Think Louis Vuitton only makes handbags? The iconic fashion designer has expanded into ultra luxury resorts and hotels!
Saint- Tropez, France is one of the most luxurious places in the French Riviera and all of France. The fabulous Pampelonne Beach filmed in a 1950’s movie with actress Brigitte Bardot grabbed the world by attention.
It’s since then been a celebrity playground attracting the fame and fortune. Leonardo DeCaprio, Beyonce Knowles, Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga, Victoria and David Beckham are just a few well known faces owning Summer homes at this exclusive retreat.
We had the pleasure of dining at La Vague d’Or one Summer at the Résidence de la Pinède Hotel right before it became Cheval Blanc Hotel. It is now owned by the most exclusive hotel management company in the world of no other than Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, LVMH Hotel Management. Not only is the menu incredible, the beach vistas are unforgettable. The natural sunsets need no filter, it’s that beautiful.
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To reach the restaurant, we took a boat from Saint Maxime to avoid heavy traffic by car. The port in St. Maxime is literally straight across from St. Tropez and takes less than 30 minutes vs. 90 minutes by car from the same port during the Summer time.
HOT TIP: To beat the ridiculous heavy traffic in the Summer time, take a taxi boat to Saint-Tropez. There are a couple of ports across from the city that will be much quicker during high traffic season. One of them is Les Bateauverts in Saint Maxime, here.
The hotel is located in the outskirts of old town on its own private beach adorably called La Bouillabaisse Plage. At first glance of the hotel we thought, “Niiice, this hotel is chic.” We loved how deliberately low-key it was too, like incognito luxury style.
You’d think the service would be snobby, but on the contrary it was pleasant and friendly throughout our experience.
I made sure to have reservations on the terrace to catch the sunset and it paid off! The setting was absolutely perfect.
La Vague d’Or is a Michelin Three-Star restaurant ran by leading Chef Arnaud Donckele. He sustained the status since 2015 and in 2019 was awarded the title “World’s Best Chef 2019” at the World Chefs Summit in Monaco.
The restaurant offers both a Chef’s Tasting menu and an À La Carte menu. We opted for the Chef’s Tasting menu called The Epicurean Adventure that consisted of 7 courses. My hubby loves cheese and being in France also opted for the local cheese course. It did not disappoint!
As a welcome starter, we began the evening with little snack bites. The bright leaves on the table that look like napkins are their signature edible crackers. It was light and the other little treats were just as delightful. A wonderful conversation starter while taking in the views.
We do not drink alcohol and they did not mind concocting us delicious zero proof drinks. They make everything with fresh ingredients and the drinks are no exception.
An amuse bouche is a French term for small bites to stimulate the appetite. It’s usually no bigger than 2-3 bites. This was a bit of white fish on puff pastry with a side of bouillabaisse broth. It was a play on deconstructed French classic Bouillabaisse Stew, or Fish Stew.
The bread course is usually brought out early and before the meal to casually enjoy throughout dinner. It’s purpose is to also clean your plate with all the sauces the entrees will no doubt entail. The butters in France are the best, they just know butter better than anywhere else.
HOT TIP: A clean dining plate in France means you enjoyed the food and is the best compliment you can show the Chef. The locals do this by cleaning their plates with bread, soaking up every drop of the sauce. A delicious way to clean!
The first course was the Flame Grilled Leer Fish. The Chef attributed this inspiration to the famous French artist, Victor Petit. It was very good and the sauce was nice and velvety.
This was my favorite of the night. The Scarlet Prawns with a hint of grapefruit was fantastic. It even had some aloe vera in it, which wasn’t noticeable in flavor but gave a nice texture to the sauce.
This was a pasta dish with foi gras and truffles. Anything truffle is amazing to me. The purple artichokes were braised in Basil. No one foams sauces like the French. It’s a delicate way to lighten a heavy sauce.
Turbot Pan roasted in butter and dusted in Hazelnut and Yuzu was fabulous. Yuzu is my favorite citrus and is a hybrid between a Mandarin orange and ichang papeda.
After the seafood courses, we were served a palate cleanser. The Thyme Flower Granita is a sorbet made of absinthe and is a wonderful preparation for the upcoming meat course.
The meat course was a Veal Filet Mignon with Sweetbread Carqueiranne cooking recipe. It was incredibly tender. As complex as the dish was, it was easy to eat and super delicious.
The Cheese Course
Hubby Mike loves cheese and as a connoisseur opted for the cheese course. I was already full at this point, but it had such a beautiful presentation. The pears were perfect with the cheese and the bread was fantastic.
I was already about to pop by this time, but who can say no to dessert…in France? It was a lovely variety of 3 items with a fine balance of fruit, ice cream, and red water essence. Loved every bit of this and wish I had the red fruit water essence recipe. Apparently it takes 24hours to make because the fruit essence releases slowly. It was such a wonderful way to end the meal.
It would not be proper for the French to send you away without farewell treats. After dinner we were served mignardises, which like the amuse bouche are only a couple of bites worth each, perfect for the already full.
La Vague d’Or is a classy and uber romantic restaurant. After dinner, each lady gets a rose.
If you ever get a chance to visit the French Riviera, do not hesitate to visit La Vague d’Or at Cheval Blanc Hotel. It was worth every moment that we spent here. The sunsets alone will be ingrained in our memories forever.
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“There’s a lot of baggage that comes along with our family, but it’s like Louis Vuitton baggage.“Louis Vuitton