Travelling Article - 48 Hours in Saint-Paul-De-Vence

 By Eve Hartridge Follow Eve on Twitter 

 Saint-Paul-De-Vence is a stunning Medieval town situated around twenty minutes drive away from Nice Airport. It is one of the oldest Medieval towns in the French Riviera, smaller than Carcassonne but, very similar and certainly in keeping with a Kate Mosse novel. Saint-Paul has become a centre for modern and contemporary art, Marc Chagall is a former resident and it's narrow cobbled streets are packed full of galleries. Sir Roger Moore is a frequent visitor and it's not difficult to understand why he fell in love with such a magical and tranquil place.

 Where to Stay

 Situated a short walk (or even shorter bus ride) away is La Grande Bastide, a former 18th century residence and now a luxury boutique hotel with just fourteen rooms. The hotel is the essence of Provence with tiled terracotta floors, honey coloured walls, crisp white linen and freshly cut flowers. Rooms are well appointed and all have stunning balcony views of Saint-Paul with the sea beyond, the view is so perfect it's enough to make any visitor want to be an artist! The hotel gardens are beautifully maintained, a hammock or day bed is the obvious place to relax, unwind and catch up on some reading. The hotel has a small swimming pool and jacuzzi, another ideal spot to take in the view. The hotel breakfast is outstanding, throughout the day a bar service is available for drinks and divine light snacks however, there is no on-site restaurant.


 Where to Eat

 At La Grande Bastide the resident Citron 2 CV is available on request to transport guests into Saint-Paul and for dinner in the town there is no mode of transport that I would favour more! The town has a real mix of cafes, bars and small restaurants, often menus are not translated so it's wise to pack a phrase book, download an app or brush up on school standard conversation. Just outside of the town walls there is one place not to be missed, La Colombe D'Or. La Colombe D'Or is a hotel and restaurant which is generally considered to be one of the best in Southern France. It was a favourite with F Scott Fitzgerald and is still run by the Roux family today. Dining at La Colombe D'Or is an experience in itself, the food is fresh, flavoursome, plentiful and epitomises classic French cuisine. The service is excellent and the wine list extensive, however, dine in the restaurant and you will experience more than just the food. The hotel has a priceless art collection, from paintings to murals and sculptures, it is quite breathtaking. I have never before dined under the watchful eye of an original Picasso.

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