Falling in Love (Part 1) - Taking the Plunge
Four years ago a girlfriend and I met up in Paris for a short vacation. After spending a few days there, on a whim, we decided to take the train to the South of France. While we were stewing upon where to stay there I found a pretty little boutique hotel online and we were fortunate enough to book a room at this place. Luckily, since it was June and not quite their high season yet we managed to secure the last available room. To this day I am thankful that I got that room when I did:)
A day before we were supposed to take the train from Paris to Nice and then drive to our final destination, my friend got called for a job and had to cancel on me!!! I was obviously dismayed (#PISSEDOFF) but made a pact with myself to power on and go ahead with my plans … on my own. I said bye to my girlfriend and soon after arrived in Nice from where my hotel had arranged a car to drive me to the hotel.
Confession time - I had never traveled alone before so it was simultaneously intimidating and thrilling. And, had I not taken the plunge what happened next would not have happened. Ok, enough philosophizing already!! So, three wonderful things happened in rapid succession when I arrived in Saint Tropez. I fell in love with Pastis, not the aperitif, but the beautiful gem of a hotel I’d found online, then I fell madly in love with Saint Tropez itself AND finally I met Leila, one of my dearest and closest friends now, at a restaurant that night!
When I think of Hotel Pastis it reminds me of someone’s cozy, chic and uber charming Provencal home with colorful, contemporary 20th century photos & pop art on the walls, the finest white linens in each of the 10 rooms (over the last few years I’ve stayed in 4 of these gorgeous rooms) with terraces and/or balconies that overlook the turquoise water of the French Riviera on one side and a pool surrounded by palm trees on the other. And THE kindest, sweetest, warmest people who are there to welcome you to this oasis. Oh, and did I mention my favorite zinc bar at Hotel Pastis where I would have an espresso every morning while listening to the best playlist in town? After which I'd walk to Place des Lices, the town square (an 8 minute walk from the hotel) and stroll through the quaint cobblestone streets of the old town and eventually end up at the farmers market (held every Tuesday and Saturday) amid the flower (ahh that lavender), cheese & fruit stalls.
Every year I return to SF from St. Tropez with the most amazing songs on my iphone, thanks to Pastis, which I listen to in my car as I drive around running errands and doing pick-ups and drop-offs at my kids schools thinking of rosé filled days with Leila in the Cote D’Azur. Fun fact about my favorite hotel in the world – on my return to San Francisco I found out that the hotel is owned by a friend’s dad and this friend actually lives in San Francisco. Small, small world indeed, right? Next time, I’ll tell you how I met Leila and what she said to me that sealed our lifelong friendship. So do stay tuned. xx