By Petra Dieners
We enjoy the warm autumn sun. There are not many yachts anymore anchoring in front of the beach of Club 55. Patrice de Colmont is relaxed and talks about his favorite topic: How can mankind live in harmony with the nature? Patrice de Colmont is the owner of the legendary Club 55 at the beach of Pampelonne, not far from St. Tropez. The club was established in the fifties when a movie with Brigitte Bardot has been produced at the beach. Colmont´s parents, who were ethnologists and documentary filmmakers had a house near the beach, became friends with the film crew and invited them for lunch and dinner. The perhaps most famous beach-club in the world was founded at that time, 1955. Today, the club is visited by many celebreties but also normal tourists. Despite the iconic status of the club Patrice de Colmont is down to earth. This week we had a nice conversation.
How do you explain your great success by yourself?
(Laughing) Because we are normal! The concept of the Club 55 is that we do not have any concept. Completely normal and natural. In our today’s society we are facing too much speed and too much consumption very day, but here we have created a normal place to relax and to calm down. Everybody is treated equally. It depends not on the car or the watch the people may have.
What was the most exciting moment for you at your Club 55?
There are many, many exciting moments. But certainly the greatest moment was when Mr. Michail Gorbatschow came to my club. Mr. Gorbatschow is very nice and friendly, very cool, relaxed and easy going.
Did he make a reservation? Did you know that he will come?
No, he came without reservation. It was a day in May. It was raining and raining. One of my regular guests arrived with two other guests and I said to him: „What are you doing here when it is such an awful weather?“ And then suddenly he said: „My I introduce Mr. Michail Gorbatschow to you“. We were alone in the restaurant. I offered a Club 55 T-Shirts for everybody and we took photos together. He said: “I will send you the photos.” However I wait until today… (laughing)
You have a bio garden. Do you offer these products also at Club 55?
Yes, we have two farms. One is close to this place here. This is the Domaine Ferme du Vallon des Bouis. It is completely organic. We follow the spirit of “bio agriculture”. This is a holistic concept, this means we include the moon, the sun and nothing is used from outside at the farm. The farm Le Domaines les Buisse is producing wine, olive oil and vegetables.
We have a second farm called „Chateau de la Mole“. Since this summer we are producing vegetables as well as wine, olive oil, fruits, cereals and cheese from own animals.
Please tell me about your project „Le Chateau de la Mole“?
The Chateau de la Mole is not my primary home. It is my second home. I have two holiday homes: The Domaine les Bouisse and La Mole. It is very easy because during one day I am in my home, in my office and my two holidays houses. I do not need to travel to destinations far away, so I have no problem with planes and jet lack either … (laughing)
Do you know Villa Medici in Rome? I want to make a Villa Medici for the agriculture. I started with a project in Alpes Provence because the place was very natural and not too expensive. But one day I heard that Chateau de La Mole was for sale. Chateau de La Mole is known by everybody in this country and I wanted to keep it for the next generations. So I bought it in May 2015.
It is a private place and not open for the public. The project is very, very natural. The plot is as a jungle with many animals and plants. We want to conserve this and create an agriculture which is aligned to this natural place. We also found very good employees with the right spirit for this Project!
How do you spend your free time?
(Laughing) Every day is free time for me. Many people are making a big difference between their job and their free time. For me it is not work, it is my passion.
But if you really have an hour free, do you read a book then or plan your next projects?
I read a book but I also write about my projects and my thoughts. That is nice!
What are your favorite places in St. Tropez and surroundings? It is Chateau de la Mole?
The entire area here is very nice. I love the Citadel in St. Tropez and the nice Musée Oceanique next to the Citadel. This place is very beautiful. I also love the Bastide Blanche and I love Ramatuelle .
Is there any restaurant you go beside Club 55?
Another restaurant? No! (laughing)
Do you have plans for your future?
Yes, I have a big project. Do you know Pierre Rabhi? He is a philosopher. The essential idea of Pierre Rabhi is that mankind owes big respect for the nature and that the human society and the nature must be balanced. And the Pope Francis says: “God always forgives, the humans forgive sometimes and the nature never forgives, if you have no respect for the nature”. Pierre Rabbi is a French Gandhi. We call him also the green pope. We have a foundation and have opened centers in Africa, Eastern Europe and in South of America to teach the people independence by following the right agriculture. There are many people who learn the philosophy and technique. Our target is to solve the problem of hunger.
Who is your favourite artists?
My favorite art is the popular art. Not an artist in his business. When a grandfather makes a little toy for his grandson then this is art for me. It is art by means of the heart. The modern art is ok but not my cup of tea.
Laughing: Yes, I have!
The first of the Pope Francis:
God always forgives, the humans forgive sometime and the nature never forgives, if you have no respect for the nature.
The second is:
It is not because they are many to be wrong minds they are right.
The third is:
If you think adventure is dangerous, try the routine it’s lethal.