Indulge in the charming South of France region.

For this week’s travel guide, Saudi fashion designer Arwa Al Banawi (@arwaalbanawi) takes us to the South of France. When she launched her eponymous brand in 2015, there were very few Saudi Arabian designers who had broken into the international market. And to this day, Al Banawi remains at the forefront of designing for the modern sustainable consumer. With a mix of comfy streetwear and high-end style, this brand is perfect for “The Woman on the Go.” And who’s a better embodiment of that other than Al Banawi herself?

If you’re looking for a chill and chic local experience, Al Banawi’s guide is the perfect choice for you.

Top must-visit food spots? 

Café Senequier is cute for a light lunch with friends or alone to people-watch. It’s the café Brigitte Bardot used to come to.

Of course, the famous tarte tropezienne is a must-try, and my favourite spot is the patisserie l tarte tropezienne.

La Resèrve in Ramatuelle has amazing food; my favourite dish is lobster and crab with a squeeze of lemon.  

Best roof-top places? 

The best view for me is from La reserve in Ramatuelle , or Cap Ferrat , they’re the best spots to really see the beauty of the south of France in a calm scenery. 

Best places for shopping? 

Saint Tropez has the most beautiful stores; my favourite is boutique Mademoiselle.

Er Van is a local design brand in Saint Tropez; I love their designs and fragrances; the designer uses Japanese materials in inspiration with the aesthetic of the French Riviera. I also love the market, which is every Saturday and Tuesday; you will find local finds and cute local artists.  

Must-visit cultural spots? 

The market and the galleries in Saint Tropez are beautiful to walk around and get inspired. 

Visit Château Rothschild and also see the beautiful view of Cape Ferrat   

Best boutique hotels to stay in? 

La Resèrve, and Lilly of the valley.

Underrated places? 

Local secret beach spots around the coast are heavenly.

What should you avoid? 

Traffic on weekends during rush hour.  

And heels, you will barely wear them, especially if you plan to go dancing.  

Must-pack items?

Linen pants that go with anything, bikinis from Missoni or Hunza G., Sunblock from skin cuticles and lip balm and Nude lipsticks from ctzn cosmetics.  

Flat Sandals from Chanel or Loewe , a cute tote bag From Chloe, Chanel or Longchamp; these are my favorite, and they go with everything from day to night. 

An oversized shirt.  

Kaftans in silk.  

Any tips and tricks to tackle the city?  

Rent a classic car and enjoy the drive.  

Rand Al-Hadethi is an art, culture, and fashion writer who approaches all her creative endeavours with a penchant for storytelling. She explores the intersection of fashion, culture, and society and sheds light on talent and cultural movements across the Middle East and the world. Rand also publishes a bi-monthly themed substack newsletter called WebWeaver™. To reach Rand, email her at rand@khamsa5.com or follow her on social media @rundoozz.
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