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A la Colthard/ Chateau Eza

My readers will know that one of my mantras is not to trust a restaurant that boasts of its panoramic views.

I must say though that Chateau Eza in Eze village is an honourable exception.

This was once the house of a Swedish Prince but is now a boutique hotel restaurant.

It has sweeping views over the coast down to Cap Ferrat.

I opted for the lunch 60 euro, 4 course, menu of agnolotti (spinach ravioli) in a Parmesan emulsion which melted in the mouth.

The fish was “maigre”, a delicious white fish I discovered in the Restaurant de la Tour in Sanary and now my fave local “poisson”: the main meat course was haunch of veal in a carroty sauce and for dessert I chose a rich chocolate tart.

I could hardly complain but I will…

As I sat down the sommelier came round with a champagne trolley and “persuaded” me to have a glass of champagne, the most expensive I have ever experienced at 32 euros.

I countered by ordering the cheapest glass of rose on the menu to balance the books.

They also served amuses bouches. I find usually there is a hidden cost but here there was not.

However, they were not that tasty – a tiny salmon egg concoction on a bed of hard inedible chick peas, for example.

I heard the waiter twice serve the agnolotti to tables with the words “the chef has prepared this specially for you”, even though it was on the set menu.

The dishes were over explained – a practice pretentious restaurants adopt but I don’t like for its intrusiveness.

Finally the bill took too long to arrive and, before it did, a trio of petit fours with accompanying description turned up, causing me to miss my Uber: thus I was obliged to take a taxi back to Nice at double the price.

Eating on my own I was able to people-watch. On one table was a glamorous Italian lady, I would say in her fifties, with a much younger blonde woman with a figure to die for.

She too was caught by the champagne flute scam, but then went for water.

I had her down as the boss of a Milanese fashion house and her companion as an aspiring model “along for the ride”.

On another near me sat an obese Scotsman, dressed to look hip in just a sweater, with his Japanese “companion”. She took selfies of the two of them.

“Aye, aye” I thought !

I remembered years ago a fling with a Midlands industrialist who had villa in Eze and assignations in this type of hotel where a bedroom was booked for liqueurs and petit fours!!!

However, most of the restaurant – like most of Eze – was peopled by Japanese tourist photographing themselves.

Even though transportation came to 100 euros I was surprised that the bill, which included 2 Campari oranges on the terrace, was 135 Euros – really not at all bad for the superb quality of food and yes – I have to say – its views.

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