Sanary sur Mer

This picturesque fishing port is often overlooked by visitors to this part of Provence, but to my mind it’s got far more character and is much more authentic than its more glamorous and better-known neighbour Bandol.

The best time to visit Sanary is in May, June or September as it gets very busy with visiting Parisians during July and August. It’s simply brimming with good restaurants. For delicious fish and seafood, you can’t get much better than the restaurant at Hôtel de la Tour, plonk on the port and a wonderfully atmospheric place for dinner. Or I highly recommend Le Provençal opposite the market – run by a charming husband and wife team – they serve traditonal provencal cuisine, including a delicious Soupe de Poissons. My favourite spot for people watching is the terrace at the Bar du Sport – excellent rosé and delicious olives!

Sanary is wonderful for shopping – there’s a variety of boutiques selling just about everything. By far my favourite is la Fée Follette on boulevard Estienne d’Orves, just across the road from the daily food market. Mathilde Chétrit, a talented artist, sells a wide range of unusual and original items – bags, jewellery, clothes and home accessories. She also takes commissions on mosaic items such as mirrors and tables.

There’s a food market every morning but on Wednesdays the market doubles in size with stalls selling everything from artisan soaps to kitchen utensils. Definitely worth a visit.

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