Honeymoon time!!! I’ve wanted to go to the South of France for the longest time and it absolutely lived up to my expectations.
Last year, Ben and I went to the Amalfi Coast and had the time of our lives. Cool hotels, amazing food, and endless swims in the European waters, we knew that for our honeymoon we wanted to relive that experience, just in a new country! Per usual, I did a tonnn of research for the trip, and now that the trip has ended, I’m telling all! The hits, the misses, and of course, every bite of food along the way.
Now, because I’m a gluten-free blogger I’m going to jump right into the food! Gluten-free in France was actually not bad and I felt like I had a lot of food variety! (If you remember last year in Italy I was on a Sea Bass diet). The trouble this year was DAIRY. When you book tickets to France, the airline ticket should come with a disclaimer that everything is cooked in butter. I mean EVERYTHING. I quickly learned that the waiters did not understand what I meant by “no dairy” but they TOTALLY understood when I said “no lactose.” I think I made it through the trip unscathed, but there were definitely a few moments where I was concerned.
Anywho, back to the best trip ever!! Welcome to the French Riviera!!
We flew from JFK direct to Nice and took a ~2 hour private car service to our first stop, St. Tropez. There’s an expression, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” Well we had plans, and God laughed… a lot! We planned three nights, four days in St. Tropez, and it rained for three of the four days. And I mean it RAINED. That’s the risk of any beach vacation… if it rains, you’re kind of screwed!! The positive, however, was that if it had to rain at any point in this trip, I’m glad it happened in St. Tropez. St. Tropez has the largest town and tons of shopping, whereas the other hotels and towns we visited were truly beach or bust!
The town of St. Tropez is SO cute. Ben and I love our 10K steps a day, and walking around town every day we totally got it. The rain may have ruined our beach days, but it couldn’t stop us from walking around town with an umbrella.
Hôtel Lou Pinet
Lou Pinet is an adorable 5-Star Boutique Hotel perfectly situated outside of town.It is so lovely and charming, with the most adorable pool and retro vibe. The best part about the hotel is the free shuttle they have to take you places! They drop you off and pick you up in town, and are happy to take you to the local beach clubs, too!
Typically on vacation you spend minimal time at the hotel, but given the rain, we spent A TON of time here at Lou Pinet. The rooms were sooo comfortable, you could stream Netflix, and all of the hotel guests were lovely to be around.
I loveee a breakfast buffet. This is going to be a very bizarre fact, so apologies in advance, but I seriously judge hotels based on their breakfast buffets. The omelettes here were a total chef’s kiss! They also had a custom juice bar, which is rare when you are traveling outside of the country.
At night, the restaurant area of Lou Pinet becomes beefbar, a popular restaurant for hotel guests and St. Tropez vacationers. If you are a beef-lover, this is for you!! Literally beef every which way, from sliders and quesadillas to steaks and burgers. The grand attraction is actually the ten different preparations of mashed potatoes. I had to sit these out because of dairy, but this is a potato lovers dream.
The FAMOUS Senequier!! I’ve seen photos of the fun red-walled cafe all over Instagram, and it is the top food recommendation from anyone who has been to St. Tropez, so naturally it was our first stop the morning we arrived.
Let’s just say the food and vibe were so good that we ditched our next night’s dinner plans at another local hotspot just so we could go back and experience the restaurant again. Situated right on the harbor, we watched all the mega yachts come in and out while watching sunset and eating delicious food. If you ask Ben his best meal of the trip, he’ll say the truffle omelette from Senequier! It was DOUSED in truffles on the inside and out, and perfectly hard on the outside and soft on the inside. I loved my crab avocado salad; I would eat it every day if I could. They also had a chocolate sorbet on the menu that was so rich and delicious. Food, vibe, and people watching, I highly recommend Senequier any time of day.
Dior Cafe des lices
This aesthetically pleasing Instagram hotspot was on my mood board from the second we decided to go to St. Tropez. Yes you can shop Dior while you wait, but the real draw is the food! I highly recommend making a reservation in advance, otherwise you will have to wait on line, or risk not getting a table. It’s funny how badly I wanted to go to the cafe because I couldn’t even eat any of the popular dishes. The breakfast pastries are the real draw, and at lunch the club sandwich branded with the Dior logo is super popular. I had the club sandwich with no bread, which they shockingly were able to do, and a basket of fries!
more st. tropez food recs
Oh my gosh this hotel!!! How absolutely stunning. We loved Hotel Lou Pinet, but wow. I think I’ll have to stay here in the future. The hotel was another 5-10 minutes past our hotel, so a little bit further from town, but was secluded and elegant with such incredible grounds. It’s for sure pricey, so if you don’t stay here, do as we did and come for a meal.
This is one of the most popular restaurants in St. Tropez and a staple for anyone who comes to visit.The vibe is super fun and I loved the colorful ambiance of the restaurant. Food allergies made dining a little tough, but I highly highly recommend the fried artichoke. WOW it was so good. We also ordered the crab avocado dish (light and tasty) and Ben ordered the chicken. Lots of butter but he loved his meal!
For dinner we had also planned to go to Le Tiggr and L’Opera. Le Tiggr is sushi and the menu looked SOOO good, BUT the main draw is the stunning garden and sunset view, and the rain made this a no-go.
St. Tropez is known for their beach clubs. We had reservations at LouLou and Club 55, but sadly the clubs didn’t open because of the rain. Other clubs that we considered were Gigi and Indie Beach. Sadly I can’t report back with our experience, but I guess that just means I’ll have to come back.
Les Roches Rouges Hotel
About an hour north of St. Tropez sits the glorious cliffside hotel, Les Roches Rouges. The hotel is about 15 minutes outside of the Saint-Raphael town. The town is cute and small, but the reason to come to this hotel is for the hotel, so we didn’t leave!
The views from the hotel are beautiful!!! The grounds are small, so if you come here you are coming for the pool/beach. Ben and I had the best time swimming in the pools and jumping off the dock. The staff is sooo friendly, too!
Note: the hotel is OLD. The rooms are super small and there is no TV! I recommend coming for one night as we did.
There are three dining options at the hotel: lunch at the pool, lunch or dinner in the main restaurant, or a fancy Michilin star restaurant for dinner. The menus are small, but I was able to enjoy a few GF/DF options. The octopus, sea bass, and chicken were all great, just make sure to say no lactose. My favorite meal was lunch at the pool. The tuna Nicoise salad was sooo good and you MUST order the sorbet desserts!
Hotel du Cap Eden Roc
Wow. wow wow wow. This is where my blog post gets REAL GOOD. Ben and I say our Honeymoon was a tale of two trips. Before Antibes and After Antibes.
Welcome to Hotel Du Cap Eden Roc, home of the infamous Sofia Ritchie Wedding, and truly the most beautiful hotel I’ve ever been to in my life.
If you want to be jaw-dropped, watch the reels I made of the property! The hotel has two main parts; the grand building you see in photos, and a second building closer to the beach club. We stayed in the second building and had the most amazing ocean view. Contrary to Roches, this property was huge and had so much to explore. From the tennis courts and gardens to the restaurants and beach clubs, we walked the property multiple times a day just staring around in awe.
There are only 111 rooms at the hotel, so even though the property is huge it has such a nice, intimate feel.
Also, peep Ben’s dream workout here! The water activities were endless!
The breakfast spread at Eden Roc went to Harvard. Give it an immediate Ivy League degree… with honors. The buffets spread was massive and included all of the classic buffet items… and more. Grilled vegetables, potatoes, bacon, several egg options; you name it, they had it. Everything about Eden Roc is elite and done to the nines, and even at breakfast you had to dress to impress.
The hotel has multiple restaurants on site. The Grill serves lunch and dinner and the Restaurant is where you will find the elite breakfast buffet and a 1-Michelin Star restaurant at night. Down the walkway from the Grill & Restaurant is an Italian restaurant called Giovanni’s and a juice/ice cream bar. This was closed as we visited the hotel at the end of the season!
The lunch and dinner menus at the Grill are unbelievable. This was the only hotel throughout our entire trip that fully understood dairy and gluten, and went above and beyond to make sure I had incredible meals. They even had GF/DF bread that was toasted fresh for me each night! For lunch, the tuna nicoise and salmon entrees were my favorite, side of fries, of course. At dinner, the sea bream and salmon ceviches were SO good, and the sea bass entree was my favorite. Ben and I were on a completely sorbet/ice cream kick all of France, and like the rest of Eden Roc, the sorbet was absolutely outstanding.
On our second day in Antibes, we charted a half-day boat from the hotel. It was the perfect amount of time. We rode across to Cannes and swam at private islands in the area. Our driver was amazing and also showed us some of the mansions on the coast of Antibes. If we had more time in the area I would have loved to stop at La Guerite for lunch and to walk around the area.
I booked Saint Jean Cap Ferrat as the last stop of our trip, solely to bring us to a hotel that would be closer to our flight out of Nice. Little did I know this was going to be the most stunning, magical town in the whole French Riviera, and where we should have spent 3 or 4 days!
If you look at the area on a map, you will see it is a peninsula. My friends who had been to the area know my love of walking and had me excited to explore the town! Ben and I asked the concierge how long it would take to walk the peninsula, and the concierge told us three hours. Naturally, we looked at each other and said well, if it takes the average person three hours, it will take us two! So off we went on the most adventurous exploration of our trip, and I think my favorite activity of the entire honeymoon!
The walk took us three hours to the minute! We were exhausted after but it was worth every step!!! The first two hours of the walk were along a beach path with absolutely spectacular views and landscapes (Paloma Beach, the Four Seasons etc). The last hour of the walk brought us through the mansions of Saint Jean. Think Palm Beach Island but on steroids. The mansions go for 120 Million Euros!! We later found out that Saint Jean has the second most expensive homes in the country!
Hotel Royal Riviera
We stayed at Hotel Royal Riviera, and I wish so badly we had more time here!! The hotel is a dream! It is right on the beach, has an amazing private pool and restaurant, and you can rent jet skis, paddle boards, wake boards, you name it! The sunrises each morning were jaw dropping.
Because we were only in town or two evenings and one day, I didn’t have the chance to eat at the hotel, other than the most amazing coconut and chocolate sorbets I’ve ever had in my life. No joke, I had 5 sorbets in 36 hours.
On our first night, we hopped over to Nice and went to Le Plongeoir. This restaurant was obviously on my mood board… it looked so cool! The menu here is LIMITED. Seriously! Three entrees, two risottos, and a couple of apps! But what a cool restaurant and dining experience. We ate right at sunset. I highly recommend the ham to start, and seabass for dinner.
Monaco/ monte carlo
On our second night, and last night of the whole trip, we went to Monaco/Monte Carlo. We had a private driver take us to Monaco (because the countries don’t get along there are some strange entering/exiting rules). We were dropped off at the entrance to Monaco and started with a trip to the palace. The Old Town of Monaco is super charming, and the view from the top with all of the yachts is amazing!
From there we walked down to Monte Carlo. The structure of the cities is super interesting. The cities are elevated, but you have to go down to the harbor to connect from one side to the other.
We happened to visit Monte Carlo during the Yacht Show and saw some of the wildest yachts I’ve ever seen! We went to the casino and saw all the fancy cars, and did an obligatory round of slots. Monte Carlo is small and beautiful with a ton of great restaurants. We went to La Mome (they also have one in Cannes) and it was one of the best meals of the trip. We sat at sunset and watched the sun go down over all the yachts. Dairy-free was tough here, but I still had an amazing meal. The ceviche to start and sea bass entree for two, finished with sorbet. If you come to Monte Carlo- this is your spot!
This was a wrap on our trip. It was a dream and I can’t recommend it enough!!!
Was it hard to be gluten-fee and dairy-free in Italy? YES. Gluten-free was pretty easy if you ditch the bread, but dairy-free was tough!! Saying “no lactose” will be your new favorite phrase.
Did you use a travel agent? My Travel Consultant is Elizabeth Walsh and she is affiliated with The Local Foreigner, an NYC based luxury travel consultancy that delivers flawless service and seamless travel planning experiences for clients. Elizabeth and her colleagues are a team of experts that have cultivated relationships in every region of the world and are equipped with the destination expertise to create memorable trips!!
How was moving your luggage from place to place? SO easy! Have your hotel book you a private transfer between each town.
Our trip was INCREDIBLE, but if I could do it all over again, I would do:
4 nights at Eden Roc. From Eden Roc do a one day boat day that includes a visit to Cannes and St. Tropez. On a separate night, go into old town Antibes. I really wanted to try MAMO Michelangelo and see the Picaso Museum, but with such a short stay at Eden Roc we didn’t want to leave the grounds.
Then do 3-4 nights at Royal Riviera (making time for more activities in Saint Jean and visit Eze, Monte Carlo, Menton, and the other local towns).
I loved the French Riviera so much and it was such an incredible honeymoon I can’t wait to go back one day!!