Using mainly organic local Provençal ingredients with a touch of jazzy exotic fruit and spices, Le Couleurs Jardin benefits from the natural bounty on the beach where the Mediterranean waves caress the land. This might had been the Club 55 some fifty years ago – rustic, yet cosy, offering great quality food, sea views, with a not too crowded sandy beach inhabiting a beautiful but noncommercial space free of glitzy boutiques or fake Rolex salesmen, that flooded Saint Tropez in the past decades.
Sitting bellow the crawling branches of a mighty pine tree in the open part of the restaurant with patches of robust linen canvas or shielded by beamed wooden ceiling sends the welcoming message that everything is designed for your comfort. Thick, sandy tinted cushions befriend the brass chairs and pillows invite for a lounging siesta with pals on the wide stretching wooden benches in the background.
Rose wine from Provencebeach restaurant
Couleurs Jardin, in English meaning ‘The Garden’s Colours’, became one of our favourite casual beach restaurants when staying around Saint Tropez. It takes a winding, stomach-turning ride along a narrow coastal road snaking West from the charming medieval village of Ramatuelle, but the culinary treasures awaiting you are worth the journey. Once you arrive, the superb, each time with an artist hand plated food, and feel the breeze from the sea, you will recover from the wavy turns. The beach restaurant on Plage de Gigaro in the commune of La Croix-Valmer serves mostly local produce. The fresh goats cheese is from the Var department, the tomatoes and most of the vegetables are grown in nearby gardens, the fish was line-caught right there, and the meat travelled either from the French mountains or the Spanish dehesa (the Iberic ham).
Crab and avocado salad at Le Couleurs Jardin
Faithful to its name, herbs, vegetables and spices in all colours adorn most of the dishes and in some they take the central stage. Like in the lunch Salad, where carrots ranging from citrus hues through bicolored rings of orange and a beet red, strings of red peppers and haricots vertes, casually dropped cherry tomatoes with their stems on and ripe avocados shaped like a young moon in its waxing crescent phase are served with a fresh by the garden inspired anchoiade. A delicious vitamin bomb replenishing energy after all day swimming and walking on the beach.
Mediterranean seafood at Couleurs Jardin
Exotic spices and ideas meet local bounty on each plate decorated with an artistic splash of colours – rejuvenating basil and parsley, bright tomato, a sprinkle of pink peppercorn and the glistening reflection of a plush olive oil poured in a careful measure over almost everything. No cheating here, but also not careless splashing of sugar, oil or butter on your food. Le Couleurs Jardin flexes the virtuous cord of balance.
 Restaurant Couleurs Jardin on Plage Gigaro
The raw fish and seafood arrive daily fresh and you can taste it. The Crab salad with a splash of citrus turmeric vinaigrette cushioned in the round leaves of mâche greens, chunks of mango and grapefruit is light. Naturally sweet and sour, there is not a trace of fishy flavours in the crab meat taken out of its shell.
Another raw favourite, the Wild sea bream tartar is soured and warmed by ginger, basil and lemon juice.
Raw fish
In the cooked realm of starters the Octopus grilled à la plancha, with garlic and parsley, generously topped with warm homemade ratatouille is widely recommend, while the Baked mussels in a sea rouille sauce are also quite generous appetiser.
Freshen up your palate with a crisp white wine like the blanc de blanc organic Domaine des Planes. The choices are ideally suited to the food. A wide selection of French, mainly local Côtes de Provence and Bandol wines, served conveniently by a pitcher (about two glasses), half bottle as well as in the normal size 75cl bottle. The pitcher-sized option is more fun, it lets you try and compare a number of affordable local blends. We also like the woody deep Château Barbeiranne white and all of the five rosès are worth sampling.
seafood at Couleurs Jardin
During the lunch hours the thin crust Pizza baked in the clay oven in a wooden shack adjoining the kitchen teases your nose as you enter. If you resisted ordering it, still after the lunch or as a takeaway only in the evening, you might be tempted. Your nose will guide you. Just one, to take away, after all I am on holidays, so why not? The truffles, cream and roquette, a bite or two … heaven!
Fish according to daily catch by local fishermen is always a treat. Grilled with olive oil are the ubiquitous Mediterranean sea bass, but also red mullet and other seasonal and palate’s curiosity stirring fish as well as the occasional Blue lobster, a small langoustine from the waters around Cap Lardier or prawns – Gambas served grilled with little naughty lemon butter. All are served with side of potatoes, ratatouille or optional curry rice and perfectly crisp steamed vegetables.
Seabass at Couleurs Jardin
Easygoing and friendly waiters swirl around the white washed wooden tables sharing smiles and plates so lush that you wonder whether paradise may, indeed exist. The dread locks fashioning owner of Le Couleurs Jardin keeps the service efficient, so not to sway into the slow beach tunes.
The casual setting and some large, partially secluded tables are ideal for a populous birthday splash. The garden terrace shaded by pines and palm trees, with pots of cacti sticking their thorns out here and there further enforces the botanic philosophy. Relaxed and jolly after the meal and a couple of pitchers of the mind obscuring wine, it is time to savour the last plant from the garden – the fresh verbena infusion.
Garden seating Exotic beach restaurant decoration
If you crave something sweet, there is no need to spoil your healthy intention, since even the fruits and cocoa in their homemade ice creams are ‘bio’. Do not hesitate to sweeten a bit more the already sublime summer with a scoop. Imprint the genuine flavours and smart indulgence into the memory from this holidays for the rest of the work-centric year. I am almost sure, whenever you will come next to this sea-blessed area, you will return to rejuvenate the experience from the Garden’s Colours again and again, summer after summer, as we do.
NOTE: We generally prefer lunch, not rushing, as the pace at Couleurs Jardin is rather chill than a quick bite. It is a beach restaurant so the evening menu is more limited, the pizza is not served at the restaurant as well as the salads and some daily specials are crossed over on the extra offer chalkboard menu, since the lunch crowd has eaten them. First come, first serve at this truly farm or line to plate restaurant.
 Couleurs Jardin: Plage de Gigaro, La Croix-Valmer 83420 France
+33 4 94 79 59 12
April – October daily for lunch 12noon-2:30pm; dinner 7-10pm