this is where the magic happens {la colombe d’or}…

la colombe d'or

even without the beating mediterranean sun & the fragrant smell of lavender in the air, there’s something undeniably magical about la colombe d’or

maybe it’s the history, maybe it’s the tranquil location nestled beneath the ramparts of the historical town of saint-paul de vence, or a combination of these things & more, but on our recent autumnal visit we found ourselves instantly enchanted…

la colombe d'or_reception

once a refuge for artists, movie stars & royalty alike, the patinated walls of this humble establishment are laden with nostalgia, most of which comes in the form of precious artworks often gifted in return for lodgings & hospitality…

boasting the works of picasso, matisse, calder & miró {to name but a few}, this restaurant-cum-lodgings-cum-art gallery is a rarified find & a retreat in the truest sense of the word…

entry is via a set of large wooden doors which bear the politest of signs informing the outside world that what lies within is for the consumption of restaurant & hotel guests only: already you feel a little special with a side of smug…

as you step inside your senses are arrested, not the least by a giant marble thumb sculpted by césar which stands sentry at the gate & sits rather incongruously with its provincial surrounds {every home should have one of these}…

cesar_la colombe d'or

a ceramic mural by leger hangs nonchalantly nearby, shaded by foliage & forming a colourful backdrop to the crisp linen table tops, whilst a giant white dove sculpture perches in the branches overhead…

leger_la colombe d'or

alongside gnarled figs trees with makeshift pendant lights fashioned from hollowed-out pumpkins, it’s the perfect blend of over-the-top fabulous meets rural thrift…

the terrace_la colombe d'or

our room upstairs follows suit: rustically charming with white walls & exposed beams, it’s simply furnished with a smattering of antiques & understated artworks, white waffle-weave bedding & kilim rugs which skim the tiled floors…

it all feels a little like a weekend away at auntie’s: pleasant, homely & lacking pretension {as an ill-concealed leaking pipe & a hand-held shower which strains to reach its wall mounting bear testimony to}…

la colombe d'or_bedroom

& then there’s that view…

the view

despite it being the middle of october, we left the french doors flung wide open to make the most of the pool-side vista & the scent of wood fires burning in distant chimneys: this is the thing memories are made of…

dinner in the restaurant downstairs was, however, disappointingly less memorable although indisputably atmospheric nonetheless…

la colombe d'or_restaurant

there, overlooked by dimly-lit masterpieces & decidedly brusque wait staff, we chomped our way through the house specialty hor d’oeuvres {definitely a dish for two}, a plate of fresh fig & ham the size of the moon, beef steaks, a melt-in-the-mouth chocolate slice & a flambé soufflé {a version of which the lady at the table across from us humorously tried to blow out}…

but, truth be told, as lovely as the dining room was with its yesteryear charm & warming tones, i found my thoughts drifting elsewhere:

la colombe d'or_calder

to the poolside oasis where you get to hang with an oversized calder mobile amongst the spear-like conifers…

la colombe d'or_bar seats

& the snug surrounds of the bijou bar just off reception where leather cushions plonked in window seats invite lounging with an apéritif {if only these walls could talk}…

la colombe d'or_terrace

&, invariably, back to the courtyard beyond where, beneath a canopy of twinkling stars & lovingly-tended trees, the true magic of la colombe d’or happens…

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2 thoughts on “this is where the magic happens {la colombe d’or}…

  1. Oh wow (truthfully the first word that came out was a little more colorful but I toned it down to be polite 🙂 You and Annie weren’t kidding when you said Colombe d’Or is fabulous. A Calder mobile over the lush pool? That window bench with the leather pillows? That mural surrounded by trees on the outdoor dining patio? Damn. And all of that artistic history! It sounds like you soaked up a ton of sun & inspiration. Magical indeed. xo

    • hah! don’t worry, this is a swear friendly zone! 😉 it really felt like a place that had held a lot of love, if that makes any sense? some places seem to be able to do that, right?

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