La Colombe d’Or

La Colombe d’Or

La Colombe d’Or is one of the world’s most famous restaurants, visited by the most famous people in the world.

wall ceramic by Fernand Legér at the Colombe d'or in Saint-Paul-de Vence
Unique art from the world’s most famous artists adorns the walls of the restaurant

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.

Art by the swimming pool at Colombe d'Or restaurant
Art by the swimming pool at Colombe d’Or restaurant

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.

page with Chaplin and Miro's guestbook signature from the book La Colombe d'Or by Prosper Assouline
The guestbook with Miro´s and Chaplin’s signature – foto©pProsper Assouline

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

Other experiences in Saint-Paul de Vence
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  • Art
  • Churches & chapels
  • Food & Wine
  • Fountains
  • Hiking
  • Museums
  • Shops
  • Wash-houses
Churches & chapels

The Collegial Church

The 17th century marked the golden age of the church in Saint-Paul de Vence. Here, in 1666 the church was raised to the rank of Collegial Church by the bishop Antoine Godeau of Vence

Churches & chapels

The Cemetery of Saint-Paul de Vence

One of the most visited cemeteries on the Côte d’Azur – here rests several celebrities – including Chagall & Maeght

Museums

Célestin Freinet school

The famous schoolteacher and educator Célestin Freinet (1896-1966) taught in Saint-Paul de Vence between 1928 and 1933.

Churches & chapels

The Folon chapel – The White Penitents

Experience the admirable Folon Chapel, a design work of Jean-Michel Folon and learn more about an artist who had strong ties to Saint-Paul de Vence for over thirty years.

Fountains

Grand Fontaine 1850

La Grande Fontaine was built in 1850 in the Provencal style and has inspired many painters and photographers over time.

Hiking

Walk along the western rampart

“Henri Layet discovery walk” – this is a wonderful little walk on a recently created path that runs along the western side of the city.

Art

Lucky the Horse by Rémi Pesce

The artist, Rémi Pesce, used 3,000 horseshoes to create the statue, each representing Saint-Paul’s approx. 3,000 inhabitants

Selected experiences in cities close to Saint-Paul de Vence
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  • Churches & chapels
  • Hiking
  • Museums
Vence

Hike to Saint-Paul de Vence

This hike to Saint-Paul de Vence from the center of Vence is neither too long nor too strenuous, but rather beautiful and cozy.

Vence

Saint Elisabeth chapel

Saint Elisabeth chapel in Vence impresses with its rediscovered fresco paintings by Giovanni Canavesio, and its history dates back to the 14th century.

Vence

The Museum of Vence

The Musée de Vence / Fondation Émile Hugues is situated in the heart of the historic city center and is among the very popular sights on the Côte d’Azur.

Vence

Cathedral Notre-Dame-de-la-Nativité

Here in the middle of the old medieval town of Vence you will find France’s smallest cathedral. Usually one expects cathedrals to be large and impressive…

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Gombrowicz Museum

Dedicated to the Polish master writer Witold Gombrowitz and beautifully situated in Villa Alexandrine.

Vence

Chapel Pénitents Blancs

This chapel is the largest and most interesting chapel in Vence. Centrally located, just a few hundred meters from Place Grand Jardin, on the ancient Roman road to Castallane…

Vence

Rosary Chapel by Matisse

The Rosary Chapel by Matisse is together with the cathedral in the old town Vence’s biggest attraction and one of Henri Matisse’s greatest masterpieces.

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