I’m floating within the tepid, briny shallows of the Mediterranean Sea when the black silhouette of a helicopter passes overhead and lands on a yacht shimmering within the distance. It causes an excited squeal from my 12-year-old twins, Nancy and Lola. We pad alongside the bleached, palm-lined boardwalk again to base after our early morning swim. Squint and it may very well be Bali or Phuket, however as you’ll be able to inform from the GB sticker on our battered previous Mazda, we’re barely nearer to house.
The helicopter belongs to Roman Abramovich, who usually flies out to his superyacht moored within the Bay of St Tropez – a honeypot for the wealthy and well-known. The Beckhams have summered right here with Elton John, and Kate Moss, Leo DiCaprio and the Clooney clan are all common fixtures – and it’s simple to see why. Its powdery blonde sands and gin-clear waters simply rival these of the Caribbean, and there are superyachts, designer outlets and a slew of hip seaside golf equipment that give it a laid-back Ibiza vibe.
So that you would possibly properly surprise what we’re doing right here. We’re not nouveau riche lottery winners, however now we have taken benefit of eased journey restrictions to bag ourselves a champagne way of life on a cider funds by staying at Prairies de la Mer, a wonderful beachfront campsite simply exterior St Tropez.
Our barely lower than glamorous cell house is shaded by bushes; it’s clear, purposeful and comfy for six of us. It has three bedrooms, a personal deck and a gasoline barbecue, so we will knock up grilled fish and steaks, and even lobster, to emulate the Clooneys.
And it’s our most profitable household vacation up to now. With three kids, most of our summer time holidays have been of the European tenting kind – low-cost, cheerful and straightforward with a younger tribe in tow. Now they’re older, the youngsters are extra discerning and splash swimming pools, mini discos and youngsters’ golf equipment don’t lower it. However because of the camp’s glitzy A-list location and beachfront Bali-esque setting, Prairies de la Mer has wooed even my 16-year-old son Angus, who has introduced alongside his finest pal Ollie. They rent bikes and go-karts to dart across the campsite, go kayaking and windsurfing, all whereas mooning over the designer outlets and mega-yachts in St Tropez.