The Playbook For The Modern Man

Iconic French Riviera Photo Reveals The Freedom Europeans Have No One Else Does

Forget nudism; the French have another seaside freedom we tend to forget.

It’s not shrugging off your bikini and allowing the sun to envelop your breasts. It’s not peeling off your board shorts, sans judgement, and receiving a rather unusual tan. It’s better than both. And — as this scorching European summer rammed home with an icy kick to the throat — Australian and American beaches are void of one of life’s greatest pleasures: drinking a cold brew — unmolested by rangers or do-gooders — on the beach.

Whether it’s a can of beer from the Marseille street vendors, an Antibes aperitif or a glass of white wine in Cannes (as seen in the following iconic sunset photo), enjoying an alcoholic beverage on the beach is a luxury the French (and most of continental Europe) take for granted, and which still makes most expats look around nervously, half expecting a megaphone wielding lifeguard to be bearing down upon them.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by NiNa. (@nikolett.baba) on

Advertisement

This phenomenon can be also seen at Marseille’s Calanques de Cassis.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by АNIA ♥ (@ania.ma) on

And the chilled out atmosphere it produces is also evident from a bird’s eye view.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Berna (@yomeanimoyvos) on

It’s also seen at the French Riviera’s equivalent of Bondi Icebergs (although Antibes’ classic Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc now looks slightly different to what it did in 1976, we understand the “drinks by the pool” policy is still as liberal as ever).

This feeds into a broader discussion over the freedoms Europeans are afforded, which Australians and Americans have been either too prudish or too safety conscious to permit, including going topless (should one wish)…

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Daniela Resende (@danielaresendee) on

Advertisement

… to diving headlong into summer (without a channel 7 documentary filming your every move).

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Luiso Marin (@mcluiso90) on

Why is this? While some would argue Australia and America’s beaches are a lot more dangerous to drink at (which they are, compared to the French Riviera), one look at the WCT worthy surf of Les Landes’ most popular nudist (and beer swilling) beach, Les Culs Nus, blows this theory out of the water.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Pukas Surf (@pukassurf) on

Another explanation, offered by Traveller, is “Europeans get to have nice things… because they don’t mess it up.”

“They get to drink in public because they don’t get rowdy and make a nuisance of themselves. They get to have a freshly poured beer down by the beach because they don’t annoy anyone.”

“They get to grab their wine glass and go and stand in the middle of the town square to chat to friends… They get to drink out of a proper glass when they do this, too, because they’re trusted to act like adults and not break that glass or try to steal it.”

Is there some truth in this? Possibly. But hey: at least it makes the novelty of things like stripping off, cycling without a helmet, double parking and enjoying a beer at 11am that bit tastier when we do make the pilgrimage.

Read Next

  • JoAnn Leichliter

    Much of Europe–even the now aggressively secular France–owes its social mores to its Catholic foundation, which (while not keen on public nudity) is far less repressive in this respect than British or American Puritan-leaning Protestantism.
    That said, does the freedom to have a drink wherever (as in New Orleans in the U.S.) and get naked on a beach really compensate you for the lack of free speech or freedom of the press?
    Just askin’…

  • forwhat

    False, Germans and Scandinavians are born nudists, not half-committed like the Catholic French, and Germans and Scandinavians are protestant areas of Europe.

  • Jamin Bob

    What lack of free speech or freedom of press?

    Just saying…

  • JoAnn Leichliter

    Check it out.

  • Jamin Bob

    Check what out?

  • JoAnn Leichliter

    Germany is divided religiously. Prussia (much of East Germany) is Protestant. Much of West Germany (e.g., Bavaria) is Catholic.
    Of course, much of Europe, regardless of its history, is currently irreligious.

  • JoAnn Leichliter

    Look at the legal systems in, say, England and France, and what it is now a crime to say or print. You may be surprised…

  • Jamin Bob

    Oh you mean the not having the ‘right’ to call for the gassing of entire religious groups or that gay people should go to hell as examples? Nah most are fine with that, EU countries are democracies after all. “Freedom of speech” doesn’t seem to working too well in the US where it seems to be inspiring almost daily mass shootings…

  • JoAnn Leichliter

    Not what I meant, although you may keep it if you like it. I wouldn’t want to interfere, just as I am sure you wouldn’t want to interfere here. Right?

  • Jan van Kampen

    Facts please

  • JoAnn Leichliter

    Check it out on your own.

  • Jan van Kampen

    JoAnn Trumplite

  • Griffo Yger

    France and Germany make it a crime to promote Nazi views. Which is of course OK in the USA. Otherwise, there is no difference

  • JoAnn Leichliter

    Look again..

  • JoAnn Leichliter

    Sigh.

NEW ON D'MARGE


Show More

Subscribe

Close

The playbook for the modern man

Get the very best of men's style, health, travel & culture delivered to your inbox.

Dont show me this again