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A la Colthard /Colombe dOr

Yesterday we visited for lunch another great institution la Colombe d’Or in St Paul de  Vence. It’s only 30 minutes away by car from La Petite Maison but quite different. It’s a hotel, not an international brand.

I suspect though though there never be a poll that la Colombe d’Or is the restaurant/hotel of choice for more film stars than any else in the world.

Unlike la Petite Maison it s more discreet about its reputation.

Polly who loves the restaurant twice tried to arrange a cake for Bob but unsuccessfully. It’s not the done thing. At La Petite Maison a four piece band serenades you on your birthday.

It was a beautifully hot day and arriving early we had a coffee at the cafe next to the pétanque sand pitt.

It is almost a make believe Provençal hill town with its surrounding walls, views over the countryside, winding alleys and little boutiques and art shops.

Some people have an eye for art and Aime Roux who founded the Colombe  d’Or as a small inn is one. When the Paris artist set of Picasso, Miro, Chagall, who lived in at Paul, moved south in the 1940s Roux befriended them, offered them hospitality and acquire their art as well as locals Henri Matisse, born in Nice, Pierre Bonnard who lived in nearby Le Cannet and Ferdinand  Leger.

Their paintings adorn the walls and worth the visit  alone. Most hang in the dining room but there is a Sean Scully mural by the pool.

We always prefer lunch outside in the small courtyard Restaurant with its trees and views over the valley.

The 30 plate hors d’oeuvres is de rigeur but in the case of Polly who likes the basket of crudités too a meal in itself.

Of course Bob managed to force a whole sea bass down him served in a light mousseeline sauce.

To sit in the sun and savour such food and reasonable house wine is my idea of heaven and what better place for a … er …  Romantic retreat !!! Ask Rupert Murdoch- two years ago we saw him there honeymooning.

It’s not that dear considering – our bill worked at 90 euros per person. The service is professional but Polly noted that few took photos and none were on their mobiles. Everyone there knows and follows the rules.

On rude French waitering I was passed by this piece by a colleague which tickled me from the website of – THE INDEPENDENT










Daphne Colthard
About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts