This unique restaurant has a history that only the fewest can match.
It all started in 1920 when Paul Roux opened a small café, bar and restaurant where there was dancings on the weekends. Back then, the place was called “Chez Robinson” – Robinson’s.
The locals quickly fell in love with this cozy place and later in 1931 the café was expanded to a 3-bedroom inn and changed its name to La Colombe d’Or – The Golden Dove.
The sign hanging outside the restaurant with the golden dove was painted by the now deceased Belgian artist, Jean-Michel Folon, who was also responsible for the decoration of the beautiful chapel – today called the Folon Chapel.
La Colombe d’Or evolved over time
The restaurant has developed continuously over time since its inception in 1920. The facade of the building is assembled of stone from an old castle in Aix en Provence. The architect Jacques Couelle designed the fireplace, which bears the handprints of the people who were involved in the construction work on the facade.
At the end of World War II, a more international clientele arrived and Paul’s son Francois made friends with the new visitors, including Yves Montand. Later, Yves Montand met his future wife Simone Signoret at La Colombe d’Or in 1951 and in 1952 they get married in Saint Paul.
Became a mecca for famous artists
Paul Roux and his wife Baptistine, also called Titine, were very welcoming people and at the same time sincerely interested in art. This combination of their personalities and interests created a foundation that would prove to attract artists from all over the area – artists of a very special cast, who became extremely loyal customers of the restaurant.
The close relationship that Paul Roux had with the visiting artists has created the basis for the unique success that La Colombe d’Or has achieved through its 100 years of life.
The biggest celebrities – from Picasso to Schwarzenegger
In the golden period of the 40s, 50s and 60s, some of the most famous artists, actors and personalities frequented La Colombe d’Or. Yves Montand, Mel Brooks, Peter Ustinov, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood, Michael Caine, Roger Moore and many, many, many others.
A “city-must-xee” – Great art collected at La Colombe d’Or
The Roux family has over the years put together a completely unique private collection of art from some of the world’s most famous artists.
Visit La Colombe d’Or and experience the buzz of history in ever corner of the restaurant and enjoy the good food. Bon appetite!
Special dates for La Colombe d’Or
1920 – Paul Roux opens a café-restaurant called Chez Robinson
1922 – Paul Poux meets and marries Baptistine
1929 – His son Francis Roux is born
1931 – The restaurant is expanded and renamed La Colombe d’Or
1941- Scenes for the film “Visiteurs du Soir” are filmed at La Colombe d’Or
1951 – Simone Signoret and Yves Montand hold their wedding at La Colombe d’Or
1952 – The grandson Francois Roux is born
1953 – Paul Roux dies
1976 – Simone Signoret publishes his biography at La Colombe d’Or
1978 – Folon paints the iconic blue company badge with a golden dove hanging over the discreet front door of La Colombe d’Or
1986 – Baptistine Roux dies
1994 – Francois Roux (Paul’s grandson) joins the company
1997 – Bernard-Henri Lévy and Arielle Dombasle move into the hotel permanently
2005 – Yvonnes Roux (Francois’ mother) dies
2008 – The architect Jean Nouvel settles on top of Café de la Place (annex to the restaurant)
Treat yourself to a lunch or dinner
It is certainly not cheap, nor Michelin-expensive, so the opportunity to invite yourself and your loved ones to Colombe d’Or is certainly present.
When you visit the website to book a table, it gives the clear impression that here you have to do an effort before you can enjoy!
Contact: Restaurant La Colombe d’Or
By Tommy Sverre – 2022