Celebrating Centuries of Tradition with Fête de la Saint Pierre in Sainte-Maxime
28 May 2014
From fresh succulent sea food to fearless fishing experiences and an inspiring evening of local traditions, honour Saint Pierre of Fishermen in Sainte-Maxime
The Fête de la Saint-Pierre, or feast of Saint Peter, offers the opportunity to honour the patron saint of fishermen and will be taking place on the 29th of June in Sainte-Maxime. Those celebrating this time-honoured tradition will be treated to an exciting evening of local culture, with highlights including an orchestral performance at Théâtre de la Mer, traditional dances performed by the Lei Magnoti group and the burning of 'sharp' on the beach. Having established itself as a fishing village from 1000AD, the city continues in the profession of its ancestors for both work and pleasure, with the annual Fête providing the perfect opportunity to maintain local customs relating to this heritage.
As expected from an area steeped in history for offering such a bounty of delicious, local ingredients, there are many restaurants and shops keen to develop dishes and products to showcase the variety of taste experiences Sainte-Maxime has to offer. Wander down the cobbled streets of the medieval city to Rue Fernand Bessy and you'll find an array of fresh fish in the covered market from the morning's catch in the Mediterranean. While early risers will be in for a treat if they catch the stall of the Angel Crux fishermen, who sell fresh shellfish from 8am next to the car park Prince Bertil. For fine dining, the chef at Michelin Star Restaurant La Badiane seeks inspiration for every dish from the local markets, with prices starting at €50 for the à la carte menu, or for a more relaxed atmosphere,L'Amiral serves a traditional seafood à la carte menu from €42, while offering the opportunity to lounge back on leather and take in the panoramic views of the Gulf. For the perfect present to take home to food lovers, La Belle-Iloise boutique on Rue Courbet provides a variety of canned fish, each accompanied by flavoursome ingredients and presented in beautiful Art Deco style tins.
The rich history, cuisine and surroundings inspire many to hone their fishing skills in style in Sainte-Maxime. The secure and protected environment in which the locals fish provides the perfect environment to cast a rod and hopefully catch a winner - with wishes of 'tight lines' meaning good luck. With the added attraction of serving up sumptuous snacks, washed down with the complementary Rosé, Les Bateau Verts offer morning sea fishing excursions for only €38, designed to discover all that the Mediterranean has to offer. Whereas those who have their eyes on the bigger prize can opt for the deep sea fishing experiences offered in the area by licensed fishing parties, testing every type of strength, some seek to catch Tuna and Swordfish. With the opportunity to try a hand at a full range of sea fishing experiences, Sainte-Maxime will ensure every participant leaves with a wealth of new skills and inspired by the sport, hook, line and sinker.
The thriving culture and community around fishing in Sainte-Maxime ensures every local and visitor look forward to celebrating at the Fête de la Saint-Pierre and with its exciting combination of processions, blessings, folk groups and fire, and is certainly not one to be missed. Hop aboard the free shuttle bus from the 4* Hotel Amarante Golf Plaza and embrace an evening and the array of activities of this prized past-time.
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