More than once I’ve wondered if this post would ever come to fruition, however, here it is…finally!
So, without further ado, here are my thoughts and LOTS of photos of Pampelonne Beach “New Look” as of Thursday 16 May 2019.
To simplify :
There are large structures with foundations, on the whole still unfinished (some barely started to my unprofessional eye!) save a handful including Moorea & Club 55, which were already far enough away from the waves to simply warrant a facelift.
Then there are the “Pop Ups”, these are built on wooden foundations which will be de-constructed for the winter months, allowing the beach to recover from the summer activities. These vary greatly in their styles, prices and menus as you can see from the photos. They are closer to the seashore and offer some interesting dishes at more affordable prices than their big brothers further back (although still pricey if you’re not used to St Tropez prices!)
I can only speak from experience of our lunch at the very rustic “Esquinade”, basically a beach bar with a few sunloungers & a very few tables with your feet in the sand where we thoroughly enjoyed the nems to share, served the French way with lettuce leaves in which to wrap your nem & fresh mint leaves and a chilli dipping sauce…delicious!
We followed this with chicken kebab, a salad Nicoise and a warm goat’s cheese salad. I can safely say there were empty plates all round! (without drinks, the bill totalled less than 50€). I for one cannot wait to see their restaurant once its finished.
We walked from Jardin Tropezina to Esquinade & observed much building going on, both on the further back permanent restaurants such as “Jardin Tropezina” and on the sand itself with wooden foundations very much evident, awaiting their pop ups to pop up!
However, Pampelonne is very much open… Moorea now has “windshields” (brilliant idea for those hot but super windy Mistral days where the sand would offer a free exfoliation!) and a much larger bar area with more bar height tables for after lunch shenanigans!
Kontiki, looks largely unchanged with its Tiki huts nestling amongst the dune plants, however, they too have new restaurants in the sand; Tiki Beach & Tiki Club.
Le 1051 looks & feels lovely with their ethos being; authenticity, simplicity & conviviality (but more about Le 1051 after my rendezvous with the owner next Friday!)
I know this has been a huge talking point for years now and honestly, we were dreading that our beautiful beach was going to be ruined. However I think, even though this came about in order to protect our dunes, not only will it do this, it will also be a success for all involved. I believe in years to come it will be evident that it was this intervention which made a positive local environmental change and kept our beach looking spectacular as well as healthy.