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A la Colthard/ La Colombe d’Or

Understated is not an adjective I’ve often used to describe a top notch restaurant/hotel but entirely appropriate for the Colombe D’Or in St Paul de Vence in the foothills above Nice.

We gathered there for a lunch hosted by Bob Tickler. Ideally we would have liked to have been in the terrace under a rambling tree looking down over the valley.

However you can hardly complain about sharing a dining room with what must be the finest collection of art owned by any restaurant.

All the modern masters are there: Picasso, Braque, Bonnard, Matisse …

Paintings by them were acquired by the original patron Aime Roux as many of them lived in France before the war and moved south to unoccupied France.

I have a book celebrating the Colombe D’Or featuring these artists and film stars like Yves Montand, David Niven, Sophia Loren, Orson Welles who frequented the place.

It’s the opposite of a celebrity restaurant as it is discreet and lets the place speak for itself.

I would lay a penny to an euro if you asked those who visit the Riviera regularly and to name their fave restaurant a majority would reply the Colombe D’Or.

The food was excellent.

Most round the table plumped for the 30 dish hors d’oeuvre, as I did, followed in my case by quennelles of salmon.

The house rosé is more than adequate in price and taste.

If you get bored with the company, just look at the pictures!!!

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