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This New Charleston Bar Will Have You in Saint-Tropez in an Instant

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If Brigitte Bardot found herself on this side of the Atlantic, we could bet you that there's a high probability we'd find her at Little Palm, the Saint-Tropez-inspired bar in Charleston's new Ryder Hotel, located in the Historic District.

Little Palm Bar and Swim Club Ryder Hotel Charleston
Little Palm Bar and Swim Club Ryder Hotel Charleston

The Ryder

While you won't find a tarte tropézienne here, there's still plenty of elegance to whisk you away to the French Riviera—all while keeping you firmly rooted in the coastal charm of Charleston. This bar and swim club promises Lowcountry hospitality with a French twist. Say no more, I'm grabbing my bathing suit.

Little Palm Bar and Swim Club The Ryder Charleston
Little Palm Bar and Swim Club The Ryder Charleston

The Ryder

The warm, pastel patinas (in this case, dusty shades of reds and pinks, greens and blues) evoke a stroll by the harbor on a sunny day, drink in hand. Slide yourself into a plush booth, kick back in a rattan chair, hop up on a bar stool, or lounge out by the pool with a colorful cocktail—ingredients like salted watermelon cordial, green cardamom, crème de pêche, and crémant (not all at the same time) promise something tantalizingly refreshing to ward off the summer heat.

While you might find me with a book under the shade of one of the dusty-red gingham umbrellas by the pool (or at the bar, positively bouncing with glee on a bubblegum-pink barstool, sipping the iced mint tea concoction), I'm hedging a bet that Brigitte would have found herself on the second-story courtyard and pool deck. It's just the place to pop a bottle of champagne (in Saint-Tropez, you'll be hard-pressed to find a party that doesn't involve a healthy spray of it) and look out onto the swimmers below, where the glittering water beckons you for a dip. With umbrellas dotting the patio, it feels a bit like something Wes Anderson might have cooked up.

Little Palm Bar and Swim Club the Ryder Charleston
Little Palm Bar and Swim Club the Ryder Charleston

The Ryder

The best part about this new little jaunt? It absolutely delights at any time of day with fresh, seasonal dishes, the menu developed by Gin & Luck of the cocktail institution Death & Co. in New York. If Charleston weren't such an interesting city, you'd have almost no reason to leave the property. Now, excuse me while I plop down (rather unceremoniously, mind you—I'm from the wild West Coast) on one of those plush lounge chairs with my biggest, floppiest straw sunhat and pretend I'm floating through the French Riviera.