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A la Colthard/Boccaccio and la Colombe d’Or

The past few days I have visited two of my favourite restaurants: Boccacio in the centre of Nice (rue Masséna) and la Colombe d’or in St. Paul de Vence, a 30 minute drive outside Nice.

I walked straight past Boccacio because – as I remembered it – it never had an open air street terrace.

It transpired that the restaurant has had a massive refurb – more like a facelift. The ground floor conservatory style restaurant has gone and the upper floor is reached by a curbed staircase with a glass banister and is now raised.

There is a lift those with mobility issues would ascend and descend the staircase with some difficulty. The upper level is lighter and more modernist.

I saw a tall gent dining on an adjacent table catch his head on an overhead light and then miss the step and stumble.

In reality they must have spent at least £50,000 and it is no better. The food and service had thankfully stayed at the same level.

We had oysters and prawns; I went for seas bass, my companion a sole; I had a ‘floating island’ for desert and all washed down with a Bandol rosé.

The bill was €261 (approximately £250). which is what you would pay – probably more for 2 in a top class UK fish restaurant.

The Colombe d’Or has never let me down though I have never stayed there.

It was warm enough to sit on the terrace.

I had to have the enormous hors d’oeuvres which must be 20 plates of goodies from anchovies to rice salads to boudin. They also bring a basket of raw vegetables.

Frankly, this is enough for the Daffer’s tummy so I ordered loup, a white fish, with a divine creamy mousseline sauce.

One of its many attractions alongside a world class picture collection in the interior dining room is that they offer house rosé in the main menu (€30) and the final bill came to €215; it’s always such a wonderful experience which attracts the Great and the Good from all over the world.

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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