5 nights in Saint Paul du Vence
We are looking for restaurant suggestions within an hour's drive. Favorite bistro or fine dining tips are all appreciated. Any "must have" reservations to be made now?
I hesitated to answer this since it is almost ten years since I was there, but since you have not gotten any responses, I thought I would suggest some places. Do some further research, though, to make sure they are still as I remember them. We did not dine in Saint Paul de Vence, as we stayed in nearby Vence, and had some excellent meals there. We stayed at the Auberge des Seigneurs, which has a restaurant, Le Lion d'Or. It is very traditional, reasonably priced, and quite good. For more modern food, we enjoyed Le Vieux Couvent and Auberge des Templiers. Unfortunately, the best place we went to, Jacques Maximin, has closed. In Nice we had a great lunch at Le Chantecleer, which has since changed chefs but I believe still has a Michelin star. The setting in the Hotel Negresco is beautiful. If you can travel a bit farther, the Michelin two-star Chateau de la Chevre d'or in Eze is worth a trip. Go for lunch on a clear day for a magnificent view.
La Chevre d'Or has a fabulous view, but the restaurant is an overpriced tourist trap. The best resturant around there is L'Hostellerie Jerome in La Turbie. You might want to go to Tetou for the bouillabaisse. Nice is full of good newish restaurants: Millesime 82, Flaveur, Luc Salsedo, Don Camillo Creations.
It's also been a long time since I have been there, but I cannot imagine spending 5 days in St. Paul de Vence. As far as I know, the Fondation Maeght and La Colombe d'Or are the draws there, and can easily be done in a day.
When I was there, La Colombe d'Or's food was très ordinaire, but the restaurant is a must because of the extraordinary art collection on its walls that they will not share with visitors unless you dine with them.
I agree with you, June. There is not a lot to do in SPdV, but it is a pretty good base for touring the area, which can easily fill the 5 days. Unfortunately it does not have many restaurants so one has to drive elsewhere, unlike Vence which has so many places that are in the town and within walking distance.
It is a great area to be based. I have stayed several times in the area, three or so times right around Saint Paul de Vence that I can remember right now.
What month will you be there? An hour's drive means different distances high season v. low, and during the month of November several places completely close for a portion of the month. Will you have a kitchen or are you planning to eat all of your meals out?
Thank you for all the input. We will be at La Columbe d'Or 10/1-6. Our friend spent a summer there as as a youth and this will be the second time for the rest of us. We plan to tour while based there.......
I can't remember if Mougins is within an hour of Saint Paul de Vence, but if it is (or even if it isn't!!) Moulin de Mougins is a wonderful memory that I have kept for many years.
I do remember a little roitisserie restaurant in Saint Paul de Vence where the owner didn't speak English, and we didn't speak French, so he acted out the meny choices for us. It was a real charmer. I can't remember the name, but maybe you'll stumble upon it.
Shoot. I just was about to post a long reply and hit the wrong key and lost the post. Here is a hasty reconstruction.
Moulins de Mougins is indeed not too far away, however it has a new chef; perhaps someone who has eaten there this summer can post an update? Sounds like achoo probably ate there when it was still run under Roger Verge's leadership.
Here is a thread about Cagnes-sur-Mer. I think it is a lovely area to go for a meal; see the comments for various suggestions:
Antibes is another nice destination for a meal. Bacon comes to mind immediately:
I also have had some nice, less expensive meals in the area of Vieil Antibes, and need to dig out some notes and/or business cards to remember names. Will try to do this in the next day or so.
Hope this helps! -sou
One or two more quick notes.
It has been awhile, however, while I think La Colombe d'Or is lovely, and loved the patio for the atmosphere in nice weather, and the inside for the art, I can't say I would recommend it for the food and/or sometimes the service. If I remember correctly, the restaurant at Le Saint-Paul in the village was around the same price and a much, much better experience. There was also a much less expensive restaurant in the village that we really enjoyed, and I will try to dig out info about it too.
One of my favorite food memories was several years ago when I stayed for a few days at Le Diamant Rose not too far away on the road between St Paul de Vence and La Colle sur Loup, and had a few meals in and from their restaurant. It is now called Le Clos des Arts:
Has anyone eaten there recently?
Also if you haven't seen it yet, I find beaulieu's blog a great read:
Check out the Cote d'Azur and separate sub-sections for reviews in the area.
re: Kensington gourmet
I can't speak with authority, having been to southern France but once, in 2003. My tour group dined at Chevre D'Or. It wasn't memorable, but we dined banquet-style, all 30 of us having the same food. However, another chowhounder suggested, if one is nearby, breakfasting there on the terrace, to see the inn and enjoy the spectacular hilltop view of the Mediterranean at a sane price. That is an appealing idea.
Also, a friend has lived in Nice for several years. She Emailed recently and said that she and her Nicoise friends find Flaveur a terrific place to dine, and a good value. Beaulieu's suggestion to dine in Nice, if you can, is a good one, also, the fresh markets in Nice and Cannes, if you have the time and opportunity to visit them, are not to be missed.