The birthplace of the St. Tropez beach club, La Voile Rouge is a seaside sanctuary of French aristocracy that has no qualms seating a grandmother in a Chanel pantsuit next to a topless-teenager having Chandon sipped from her belly button. Accessed by road or via ship-to-shore transport from harbor yachts, the beach club is one of the toughest lunch reservations during July and August high season. The beach club is divided between a main restaurant serving French seaside specialties, open-air bar and super-cute beach shop with pricey linen fashions and swimsuits.
One of the most famous institutions of the 31 beach clubs along Pampelonne's Beach, La Voile Rouge is a dining, drinking and be-seen stretch of sand no more than 200-feet long yet famous worldwide. Loungers, or Matrasse Service, rents for near $50 per person and doesn't even include alcohol. Beachside seats sell out fast and by noon there is little more than a few scattered stretchers to be had in the shade - at least during peak summer months. The crowd falls anywhere between puberty to senility, but nonetheless bronze, chic and irresistibly French.
At least try to speak a few words of French, don't be picky about your seating and never stare at arriving celebrities like Victoria Beckham or Naomi Campbell too long or too much.
La Voile Rouge is a classic French beach club institution and guests should regard all their traditions as sacred. Do as they do and don't ask questions, the French reject routine-oriented Americans as passé and may even ask guests to leave if they don't fit into the overall scene.