Are Saint-Tropez restaurants really blacklisting customers because they don’t spend enough?

saint tropez restaurants

A curious story of “wealth screening” by restaurants in the town of Saint-Tropez has caught global attention. Here’s everything you need to know about the scandal. 

As Saint Tropez’s popularity amongst the jet set and A List rose spectacularly from the 1960s onwards, high-end hotels and haute cuisine restaurants sprung up one after the other, turning what was once a small fishing village into one of the most famous luxury destinations in the world. 

But along with affluence and a booming local economy, it seems clear now that greed has been growing too.  

In early August, the regional French newspaper Nice Matin broke a story that some restaurants in Saint Tropez, as well as others in the wider Gulfe de Saint Tropez area, were screening potential diners ahead of visits according to their previous payments.  

Minimum spending required 

Essentially, the rumour is that many operate a “little black book” or database system that includes detailed accounts of how much a patron spent during past meals out and how much they tipped service staff. Others are accused of placing “minimum spend” values on a table, with the Nice Matin reporting that prospective customers have called to make a reservation just to be told that the only tables available come with a minimum spend of €5,000 per group, or €1,000 per head.  

Sources cited by the newspaper say that restaurants are also categorising customers according to their perceived wealth. For example, a guest that didn’t “spend enough” during an earlier visit might be told that no tables are available until after the summer rush, even if that isn’t the case.  

Another scenario reported by the Nice Matin tells of a client pursued into the restaurant’s car park by a staff member who pressed the diner to leave a 20% tip instead of the 10% on the table, which already amounted to €500.  

“Shocking but unfortunately true” 

“These accusations are extremely shocking to me because they are unfortunately true,” Mayor of Saint Tropez Sylvie Siri reportedly told the local media. Siri went on to add that she “and the entire council are totally opposed to such despicable practices” that are “ruining the town’s image”. 

Siri also accused the offending restaurants, which remain unnamed, of breaking the law by compiling such detailed information files on clients without their knowledge or consent. 

In comments made to the Var Matin, the mayor went as far as to compare the practice to extortion, racketeering and the “fingerprinting” of personal data.  

A reunion of Saint Tropez restaurants and restaurateurs is believed to be scheduled for mid-September, giving town officials an opportunity to address these worrying reports and rumours directly with those implicated.  


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Photo source: Bapt Miller, Unsplash

Take a look inside the new eco-luxe Silver Nova from Silversea Cruises

silver nova cruise

The Silver Nova, the new top-of-the-line cruise ship from Silversea Cruises has just completed her maiden voyage. Monaco Life takes you behind the scenes to explore the vessel that is setting the “new category standard” for luxury and environmental innovation.

Silversea Cruises, the luxury cruise line headquartered in the Principality of Monaco and part of the Royal Caribbean Group since 2020, has launched its latest star. Called the Silver Nova, the new boat is a wonder in design, comfort and eco-friendly qualifications.  


The ship’s layout is unique, featuring vast open spaces surrounded by some 4,000m2 of glass to allow natural light flood in as well as let guests look out to the horizon. The pool deck, which sits on the starboard side, overlooks the sea for an immersive swimming experience, and all the other outdoor venues boast similar sweeping perspectives of the sea.  

silver nova cruise
The pool deck with plentiful loungers and bar. Photo credit: Silversea Cruises

The space-to-guest ratio is the highest in any Silversea vessel and the crew-to-guest ratios are up there too at 1:1.3. As such, there is a butler service available for all suites. The ship can accommodate 728 across more than a dozen cabin categories, all of which boast a private veranda.  

The biggest of these rooms is the 123m2 Otium Suite, which features floor-to-ceiling windows, a 270-degree view and a balcony with its own whirlpool jacuzzi.  


The ship has a selection of bars and restaurants to choose from that each benefit from the company’s food programme, Sea and Land Taste (SALT). This original concept is made up of an “onboard ecosystem of culinary discovery, immersive excursions ashore, food lectures, hands-on culinary experiences, and more”. 

Monaco-based Barbara Muckermann, who was named President and CEO of Silversea Cruises in January 2023, becoming the first woman to lead the global cruise line and the second woman to helm one of Royal Caribbean Group’s three wholly owned brands, says of the Silver Nova, “Benefiting from an innovative asymmetrical design, she immerses guests into the destination at every turn — a strong expression of our brand mission. As one of the most spacious ships at sea, and with the broadest array of bars, lounges, and restaurants in ultra-luxury cruise travel, Silver Nova elevates the experience for our guests like never before.” 

silver nova cruise
Enjoy luxury dining in any of the vessel’s nine excellent restaurants and bistros. Photo credit: Silversea Cruises


The ship’s eco-standards are quite impressive: a newly developed Micro Auto Gasification System helps reduce onboard waste; battery power cuts down on the use of fossil fuels; cleaner-burning natural gas is used for propulsion; there is a waste heat recovery system; and Silver Nova achieved its carbon neutral construction goals.  

The Silver Nova will spend the rest of the summer in the Mediterranean, including a trip to Monaco, before heading off across the Atlantic, bound for New York, in November. From there, she will continue down the Eastern Seaboard to the Caribbean, and later depart on a grand voyage around South America in early 2024 that will see the vessel visit 38 destinations in 18 countries. 

In the video below, Silversea Cruises’ Barbara Muckermann takes the viewer on a “full ship tour” of the Silver Nova:


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Monaco athletes in action at European Youth Olympic Festival

Monaco's European Youth Olympic Festival delegation

2,500 young athletes competed in the 17th edition of the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) this summer, including five Monegasques. 

The festival, which took place in Maribor, Slovenia earlier this summer, brings together athletes from the ages of 14 to 18, giving them the crucial experience of an elite sporting event. Just over 2,500 athletes from 48 countries took part in 11 disciplines during this year’s EYOF.

Cyclist Andrea Cracchiolo was one of five athletes from the Principality to compete. She competed in two races, including a time trial.

Two swimmers, Esteban Faure and Lorenzo Banti, featured in the week-long festival. The former registered a 4’35″80 in the 400m freestyle and a 17’49″41 in the 1,500m freestyle. The latter competed in the 50m freestyle (26″71) and the 100m freestyle (59″51).

“I hope our young athletes can take this great momentum into their next events”

Two sprinters also competed in the event. Emma Bottin ran a 13″87 in the 100m, whilst Téo Bottin ran an 11″83 in his 100m race. The latter’s time constitutes a personal best.

Reacting to the performances of Monaco’s athletes, General Secretary of the Monegasque Olympic Committee Yvette Lambin Berti said, “This event is an opportunity to discover Olympic sport in a fair-play spirit. Throughout the week-long competition,  it’s worth pointing out the example set, not only in a sporting sense, but also in terms of strong values. I hope our young athletes can take this great momentum into their next events.”

The next edition of the event will take place in Skopje, North Macedonia in 2025.


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Photo source: Comité Olympique Monégasque

Football: Fans brave heatwave to support table-topping Monaco

Vanderson signing autographs at an AS Monaco open training session

Despite the ongoing heatwave, fans turned out in force to watch AS Monaco in their first open training session of the 2023/24 season on Tuesday.

350 fans braved the heat to watch Les Monégasques in action, as they prepare for Friday night’s match against FC Nantes. Monaco go into the match top of the table and will be looking for a third straight win under new manager Adi Hütter, who has brought the feel-good factor back to the club after a difficult end to last season.

It was the first open training for Denis Zakaria, who arrived at the Principality club last week. The Swiss international was impressed by the turnout for the event.

“There are lots of people here to watch us at training and I’m really pleasantly surprised [by the level of support],” he said.

He added that all of the fans with whom he interacted were “positive”. There is good reason for them to be after AS Monaco scored seven goals in their last two Ligue 1 games.

Whilst it is always exciting for the fans in attendance to watch the stars up close and personal, these events are always reciprocal.

“It’s good to have people who support us, who push us higher, who encourage us,” said Soungoutou Magassa, an academy product that has burst into the first-team setup this season.

“It gives us a lot of strength,” added Zakaria.

Here are the highlights from AS Monaco’s open training event

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Photos by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life

King gives blessing to rename French airport after Queen Elizabeth II

The resort town of Le Touquet has been given King Charles’ approval to pay tribute to the Queen Elizabeth II by naming the local airport after the late Monarch.

Le Touquet received the official support of the king on Monday to change the name of international airport Le Touquet Paris-Plage to the Elizabeth II International Airport of Le Touquet Paris-Plage.

“This is a tribute to a great Queen and her uncle who had a fondness for France, as well as a recognition of the ‘most British of French resorts’,” the northern resort town’s hall said in a statement, adding that an inauguration date had yet to be set.

The airport opened in the 1930s and quickly became a favoured destination for British tourists. In the 1950s the airport was France’s third busiest after Orly outside Paris and Nice on the French Riviera.

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Photo credit: Jason Leung, Unsplash


Go behind the scenes of the Casino de Monte-Carlo for European Heritage Day

european heritage day monaco

Come September, the Casino de Monte-Carlo will be offering a limited number of visitors a chance to go behind the scenes of this iconic establishment to mark the annual European Heritage Day. But that’s not all! 

European Heritage Day is celebrated with tens of thousands of events all over the continent each year, making it the “most enthusiastically celebrated cultural event in Europe”. Under this year’s shared theme of “Living Heritage”, organisers have asked countries to look at the skills and practices passed down over the generations that make each place special.  

Monaco, for its part, has been participating in these events for over two decades, and this year, the Casino de Monte-Carlo, a place so entwinned with the history and rise of the Principality, will be the focal point of local celebrations. 


Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) is putting together an event that will give people the opportunity to see first-hand the expertise of its gaming staff. 

Two chances to visit have been scheduled on 24th September, one at 9am and the second at 10.30am, where guests will be immersed in the ultimate casino experience at the most famous establishment of its kind on the planet: the Casino de Monte-Carlo.  

From the beautiful craftsmanship of the tables, which are made by artisans in SBM’s workshops, to the croupiers who provide the most professional services and matchless expertise, visitors can make like James Bond and soak up the history, luxury and atmosphere that have made this casino so world-famous.  

Spaces are limited to 30 people per visit, so reservations are recommended. Click here to reserve a spot. 


The story continues in the afternoon with artist Celia Pym’s outreach programme, The Travelling Collection. This will feature a “tactile and discursive event” on the stage of the legendary Opéra Garnier.  

Célia Bernasconi, the lead curator of the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, professional textile restorer Noémie Margotteau and Sinem Bostanci, an outreach officer, will talk about costume and accessory conservation and reparation at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, arts which have formed part of the museum’s collections since 2002.  

A workshop will be held from 2.30pm to 4pm, and the exhibit will be open until 6pm. For bookings or more information, please click here


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Photo credit: Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer