Sunday, January 10, 2021

Saint-Tropez Living


For some reason it seems a bit strange to be writing about Saint-Tropez in January as that’s the time of year the area goes back to the locals in a sense but it is a beautiful place to visit in any given season.

Living near Monaco, it can be tricky for me to get the opportunity to visit Saint-Tropez and the area as often as I would like, also because of my busy work schedule but it is one of those must visit places if you have never been.

If it is your first time traveling to Saint-Tropez, it should be noted that trains do not go into Saint-Tropez itself, however, you can take the train to Saint-Raphael train station, and from the Saint-Raphaël bus station (right behind the train station) where there are regular buses (more frequently in the summer) to the Saint-Tropez bus station which can take 1 1/4 hours (depending on traffic).

Alternatively, in the summer months there are ferries that can take you from places such as Nice, Golfe-Juan and Cannes to Saint-Tropez daily. Those trips can take at least two hours so plan ahead but it is a spectacular way of seeing the coastline with its varying colors and landscapes, you might even see dolphins.

If you are driving, also factor in your time. There is only a two-lane stretch to get right into Saint Tropez and at the height of the season, traffic can be a nightmare.

Saint-Tropez has a very long history and was a military stronghold and fishing village until the beginning of the 20th century, it was and still is to an extent a small town but surrounded by lush greenery in the hills.

It was also the first town on the coast of France to be liberated during World War II. After the war, it slowly became an internationally known seaside resort, renowned principally because of the influx of actors such as Brigitte Bardot (who still lives in the area) and Alain Delon amongst many others. Its laid back summer lifestyle helped make it became a resort for the European and North American jet set and tourists.

To this day St.Tropez is still a very much sought-after place. When the Covid19 restrictions were slowly being lifted after the first lock down here in France during the Springtime, it was the first area getting booked out by the nationals looking for a summer villa retreat through our own luxury villa rental business experience, with a stream of people from other countries clamoring to get there but couldn’t because of borders being closed.

To purchase a property there is also a great investment given the heated rental season.
But I digress...

The local beaches in the Saint-Tropez and Ramatuelle area are also a huge draw for everyone. Compared to other seaside places in the region, here places like Pampelonne and Tahiti beach offer miles of sand with the clear blue waves of the Mediterranean Sea enticing you in for a swim.

The beach restaurants are the places to see and be seen in the summer months and if yachting is your thing, here you will see yachts of every brand, make and model on show.

The town of Saint-Tropez is a highly regarded tourist destination. The colorful buildings at the edge of the sea are quaint and offer much charm. The port itself was once a very commercial destination but now is more of a place for tourists and for those with yachts to moor while they decide on their next destination or enjoy the local amenities.

Saint-Tropez is also an artist's haven because of the history and ever-inspiring natural beauty. Here you can step into an abundant choice of artist galleries to suit everyone’s tastes. Speaking of tastes, the town has an amazing selection of top-notch restaurants for your culinary delight.

Known for its glam component, for all you fashion fiends, if it is luxury goods you are after, every imaginable, highly regarded designer shop can be found here for you to discover and often behind the gates of magnificent mansions: Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel, Hermès, to name a few.
As for the nightlife, that is also ever-changing seasonally with the parties being all night events, filled with hedonism and eye candy, although there is no gay-scene per se, the area does attract those internationally from the LGBT community so if you play your cards right, a party can be had.
Overall, whether you want to relax and retreat or have a most enjoyable and entertaining time, Saint Tropez can’t be beat.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Christmas In The French Riviera

Winter in the French Riviera overall is a more subdued time of year but still very pleasant when compared to how quickly things are moving here in the summer months with everyone trying to take in as much of the atmosphere and scenery as possible, especially if they are on vacation.

So, what is the Christmas season like? Well, it depends on what you are doing, if you live here or are on holiday, we still get a tremendous amount of sunshine during the winter season and there is always something to see and do in the Cote d’Azur.
Pre-Covid19 times it can feel very much like anywhere else, except there is no snow and if it does happen to snow, it melts right away. To experience the snow you would have to go into the back country at the French Alps, depending on where you are it could be as close as an hour drive away and where you can take in all kinds of activities like skiing or skating in the mountainous villages.

By the sea, all the small towns and cities during Christmas still go very grand and bold when it comes to colorful light displays which are quite beautiful to see when walking through the streets at night. Even the palm trees are lit up.
And many areas have Christmas markets set up, even this year with the pandemic going on you will find them in places like Monaco, Cannes and Antibes, just a bit smaller in size right now for safety reasons concerning gatherings of people.

People also love their Ferris Wheel rides here, which are also lit up at night and give a wonderful perspective from above of the city you are in during the season.
During normal times, the LGBTQ night clubs are open and celebrating with a festive cheer, bars and restaurants would also be open so this gives people both visiting and that live in the region a chance to have a holiday drink with each other. New Year's Eve has also become a much bigger celebration as time passes to ring in the year.
Traditionally for the season itself, Christmas Eve is the big night in which everyone gathers with friends and family most of which includes quite a gathering of gourmet food items, drinks and desserts along with swapping presents.

Christmas Day is still set for the children but it’s also a quieter time where people will visit with other or take leisurely walks along the beach, go for hikes in the mountains or just relax at home.
Of course, with the Coronavirus, that has all changed this year, especially with curfews and restrictions in place. A drastic change for many but in other ways it’s also a chance to perhaps reflect and start new traditions with one another and be very grateful for all our day-to-day blessings.

Whatever you are doing this Christmas, make it a good one and stay safe.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

LGBTQ+ Real Estate in France


The world is an ever-changing place when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community these days. With widespread tolerance, acceptance and even a warm welcome now being the norm in many parts of the world you wouldn’t think there could be any more issues to tackle. Yet, there are still some basic human rights that unfortunately still need to be addressed when it comes to equality for individuals.

The real estate industry has thankfully been coming to grips with these changes over the decades and is now seen in a much more positive light.

No longer are we as a LGBTQ+ community made to feel confined to live in a certain part of a city or hometown. For quite some time now we have been able to freely pick and choose where and how we want to live.
In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear the term ‘pink dollar’ when it comes to LGBTQ+ finances.

Many of us are well educated professionals wishing to initially invest or expand our property portfolio. In addition, for a segment of the LGBTQ+ population, where and how we invest is important. Our propensity to be more community minded means we are usually doing this not only for ourselves, but also for those around us.

Much of it comes from a basic understanding built through business relationships. However, this is not yet completely commonplace within global real estate agencies so my business partner, Rhodri Ellis Owen, and I, Jameson Farn, wanted to do our part.

We want to show there is a more open-minded way of renting, selling or buying a property.

Our obsession with real estate in France and globally goes way back. If what you are searching for is very rare, or you're looking for your future forever home or simply wish to expand your property portfolio, we love nothing more than taking on the challenge with our private, extensive network to hand.

We have developed over the past number of years a very dynamic and diverse team of business partnerships in the global real estate industry. We work with those who are not only hard-working, but also considerate and professional in their approach.

This has also been beneficial when it comes to owners wanting to sell a property.

We are known for respectfully listening, observing and giving honest feedback on an owner’s property and to learn more about what their intentions might be for it. By doing this, progress is much quicker and smoother for everyone involved, whether an owner wishes for the property to be sold publicly or privately off market.

Despite a lot of progress to date, there unfortunately continues to be gaps in gender, ethnicity and socio-economic equality, along with LGBTQ+ awareness.

On a more uplifting note, it’s clear progress has been made in all these areas in recent years and is something we simply wish to maintain for the benefit of everyone long term.

Feel free to connect with us for your property request for not only France but globally at:

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

A Change To The Ski Season in France

Well, what to say, because of the Coronavirus, this has certainly been a tricky year for us all.

The ski season here in France officially started with a couple of big destinations already open, but as of last week the whole of country is now on lock down until at least December 1st so what will this mean for your holiday travel plans?

Like this past summer, none of us knew what to expect and monitored the news on a daily basis intensely for any travel restriction changes. 

So, how will the ski season be different this year with coronavirus-related regulations in place?

The director of the tourism office at l'Alpe d'Huez, François Badjily, admitted it would be complicated, but he was confident of having a normal season.

“We’ve put everything in place to reassure people: Barrier gestures in shops, ski stations, slopes etc.,” 

The director of France Montagnes, Jean-Marc Silva, an association that groups French mountain tourism sectors, agreed.

“Our mountains can handle the concerns that our clients have in terms of health well.

“We are convinced that the value of the mountains will match the expectations of people. People need to feel good; they need the mountain air.”

Here is the current safety update:


Masks will not be mandatory while skiing.

Catered chalets

One big change is that there are likely to be fewer catered chalets this year. For obvious reasons, those traveling as a group should stay within their own bubble. We understand each booking situation so will be different and adjustments can be made for your stay.

Public transport

The rules on public transport for getting to the ski stations will remain the same as in the rest of the country. Masks will be mandatory.


Wearing a mask is compulsory while in queues and on the chairlifts. Chairlifts will be disinfected daily. 

Shops / Ski Rental Shops

Wearing a mask will be mandatory and hydro-alcoholic gel should be made available. All rental equipment should be regularly disinfected.

Restaurants / Bars

Bars and restaurants will, in theory, be open. However, as time will tell, this may change depending on the government recommendations and local requirements. 

If an option, bars and restaurants will only be offering seated consumption, and masks will be mandatory when customers are moving around and not at the table.


Masks will be mandatory when in a communal area. There are no extra requirements if you are in self-catered accommodation.  

Everything is a bit of a prediction right now, but one thing going in everyone's favor is that it is only the beginning of the ski season which means hopefully things will be cleared up even more for European Gay Ski Week in March 2021.
With this past summer, as a bit of awareness, we noticed since France lifted restrictions within the country first, French nationals were booking very quickly and at every location so if you get the opportunity once things are clear, don't hesitate in supporting the European Gay Ski Week or the slopes in general for that matter.

We're all in this together!