On the advice of the Destination Guide – and also to give Firestorm 6.6.3 with the Lab’s Performance Improvements something of an exercise, I hopped over to Sainte Rose sur Mer. This is the 21,000+ square metre parcel designed and held by Dandy Warhlol (terry Fotherington) occupying most of the eastern aspect of a Full private region that has the additional Land Capacity bonus available for use by those renting there, and which I last visited in December 2021.
At the time of that visit I noted that Sainte Rose sur Mer presented “a refreshing break from the current round of winter-themed regions by presenting visitors with a little corner of Mediterranean France with a beach to the southern aspect … and a coastal, almost rustic corner of a town … that offers little walks and corners to explore”.
This is still very much the case with the updated design for the setting, which sits now dressed for the autumnal season. within it, there is much that echoes the look and feel of the former design in terms of architecture and layout, something that gives an overall sense that this is a further, and previously unseen, part of that little town Dandy first revealed to us in late 2021.
The landing point is located towards the south-east corner of the build, at a point where a small cobbled square opens to one side to overlook what might have once been a natural cove, but which has been built up over the years such that it now sits as a home to little wharves and a tiny, trapped shingle beach. Facing this overlook from the opposite side of the cobbles is one of the entrances to the BarDeco club.
Always a staple of Dandy’s personal builds, BarDeco here retains its open-air look and feel, sitting within a large courtyard area now bounded on all sides by buildings and high walls. It has an attractive, ramshackle look to it which is always instantly engaging – a hallmark of the BarDeco designs over the years -, the broken floors of the upper level suggesting that at least part of the area occupied by the club might have once been roofed over, although what it may have housed if so is entirely a matter for the imagination.
Bracketing the club to either side are two south-north thoroughfares which between them offer routes of exploration. The first of these, which includes the cobbled landing point, connects the southern beach and the tall form of houses, hotels and beachfront places of business overlooking it, with a small “residential” area (not rentals, just a grouping of publicly-accessible houses) at the northern end of the setting. In doing so, it passes through a cosy street of little businesses and tall townhouses, arched gateways and tunnels denoting the limits of their influence.
Along this street are reminders of the prior iteration of Sainte Rose sur Mer I visited in December 2021 – the steps gently connecting the different levels of the town, the gateways, the little stone bridge (now rubbing shoulders with building either side of it) which now takes the street down to the narrow little Rue du Petit Pont. This narrow street runs behind the local hotel and parallel to the beach before opening out into an fountained square which in turn links to the raised waterfront and the beach beyond.
Steps on the far side of this square rise up to another terrace, also with its own fountain. Backed by local residences, it has clearly been laid claim to by cats, birds and children. Steps on the same side as those leading up to it, but without any gated access, drop back down to provide access to the second of the north-south thoroughfares.
This second route is more informal in nature, being marked not by cobbles but by gravel pools and paths which both sit alongside two further entrances to BarDeco and also meander northwards past gazebos and trees and over bubbling streams to reach a stone and steel framed greenhouse. Imposing is size and form, this greenhouse carries an air of having once been a proud garden feature, complete with its own clock marking the passage of time; now sits in the midst of a wildling garden, apparently now the house of occasional piano recitals.
Both garden and pond – which has a large deck extending over its southern side from the bank just below the greenhouse – offer a picturesque view over to the gardens of the houses at the northern end of the setting. The latter can actually be reached by means of a little bridge and rock path which skirt around the west side of the water to pass by way of an old gatehouse tower. At the houses, an overgrown alley running between two of them leads visitors back to the cobbled “main” street, thus allowing them to literally circumnavigate the entire setting from landing point back to landing point.
As is the way with Dandy’s build, there is a richness of details to be found here throughout, and there are a lot of nooks and crannies and little side passages and alleys to be exploring I haven’t touched upon in this piece.
Normally, the high level of attention to detail can lead to hits on viewer FPS. While this is still the case in places with this build, thanks to LL’s performance improvements, I found I needed to jiggle with settings a lot less than has often been the case when dropping into Dandy’s builds (although I did have to derender a lot of the mesh rain sheets, as these have always been a bane to my PC).
Picturesque, rich in the use of local sounds and with much to see appreciate and photograph, Sainte Rose sur Mer remains an engaging destination.
- Sainte Rose sur Mer & BarDeco (Sereno Bay, Moderate)