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 …
we were led into a restaurant founded in the 1920’s by the Roux family ‘who continue to take care of it’ and you.
and the ‘thumbs up’ greeting unleashes a bubble of contentment and good humour that doesn’t leave you
as you take your seat, presiding peacefully over her corner of perfection, the colombe blanc
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.
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.
the central butcher’s table is a constant theatre of waiters in fluid motion
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.
below the fresco
I wandered through to the swimming pool open year through…
then I can’t resist the large, low slung dining rooms, all white washed walls and polished wood:
and everywhere you look pictures
artworks whispering to each other: donated, given, commissioned for these rooms.
It’s a collaborative mix of the serious and quirky that catches your eye, draws you in…
multicolori bathroom stairs
comfy, ‘pause a moment’ seats.
and huge welcoming fireplaces waiting for Autumn’s return
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.