Fashion & Style

August 21, 2014

La Colombe D’Or in St. Paul de Vence – The Legend Goes On

Time slows under the fig trees

L

a Colombe d’Or, in the charming fortified village of Saint Paul de Vence, is a restaurant for all seasons and having lunch there feels more like visiting an art exhibit. The stained glass dove sign and large wooden doors make for a circumspect entrance where you enter the sandstone patio under the shade of parasols and olive and fig trees. Our usual table on the far border is under the shade of the Fig trees, where we look out on terra-cotta roofs and the green hills afar. Time slows when rose wine flows! I roamed the place with my eyes clicking at the rhythm of my camera lens. Inside pricey paintings hang over tables and the hotel corridors in a casual way. I wonder how much they pay in insurance!

The small intimate bar opens into the dining patio, and it is like a small shrine with carved wooden stools and a few little tables. A collection of letters, photographs and art decorate the walls taking you back to another time.

Lunch is on the terrace with a view of the valley, under the fig trees in the summer, or by the fireplace in the colder months. Like a noble metal it never blemishes and continues to increase its value. And the myth goes on. When you come in you feel like an invited guest, as if you were in somebody’s home for a party.

It all started almost a century ago

This legendary, genuine, friendly and unassuming restaurant and hotel, started back almost a century ago in 1920 by Paul Roux as the Cafe Bar Robinson. Friends persuaded Paul and his wife Titine (real name Baptistine) to enlarge it and that’s how La Colombe d’Or was born, first as an inn with just only three rooms that today increased to twenty-five. Later on they erected a new façade using stones from an old castle in Aix with the architect Jacques Couelle designing a fireplace with the hand imprints of the people who helped build it. The place attracted many artists who often paid their bills with their artwork, allowing the owners to amass a priceless private collection of 20th century art. Paul Roux valued the work of Picasso, Miro, Chagall, and Leger as much as the artists’ company. In the 40’s intellectuals and painters moved to the Mediterranean that had become a “free zone” and La Colombe d’Or became the place to be and be seen. While on the set of “Devils Envoy”, Jacques Prevert stayed at the hotel, and he never left as he moved to the village and an intimate friendship developed. The Roux’s motto was “Welcome here on foot, on horseback or on canvas!”

At the end of the war it was the turn to the international crowd to arrive and the new friends of Francis (Paul’s son), like Yves Montand, Lino Ventura and others. It became one the most famous celebrity salon in the South of France. In the 50’s they it was the turn to Miro, Braque, Chagall and later on Calder, Cesar. The art collection keeps growing with the latest work installed a large ceramic by the Irish artist Sean Scully for the swimming pool area. Today, nothing has changed as celebrities like Michael Caine, Bono, Roger Moore or Richard Attenborough can be seen lunching at a long table on the terrace, undisturbed by the other guests. Paul, Titine, Francis, Francois, Daniele and Pitou created an exceptional place and instilled a welcoming and warm-hearted spirit to the place and the family continues today at the helm of the Colombe.

It Feels Like Home

Its simple menu, good service and relaxed atmosphere, exactly what you expect from a place run by a family. The menu concocted by Paul Roux, features freshly baked bread, butter curls, olives, crudités, large cutting board with charcuterie, plus a host of famous starters of fine home-grown produce: grilled peppers in olive oil, caramelized onions, stuffed baby vegetables, baked Provencal tomatoes, beans anchovies, eggplants and other specialties from the Midi, reminding us that the host is a family.

 

Wandering around St. Paul de Vence

After lunch we quietly wandered through the medieval village the winding the cobblestone streets laid into the shapes of flowers of the village discovering elegant fountains, vine-covered stonewall with breathtaking views of the mountains and sea. It is an artists’ village filled interesting creative costume jeweler shops and knickknacks for decorating the home. At sunset it was time to return back home to Monaco.


Did you enjoy this article? If so, please click on our Facebook Like button and visit our page on FB too.

Interested in becoming part of our IMPress Staff? Would you like to cover major trade shows, concerts, sports and travel and have your articles appears on IMPress just like the ones you have just read?

If you would, then visit our main site at internationalpress.com and find out how.

Subscribe To Our Feed and be alerted to our new articles by email.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share


About the Author

Celina Lafuente de Lavotha
Celina Lafuente de Lavotha
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, known for Tango, Football, excellent meat and wam hospitality, and very proud of having recently exported a Queen to Holland and a Pope to the Vatican. Moved to Monaco a decade ago after living on the East Coast of the USA for many years. I am a Freelance Photojournalist reporting from the heart of the Principality, a country that cares for the environment, supports culture in all its forms, encourages the practice of all types of sports as a message of peace, belives in giving back to society through its many charity organizations and is on top of worldwide issues. Monaco is a small country with a big heart!




 
 

 

New York International Auto Show 2019 – FREE Images & Video Clips

Our coverage of the 2019 NY International Auto Show at the Javits Convention Center. Loads of photos and video clips in our article featuring some of the hot new concept cars. This is the article you want to read and you can ...
by Len Rapoport
0

 
 

New York’s 2019 Persian Day Parade-Smaller But Colorful

IPA president Len Rapoport, president of the International Press Association covers the 2019 Persian Day Parade in New York City. This parade celebrates the Iranian New Year Nowruz. 98 images you can download and print of the p...
by Len Rapoport
0

 
 

New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade-2019

The 2016 NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade on 5th Avenue. IMPress Magazine with Andy Peeke and Len Rapoport covered the parade for IMPress Magazine an International Press Association publication. Over 150,000 marched in the parade...
by Len Rapoport
0

 

 

International Beauty Show 2019 Draws Thousands

ach year we attend the International Beauty Show, with a sense of discovery. We ask ourselves, what will be the next big trend for the beauty industry this year? We also wonder if they can top the previous years shows in both e...
by Len Rapoport
0

 
 

New York Times Travel Show 2019-NYC

2019 NY Times Travel Show...At IPA and IMPress Magazine we are all about travel. Our sister company Travel Pavilion, is our travel agency business.  Our fantastic website offers our original articles, photos, and videos fr...
by Len Rapoport
0

 

 

Make Healthy “Georgie Meatloaf” For Your Dog 2019

Our recipe for the healthiest and freshest dog food on the internet. We call it Georgie Meatloaf after our dogs name and it has been tested by over 39,000 readers and viewers of our popular YouTube video. Find out how you can ...
by Len Rapoport
1

 



0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


You must be logged in to post a comment.


 
%d bloggers like this: