Still looking to book an apartment in St-Paul-de-Vence?
Here are three rental apartments in St-Paul-de-Vence near
La Colombe d'Or.
• La Guérite
• Chevre d'Or
CAGNES SUR MER
• Restaurant Lou Lou
• A La Table d’Edmund
• L'Auberge de la Penne
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Art and Food Reign Supreme
Many of our guests in our rental apartments in Nice, Antibes and Cannes want to visit this famous but delightfully informal restaurant during their stay with us.
Vast wooden doors with a small eye-level peephole and a stained glass golden dove sign overhead provide an understated entrance. On the other side of the doors, past the outsized Cesar’s thumb sculpture, lies a walled courtyard shaded from the bright sun by a canopy of parasols, olive and fig trees.
The ambiance is relaxed and unstuffy and staff are courteous and professional. It is a very special place to eat, with a deceptively simple menu, good service and mellow atmosphere. You can take time to examine the extraordinary collection of paintings and sculptures installed in the courtyard and throughout the interior restaurant – donated by the original artists. Works by Matisse, Braque, Léger, Picasso and others mingle indoors and out with photographs and plants, haphazard and without ceremony.
The menu is fairly conservative ranging from simple starters like soup and melon to ambitiously priced caviar. A famous starter described simply as ‘hors d’oeuvres’ for about 28 euros is almost a meal in itself. More than 15 small trays of pulses, vegetables, grains, rice, fish, chickpeas, etc crowd the table, plus charcuterie, breads, raw salads, vegetables and boiled eggs and anchoïade, a wonderful anchovy dip. The waiters are quick to recommend ordering one hors d’oeuvres to share between two and it is wise to heed their advice. Main courses start at about 25 euros and include a straightforward selection of fish and meat, which is usually served with broccoli and dauphinoise potatoes, but the restaurant is particularly famous for its rabbit with an almost black blood-enriched sauce, served with pasta. The wine list starts at about 18 euros for a bottle of house wine and tap water is served freely in large red pottery jugs if you don’t want the bottled stuff.
If you’re hesitating over dessert, try the flambéed Grand Marnier soufflé or perhaps one of the seasonal tarts. Coffee is served with long thin spirals of chocolate. A couple ordering one hors d’oeuvres to share, then beef for two, a bottle of house wine and two coffees would pay around 60 euros a head. The experience of lunch at La Colombe d’Or on a sunny day over several hours, combined perhaps with a pre-lunch trip to the nearby Fondation Maeght modern art museum (entrance fee 11 euros) and a post-lunch wander around the walled village of St Paul de Vence, is hard to beat as a perfect day out. You may even catch sight of the occasional celebrity at La Colombe d’Or.
Booking well in advance is recommended and you will be asked to confirm a day or two before your reservation date. When staying in one of our rental apartments, you should feel free to ask us to book you a table. La Colombe d’Or is an easy trip. If you are staying in one of our holiday apartments in Nice, take the 400 bus from the bus station, and it almost stops outside. The journey takes about an hour and costs 1 euro each way.
If you think you don’t like anchovies, you might change your mind after a visit to the French Riviera. Anchoïade, a mayonnaise-like sauce made with the pounded fish, garlic and olive oil, is one of the best ways to appreciate them: their saltiness provides an addictive foil to raw vegetables. Another classic dish is bagna cauda, in which anchovies are melted with olive oil and plenty of garlic and served with crudités and bread. You’ll also come across anchovies in the Niçoise onion tart called pissaladière, whose name comes from the word pissala, meaning anchovy paste. These days you’re more likely to find whole anchovies on pissaladière than anchovy paste, making it easy for determined anchovy-haters to discard them.