Les Mémoires D’or

La Colombe D’Or’s history is intimately entwined with that of the Côte d’Azur, and although the coastline may have become tarnished, La Colombe d’Or still glows, a polished gem in the legendary St Paul de Vence.  Last Sunday we  crossed the hallowed threshold, it felt like we had been given the key to another world:  on closing the gate a golden light shone gently …

colombe entrance reworked_effected

we were led into a restaurant founded in the 1920’s by the Roux family  ‘who continue to take care of it’ and you.

colombe thumbs up reworked_effected

and the ‘thumbs up’ greeting unleashes a bubble of contentment and good humour that doesn’t leave you

colombe dove reworked_effected

as you take your seat, presiding peacefully over her corner of perfection, the colombe blanc

colombe reworked_effected

 and there we were  underneath ‘a colourful ceramic by Fernand Leger‘ looking out over scattered white parasols where the chic meet and eat: all of whom I assume must have the same sensation as me, a subtle shift whereby you are more glamorous, intelligent and charming, ‘D’Or  Chic‘ let’s call it.

colombe rose _effected

or maybe in my case it’s to do with the profusion of bottles which spring up, after all I am with the Irish, default position.

colombe butchers table _effected

 the central butcher’s table is a constant theatre of waiters in fluid motion

colombe menu reworked_effected

and all too soon we have dined on  summer truffles and wild strawberries.

We were the last to leave… and a lucky few stay, the Colombe D’Or is hotel where each stone was put into place with love and precision, one fireplace is imprinted with the hands of the people who helped to build it

The space feel timeless, cherished.   Everywhere you look there is something lovely to gaze on.

Here’s the bar, where Picasso, Cocteau and Chagall  have all at one time raised a glass.

colombe bar 2 reworked_effected

below the  fresco

colombe frescoed reworked_effected

and vaulted ceilingcolombe bar best reworked_effected

I wandered through to the swimming pool open year through…

colnbe pool reworked_effected

then I can’t resist the large, low slung dining rooms, all white washed walls and polished wood:

colombe interior _effected

and everywhere you look pictures

colombe art reworked_effected

artworks whispering to each other: donated, given, commissioned for these rooms.

artwork colombe_effected

It’s a collaborative mix of the serious and quirky that catches your eye, draws you in…

scuplture reworked_effected

For here are ceramic guardians  that Madelaine Castaing would approve ofOTT Castaing_effected

multicolori bathroom stairs

stairs mutlicolori_effected

comfy, ‘pause a moment’ seats.

colombe entrance chair reworked_effected

exquisite niche momentscolombe lady_effected

and huge welcoming fireplaces waiting for Autumn’s return

colombe fireplace_effected

I too must wait to return.  The Colombe d’Or  founded nearly 100 years ago still pulses  and inspires in today’s world, it’s history and art collection have not overwhelmed its ambiance, within its walls there exists a thoughtful integrity and playful charm. The Roux’s have created a place where antique and modern, the simple and decorative, past and present are harmoniously intertwined.  While your there  all is golden and ever after the memory is d’or.

quotes in italics from the La Colombe D’Or’s website.

with many thanks to our hosts who opened the door.

photos by me altered with Toycamera Analogcolor.

if you visit St Paul de Vence I seriously recommend the Foundation Maeght, perfect pre-d’or explore.

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