A Famous Restaurant Of The Cote d'Azur
I fulfilled a long term dream on my trip to the south of France ...
I dined at La Columbe d'Or.
Unlike the rich and famous before me, we had to make a reservation
several days ahead of our anticipated lunch in order to get a
table on the famous terrace. As I entered the gates,
I felt the ghosts of artists and literary greats of times past.
Nestled on a hilltop in St. Paul de Vence, the views from the terrace are breathtaking.
And the gorgeous flowers and plants give the feeling of the Garden of Eden.
La Columbe d'Or was opened in the 1920's as an open air terrace and then
expanded into an inn of just three rooms. The owners loved art and soon the walls
were covered with paintings, often in exchange for a stay or a few meals.
In the 1940's, when the Cote d'Azur became a "free zone," many avant-garde thinkers
and artists moved to this area and the Columbe d'Or became a place to gather.
Looking at this terrace, could you blame them?
At the end of the War, an international clientele arrived with the likes of
Yves Montand, Miro, Braque, Chagall, Calder Picasso and then in 1951,
La Columbe d'Or became the place where Yves Montand
and Simone Signoret were married.
It seemed that every table had it's own waiter. The service was incredible.
And the food ...delicious.
This is the basket of fresh vegetables that is presented to you as you
peruse the menu trying to make a selection.
After a long lingering lunch, we went to the bar for an after lunch drink
so that we could continue this wonderful afternoon.
Look at the lushness outside the window in the bar.
See the art over the bar? And the wonderful French men discussing
the politics of the day? And all the waiters that fuss over you
to make your meal memorable at this spectacular jewel?
The restaurant inside La Columbe d'Or was not open and that is where
many of the priceless art is hanging. Now I have a new item to add to my wish list.
Go visit La Columbe d'Or in the winter so that I can have
another wonderful meal inside the restaurant.
That's me, totally smitten with an afternoon at La Columbe d'Or.
Let me warn you ....
it's an expensive place to eat but once in a while, you just
have to treat yourself to a memorable experience. The food,
the service, and the ambiance of this place was so worth it.
And who knows?
I was probably having lunch with Yves and Simone and
probably Calder and Chagall at another table.