Sid Lee does St. Tropez, Part 1

While I love blogging, my day job is also pretty cool. I work at a global advertising agency called Sid Lee (some office photos here), where we make ads for clients like Facebook, Red Bull, and Absolut. Advertising is very much a work hard play hard industry, and the brands you work with often contribute to the overall culture of the agency. There are countless late nights and busy weekends, but on the flip side, at Sid Lee, there are also expensed dinners, cool colleagues, agency parties, and many, many Absolut cocktails. Recently, to say ‘thanks’ for a long year of hard work, the Sid Lee Amsterdam team was treated to a long weekend in paradise. IMG_7551I briefly mentioned our travel regime in my previous post – our airplane left Schiphol at 6am – which meant we had to meet in the airport lobby bright and early at 4.15am. Of course I pulled an all-nighter (I was THAT person at the airport) and stumbled through security and found my seat on the plane in a tipsy, blurry haze. After a few hours of dozing on the plane, and then on a bus, we arrived in St. Tropez. 

IMG_7563And promptly check into our accommodation castle. We stayed at the Chateau De La Messardiere, which was situated high on a hill, surrounded by green and tropical foliage, overlooking oceans and a rocky coastline. IMG_7575I could go on for days about the accommodation, as the grounds were simply dazzling.IMG_7565Our room overlooked a stunning courtyard, with statues and beautifully landscaped greenery. IMG_7567IMG_7551IMG_7547 IMG_7559The parking lot offered some spectacular views as well . . . . IMG_20150613_173315IMG_7680My friend Laura and I shared a room, which was clean, cool, and spacious. 
IMG_7438We had our own sitting area, whirlpool, and an adorable terrace with a table and lounge chairs. IMG_7439We didn’t stay in the hotel long before venturing out into the city to explore the whirling streets of St. Tropez. IMG_7428 IMG_7434IMG_7427For lunch, we stumbled into a small French bistro, Restaurant Le G’. The space was small and intimate, and offered a two course menu for around €25. And so we feasted on beef carpaccio, light salads, and tartare in a cozy, friendly atmosphere.IMG_7425IMG_7422The food was delicious, the wine was cold, and we were so happy to find a little hole in the wall spot that could easily accommodate 11 ladies. IMG_7413After our meal, we ventured out to the market – the Place des Lices. The market is only open on Tuesday and Saturday from 8:00 am till 1:00 pm, so mark this adorable open air shoping spot on your agenda if you’d like to pay a visit.IMG_7392The stalls host an array of goods, from floppy hats to stunning lace garments. IMG_7383We sampled fresh fruits and sticky sweets, before heading back to the hotel for a much-needed rest. IMG_7381While some spent the afternoon by the pool, I spent the afternoon hours sleeping and bathing, prepping for what would be another amazing Sid Lee night out. For our official ‘party’ (this whole trip was in lieu of the fact that we neglected to have a holiday party in December) we met at Tabou Beach Club for an evening of fine dinning, cocktails, and dancing. We were seated at a long banquet table on the water, and served some of the most delicious seafood I have ever consumed (and that’s saying a lot coming from a girl a la Maine!)20150613_203815For a starter, we feasted on salmon tartare, pan seared tuna on a light cucumber salad, and some of the most delicious burrata I’ve ever tried. IMG_7681The meal was served with buckets of chilled rose, and by the time our mains arrived we were all tipsy-happy glowing. My crafty colleague Marieke discovered that my sheer floral robe made for a beautiful photo filter, and took the following, very artsy, photos of our dinner.IMG_5439 IMG_5429 IMG_5438Here’s a group shot of the whole awesome Sid Lee crew :)
20150613_20175120150613_201748Following our meal, we all grouped around a large projector to watch the Sid Lee Moron Awards. Basically, the agency compiles a long list of dumb shit people did throughout the year, and makes a silly video celebrating our stupidity. It’s super embarrassing for some, and super entertaining for others. IMG_7687For me, it was embarrassing, as I was one of four lucky people to win a Moron Award this year. That’s the last time I will be singing Little Mermaid to the Sid Lee whatsapp group – they have lost my eager vocal contribution for good. IMG_7688Following the Moron Award movie premiere, we were treated to a sparkling dessert table.
20150613_223212I know I said dinner was good, but holy hell, these desserts were out of this world. Having consumed many glasses of rose and enough sweets to fuel a candy shop for 6 months, we hit the dance floor. Which was actually a beach. IMG_5474We had a DJ for the night, who kept the beats pumping until the early hours. IMG_7700v v That awkward moment when yo don’t realize there’s a time-lapse camera set up and you’re all . . . I’m going to put my drink here and then dance around the patio, just because. . . . 
IMG_5461IMG_5457IMG_7693To fuel our dancing, we ate even more late night snacks, which consisted of dumplings, oysters, shrimp tempura, and many other things. I really don’t remember what I ate, but I’m pretty sure I made a great drunken effort to sample it all :)IMG_7706I can’t speak for anyone else, but my night ended at a wedding. When we got back to the hotel, a reception was raving in the hotel’s wedding hall, and so I discretely joined the wedding party, dancing and enjoying the open bar until the very early hours of the morning. I’ve never crashed a wedding before, and so my advice for newbies would be: do not crash a wedding where you do not speak the local language. SO many people approached me with a smile, chatting away in French! And so I stuck out like a sore thumb. Wedding crashing lesson learned.

Overall it was an amazing day – one that will carry me through the many late nights and painful meetings that are sure to come my way in the office this year. I am super thankful for Sid Lee and their generosity, and also for the amazing colleagues I am lucky enough to call friends.

Anyways, I have 2 more St. Tropez posts to share (as we had lots of pool time and beach time!) as well as a little look into my suitcase and luggage, coming soon :)

xo

Ali

 

 

 

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