Our Special Place

It’s been a long time coming that Mum wanted to bring me to La Colombe d’Or in Saint Paul de Vence.

I’ve seen photos of it in this book that we have at home.

Mum had celebrated past birthdays here and during the summers when she didn’t stay at the hotel, she would still drive over from other parts of southern France for lunch at this famous courtyard restaurant.

But circumstances changed – and she hadn’t been back for more than a decade. So I am so thrilled we’re returning to her special place to celebrate her birthday.

On the way to our room, by the poolside is a sculpture of a big green apple by the row of pool lounges.

Many a photo had been taken there – and we needed one of us.

We had one of the two rooms right by the pool.

Just checking in …
The rooms are disarmingly simple and in each room, you will find a piece of art from many of the artists that once resided in the hotel.

The view from our room.

The iconic giant Calder mobile over the emerald green swimming pool …

And these cypress trees with tales to tell.

Mum showed me the art-filled dining room of so many famous names – Chagall, Picasso, Miro, Leger, the names go on and on.

A Miro
A Picasso

Just outside the windows of these doing rooms is the smart courtyard.

Sculptures and artworks scattered between the white table-cloth tables

This by Leger

The bar area in the evenings is often bustling with anticipation as hotel guests and restaurant guest gather for their aperitifs.

And it is here where Picasso once lurked.

Oops! We saw this on our way out – but then how can we get to our room without going past this sign?

May’s comment: It all felt familiar and nothing much has changed – definitely not the menu. I recognise some of the staff from a decade ago. The last time I also had one of the two rooms by the pool … and memories immediately flooded my mind.

The weather was still a little cool and really not quite pool time yet. But at day’s end when everyone had gone indoors, getting ready for supper, I just wanted a quiet moment with Darcy.

As we sat by the pool as dusk descended upon the day – I looked at the little fluff ball sitting next to me. She may not understand why we were in this unfamiliar place but for me she had helped me re-create memories. This way the past stays in the past and everything that I still love holds new and significant memories with Darcy.

La Colombe d’Or in Saint Paul de Vence is a legacy of three generations. Paul Roux and his wife Baptistine, known as “Titine”, first opened this in the 1920’s known as Chez Robinson.

Titine suggested that they should expand their business to include lodging and with a new name – La Colombe d’Or.

During World War II it became a safe haven for struggling artists but over time it became a gathering for the jet sets till today. It is at the bar where Picasso once lurked – keeping an open bar tab and the promise of another painting.

Today La Colombe d’Or is a beloved landmark.

It has always been a special place for me and thrilled to have been able to share it with Darcy.


  1. Alison Wood

    Looks amazing May. Hope you and Darcy are having great birthday celebrations ?

  2. Julie mcevilly

    Thank you for also sharing this with us! Julie & Bailey x

  3. Peter & Jan

    So nice that it brings back good memories
    Happy Birthday and have a lovely holiday

  4. Maureen Dell

    It’s lovely that you got to treasure those memories especially now with Darcy. It looks like a little piece of heaven.

  5. Janice James

    What a beautiful place, love following your adventures x

  6. Rita and Gracie

    We have also been celebrating this weekend, Geoff’s recovery from recent lung surgery, his birthday on Saturday and our 52nd wedding anniversary today….font you just love the month of April.? Enjoy the rest of your trip and come back refreshed.

  7. Myrna

    I’ll never see this beautiful place in person, May, so thank you for taking us along on your special trip.

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