10 MAY 1930, Page 33


The Coast of the Moor- [W e publish on this page articles and notes which may help our readers in their plans for travel at home and abroad. They are Written by correspondents who have Eisited the places described. We shall 'be glad to 1:raiders queitions arising out Of -the Travel articles published in our columns. Inquiries should be addressed to the Travel Manager, The SPECTATOR, 99 Gower Street, W .C.1.] [Those who wish to visit the charming district on the Riviera coast described in this article cannot do :better than make Beauvallon, twenty odd miles from St. Raphael, their headquarters. There is an excellent nine-hole golf course, with turf which is the envy of some of the neighbouring courses and' greens worthy of England, which is being kept open all throtigh the summer, and there is,:of course, excellent bathing. It is proposed, at an early date, to"enlarge the present nine-hole course to eighteen. There are many delightful excursions in the neighbourhood. St. Maxima is a couple of kilometres away and the old-fashioned town of St. Tropez lies on the opposite aide of the bay. Altogether "the coast of the Moors" is one of the most delightftil places for a holiday in- the South Of France.] WE, whose happy privilege it is to lilie,Upem this favoured strip of land, are rather apt to turn up our noses at the " real Riviera."'... For here we can have gaiety. of a ,simple sort, prithout germs, and fun without having to be -ksVonable. In ancient- days :these hill towns and -4441f but deep Aarbours were held against the Moors (hence 'the thuile .of Cote des Maiirei);: now we hold them again.it the of people still, but iw a different sense. Here , • in -alViir miles of pine-clad hills and golden beaches, you will only find houses Of the Provencal type—modern' houses, it is. true, with" bathrooms and electric light—but built after, the old gracious fashion, ilia- not plastered all over with curly acanthus: leaVtis . or. turquoise blue china. animals. Everywhere you -eat well4,-•but,:.tharik H•eav_en,.. without a band. ID other Ns:6MS, -the -,coast is_divilized, for it must be admitted that eating: to music is .4n-uncivilized custom, and an insult to .goothfoodv and _drink. Peace, not jazz, rules upon the Cote


This is not to Say that we are without the two really valuable . contributions to life that modernity has made its own—golf and tennis. For the matter of that, there is plenty of dancing, but much of it is on platforms out of doors where the sailors and workmen, the "black-coat" brigade, and the visitors all mingle together to the strains of a piano and a fiddle. At Hyeres, at Beauvallon, at St. Raphael, and Valescure, there are hard courts and golf courses. Beauvallon, indeed, can boast of having a small but perfectly formed eaurse; with greens such as are seldom seen out of England.

The COte .des Maures is not a paradise—what place is upon this—weary earth. ?—but; given the right temperament, it is as -good - a substitute-as-this writer has met. No one has ever yet given. sufficient weight to the great truth that a plee. depends largely . upon . a person, . that what we

b to w place .we are very largely apt, to find in it. Come

to -thr Cote: des. Moures and expect • glittering sunshine all the .Winter,; add_ glittering pleasure as, well—be, in short, a glittering-, person—*-ancl- you will be disaPpointed. Love the soft:grey:days with a Sea running-high; and a sighing in the pines; days that-,Cornwall oyes, and you will realize that some such _days are of valueeveii in a, place where the picture- postcards and the'-picture-papers have led you (erroneously) to think you will have, nothing but blue skies and blue seas.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of all is that here life is still in the making ; it has not yet crystalized into an inescap- able form, as it has had perforce to do in the great towns of the Riviera._ Here you can Still build in untouched country, though you have electric light, a splendid water supply, and roads_ that 'the Government are rapidly improving. And, while you are "looking round," trying to find the ideal spot, and wishing not to be hurried while so doing, you can stay, if you are well-to-do and like that sort of thing, in the big hotels; or if you are more adventurous and less furnished with 'the sinews of that struggle which is " post-War " life, you can live in a little hotel built over .the water or in one perched in some hill town, for about sixty francs a day. You eat well ; your wine, if you are not the slave of the wine- card, is vin du pays, pale golden or pink, and costs about : sixpence a bottle.

This enchanted strip of coast will, -I suppose, eventually be ruined by human - contact, but it nitisthe admitted that up till now the delicate and difficult business of colonising it has been very well done. - - - -

There are casinos if you want to go to them, and nice, gay, homely little casinos they are ; there is dancing of the same variety. There are hotels and there are inns. There are cars and roads to use them upon, and there are also walks scented with pine and heather, and herbs that smell almost as sweet as the maqui,s of Corsica. There are telephones, but (outside the towns) there is only one post a day, which is most restful. If you are one of those persons who, though living here, still take an interest in matters such as the Stock Exchange, you can always send someone in to the Post Office to collect the second post.

In the summer you wear practically no clothes at all,which is both economical and healthy. In the winter you wear- and need-warm clothes, as you do everywhere in Europe, and anyone who says to the contrary is guilty of an untruth. For this is the Mediterranean, not the Dead Sea ; its shores are shaken by storms, its sky can be, and frequently is, 'clouded. But nevertheless the air is pure, even when rough or cold ; the Mistral, that harsh wind, is a destroyer of germs, and comes sweeping down beneficently, making the sea sparkle in the pale spring sunlight.

Not Paradise, no, for in Paradise we shall, presumably, know' exactly what the next day is going to be like, and that it is going to be just as good as the present one, and just the same. Here, until the end of March, we frankly don't know. But it is rare for it to be very bad, and no weather lasts for more than three or four days. If change and not certainty is part of the charm of life, we have plenty of it to prevent us falling upon sleep and slackness. But we have certainties too-golden certainties of beauty and good fare, of at least three or four sunny days most weeks, until the greatest certainty of all sets in each spring-that one which assures us of perpetual sunlight for months to come. Yes, the summer is a certainty, and even the winter is the best gamble north of .Assouan. The Moors knew what they were doing when they tried again and again to leave Africa for these greener and more fragrant shores.