Windows on Provence
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 neightbour 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...Un Coin de Table on rue Siat Marcellin has quite a creative menu - kind of "French Fusion" cuisine. For delicious fish and seafood, you can't get much better than the restaurant at Hotel de la Tour, plonk on the port and a wonderfully atmospheric place for dinner. Le Provencal on rue Jean Jaures facing the port is a friendly, traditional type restaurant run by the Ranucci family, and serves a range of delicious provencal specialities. If you have room for dessert, I strongly recommend their fabulous chocolate mousse. My favourite spot for people-watching is the terrace at Bar du Sport - excellent rose and delicious olives!
Sanary is wonderful for shopping - there's a variety of boutiques selling just about everything. By far my favourite is la Fee Follette on boulevard Estienne d'Orves, just across the road from the daily food market. Mathilde Chetrit, a talented artist, sells a wide range of unusual items - bags, jewellery, clothes and home accessories. She also takes commissions on mosaic items such as mirrors and tables. For enquiries call ++33 (0)6 61 76 22 02.