Saturday morning we woke up early and decided to head to Ramatuelle with one of our children for some pastries,some vegetables and a look around the medieval town.
Ramatuelle is located between the village of Gassin and St Tropez. It was originally built as a respite for the people of the Port Towns to find safety from the famous pirates of the 15th Century. As such it is built on a hill and its streets spread around the main Square in a circular pattern. Upon first wandering into the storybook-esque village, one is struck by the narrow streets, designed for passage by horse and foot, not cars.
The Place Gabriel Peri lies at the top of the hill of Ramatuelle and is home to several cafes and small shops. The Cathedral Notre Dame of Ramatuelle is the main church and and still has weekly services on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.
We set off to Ramatuelle with a very specific mission—to obtain a traditional Tarte Tropezienne at the Tarte Tropezienne shop. The Tartte Tropezienne became famous along with Brigitte Bardot, when a Polish baker started making the pastry for the film crew on the set of “And then God created woman…” The story goes that the crew on the film that launched Bardot’s career were so enamored of the pastry made with brioche dough and cream filling mixed with butter, that the locals renamed it the Tarte Tropezienne. There are several locations of the Tarte Tropezienne bakery throughout France, and if you haven’t experienced the joys of a pastry topped with large rocks of sugar, you should put it on your bucket list.
When we arrived at Tarte Tropezienne there was a long line and we used our time to decide what to buy. There were so many options…Dame Blanche (two meringues filled with cream), a Macaron Tropezienne, a beignet Tropezienne?
We ended up with several of each and headed back out to the streets to wander through the quaint village streets.
We wandered into a boucherie, or meat market, to buy some meats for dinner. Then we bought some bracelets and necklaces with tassles, that are ubiquitous at the beaches and restaurants of Saint Tropez.
As we wandered, soaking up the beauty of the medieval town we came across a beautiful flower market. We bought enough fresh flowers to decorate a small village because they were so beautiful and inexpensive we couldn’t resist.
After we finished walking the old village we headed down the hill a few metres to Laurent-Primeurs, a lovely shop for fruits, vegetables and dairy products. My son marveled at the fresh fruit selection and I marveled at the low prices. When I asked the lovely shopkeeper how the prices were so low she explained that most of the produce was produced locally and that the local farmers help keep their costs down. Parfait! I loaded up my cart. When I asked if the corn was non-GMO she explained that in France, and most f Europe GMO is banned. A few corn strains were allowed to be GMO to resist the bore in 1998, but aside from that no, no GMO or OGM as they say here.
We loaded up our little Ford and headed home. It was a lovely morning followed by a lovely lunch at our villa near Gassin.
Tarte Tropezienne— Bakery in Paris, Ramatuelle and St Tropez.
Laurent-Primeurs— Amazing fruit and vegetable market in Ramatuelle (not in village proper)
There is also a lovely pharmacy–for those not in the know the French Pharmacies are a cornucopia of hard to find beauty brands. Plan to spend serious time pharmacy shopping.
Post office in Centre Ville.
Notre Dame of Ramatuelle— beautiful Catholic church with masses on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings.
Boucherie Guieu— lovely meat market in Centre Ville.