Last Friday, we arranged to meet some good friends in St Tropez, as we reached the outskirts the traffic was backed up, now I know this is expected in the high summer months but October? What could possibly be going on? We noticed that people were parking their cars way outside the town and walking in, undaunted MG continued forth heading into the town center, we drove round a couple of times but all the car parks were full and people were everywhere, MG drove towards the parking du Port and spoke to the parking attendants, luckily they took a shine to MG's car, or was it me batting my eyelashes, after waiting a couple of minutes they opened the barrier and let us through, parking sorted.
Coming into St Tropez
We then hotfooted it to the port and settled ourselves in St Tropez's most famous and overpriced cafe Senequier, where we waited for our friends, after phoning them to check on their progress and alert them to the fact that for some mysterious reason St Tropez was chocca and they may have difficulty parking.
Whilst we waited I had fun people watching, The port in St Tropez has to be one of the best people watching places on the planet, especially when it's busy; beautiful fashionably dressed girls in their first bloom of youth, jaded brassy blondes dressed as lambs, chic well heeled ladies, young women with elderly gentlemen (obviously not their Daughters or Granddaughters, MG pointed this out!), hardened St Tropez mariners, posy yachty types, normal people trying to look like somebodies, somebodies trying to look normal, etc. but one thing was apparent the majority of them were carrying a large number of glossy, shopping bags with some of the most famous brands in the world emblazoned on the front.
MG started chatting to three charming ladies sitting next to us all with large numbers of the said shopping bags, they told us exactly what was going on "it's a Grande Braderie" one of the charming ladies told us which in English translates to clearance sale, all the shops are selling off their old stock and bargains are to be found everywhere, one of the charming ladies had purchased a pair of fabulous shoes reduced from 1000 euro's to 150. Normally I am not into sales, rummaging through piles of clothes in search of a bargain is not my idea of fun, however the shops in St Tropez are particularly nice and it was the first day of the Braderie so a lot of the clothes were neatly hanging outside the shops on rails, our friends arrived and we went for lunch, with full tummies and some fine wine down us we all succumbed and were soon picking through the rails with the best of them, we all made some fabulous purchases and despite the hordes a fine time was had by all. The Braderie is on every October in St Tropez, my advice is get there early, on the first day. There really are some fabulous bargains to be had, clothing, shoes and home wares with up to 80% off in some cases.