  2. Sounds wonderful!
    On a first trip to south of France (driving down from Geneva), we stopped for lunch at a little resto on the beach in Lavandou, east of Toulon. It was so lovely and relaxing to eat at a table on the sand with the sea several meters away. The food was a simple but good seafood salad with wine or bottles of water. We had our dog with us and they brought a big bowl of water for him, too. In fact, the dog was accepted everywhere we stayed and treated like a king!
    I have a summer house on a lake near where I live, so I'm very much a water and sun lover, too. All summer long, I lived in a bathing suit and swam or water skied or sailed my boat...what fun times!

  3. My cousins take me to eat at Carre Blanc on the beach near Montpellier when we get together during the summer. I am sure we will go there when we get together at the end of June. I like the way those restaurants go up at the beginning of summer and then disappear at the end of the summer. Have a great weekend.

  4. mmmm melon and goat cheese. Orange melon, would it be cantelope? Sounds delicious!

  5. How nice, paillotes could easily be my favorite too. I can only imagine the bliss of being on a beach, in the sun and attended by what I guess is a handsome young man!

    1. yes, Blandina, it's a difficult thing to have to do. you'll have to come over and I'll take you there.
      aidan xo


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