La Colombe d’Or ©Côte d’Azur France

La Colombe d'Or in Saint-Paul de Vence

At the entrance to the village of Saint-Paul de Vence, facing Place de Gaulle and its boules players, the famous restaurant La Colombe d’Or has for decades welcomed celebrities and the general public from all over the world to feast their eyes as much as their palate.

LA COLOMBE D’OR: AN INSTITUTION ON THE CÔTE D’AZUR!

Without any of the stars by which the famous Michelin Guide distinguishes the best restaurants in France, through its notoriety and those of its hosts the Colombe d’Or is the equal of the very best restaurants on the Côte d’Azur. Some of its regulars would even say that it exceeds them! The recipe for success? A delicious and refined mixture of art and art of living, great works signed by the leading artists of our time and a cuisine as sunny as the terrace where you settle down to enjoy it.

LA COLOMBE D’OR: BRING ON THE ARTISTES!

When, in the spring of 1931, he opened his small establishment under the ramparts of Saint-Paul de Vence, Paul Roux probably had no idea about the fabulous destiny ahead of him.

He wanted it to be a simple and warm place. And generous too! He regularly offered bed and board to visiting artists. Soon, the master became known to all bohemians, if not as a patron at least as a friend. Roux regaled Matisse, Miró, Picasso, Léger and many others and in return they all left him a piece of work as proof of their friendship. This incredible collection, since added to by Arman, César, Calder, Klein, Folon, Buffet and Combas, still brighten the restaurant’s walls and terrace!

LA COLOMBE D’OR: A DREAM BILLING!

Stars of the cinema very quickly joined the painters and sculptors.

Led by Jacques Prévert, Arletty got the ball rolling. He was followed by Orson Welles, Paul Newman, Tony Curtis, Sophia Loren, Romy Schneider, Lino Ventura, Alain Delon, Jean-Paul Belmondo, François Truffaut, Brad Pitt, Quentin Tarantino, Marion Cotillard… Simone Signoret met Yves Montant there: they fell in love and returned to get married on the scene of their first meeting. Roger Moore poses with Sean Connery: it’s double power 007! In short, the cast would thrill the most jaded of Hollywood producers.

LA COLOMBE D’OR: CUISINE WITH A SOUTHERN TOUCH

Despite the praise of all these celebrities, La Colombe d’Or has never got above itself.

No, it has stayed humble, true to family values and authentic with a menu that suits almost everyone and timeless recipes that, perhaps, previously delighted David Niven or Jean Seberg, as they do us today. They usually have the flavour of Provence with the basket of crudités and terrine, aioli, red mullet à la meunière, grilled rack of lamb… And they always have the flavour of happy days.

LA COLOMBE D’OR SAINT-PAUL DE VENCE

BY YVES MONTAND