Èze with Ease

As the taxi winded up the small road to La Chèvre D’Or, I noticed a single building in the distance on top of the hill, my heart skipped a beat or two and knew I was in for a special experience. Nicholas, our concierge had been right, this was nirvana.

Tucked away in the medieval village of Èze, La Chèvre D’Or is the pinnacle of resorts. Set above the Medettaerrean Sea, with unparalleled views, the resort is a mélange of rooms scattered around the hillside. At the top of the multistoried structure is the La Chèvre D’Or gastronomique restaurant. I couldn’t wait to experience this.

But first, one has to take in the setting of this one-of-a-kind resort. La Chèvre d’Or is described as a “unique ‘diva’, timeless, a jewel sparkling above the Mediterranean.” It is designed for wellness and oozes with ease.

La-Chèvre-D'Or-in-Èze
The Ease of the Diva

In 1953, Robert Wolf fell in love with Château de La Chèvre d’Or and turned it into a restaurant. Then he acquired houses in the village and transformed them into hotel rooms. The hotel later became one of the six stops of the “Route du Bonheur”, the beginnings of the Relais & Châteaux association.

Through time the different owners have continued to increase the number of rooms scattered through the medieval village. Today Château de La Chèvre d’Or has 45 rooms and suites.

And it is no easy feat to navigate oneself through the multi-levels of rooms and terraces that grace the hillside. It takes work and care to visit every nook and cranny of the property. However, that is where the “ease” of Èze begins to emerge.

terraces-at-La-Chèvre-D'Or
Beauty at Every Turn

In every part of the resort one encounters points of natural beauty, relaxation, shaded reserves, and inspiring vistas. The vegetation is immaculately kept and only enhances the aging structures. There are moments when you feel taken back in time, and then brought back to the present.

On my numerous jaunts around the property, I came across lush gardens with ever unique sculptures and bubbling fountains. All designed to bring stillness. Animals grace the gardens, in the form of metal replicas. Strange, yet somehow suiting the environment.

hillside-at-La-Chèvre-D'Or

Then there are the views. And pictures speak a thousand words.

statue-in-jasmine-La-Chèvre-D'Or
La-Chèvre-D'Or-fountain
kiran-at-La-Chèvre-D'Or

The beauty of this resort flowed from the astounding locale to an even more impressive accommodation. Our suite was fully outfitted with a heated pool at the entrance, private Jacuzzi on the terrace as well as a piano for inspiration. We could have stayed in the suite, worked out at the gym but the property pulled us out to explore and appreciate nature in it’s element.

From Rocks & Waves

On our second night at La Chèvre d’Or, we dined at the two Michelin starred gastronomique restaurant. As always, I was invited for a meeting with the chef, to better understand his approach to cuisine.

Chef Arnaud Fave is a Michelin starred chef, yet with a disposition of someone who is comfortable around any type of cuisine. His cuisine is sunny, aromatic and packed with vegetables, minerals and seafood. Having cooked in other leading hotels, it is no wonder that he found his way to La Chèvre D’Or. He seems suited for the unique space.

The views from the restaurant provide a 180 degree view of the Mediterranean. The service was on point, exceptional and attentive. Gradually we began to get to know the head server and the Sommelier. The wine pairings with Chef’s menu are fresh and delicate like the Loire wines with a collection of wonderful Sauvignons. Incredibly, there was no stuffiness, but a relaxed style to the dining experience.

Nicholas, had informed me that Chef Arnaud was passionate about vegetarian cuisine and that he would be delighted to expedite this for me. He was true to his word, Chef Arnaud created a five course vegetarian menu, prepared just for me. Entitled “From Rocks and Waves”, the meal was a thrill and an honor.

amouse-bouche-la-chèvre-d'or-gastronomique
A spectacular array of Amuse Bouche for the tasting.
The Menu
  • Amuse Bouche: Variations; Lemon on Ice (refreshing citrus phenomenal display on transparency), Haricot Vert (almost pureed yet with some integrity) on Spoon, Little Pastries (crunchy textures, explosion in the mouth) on Lentil Bowls.

  • Green Asparagus with Burnt Lemon & Nice (the city) Citrus Smoked (Egg) Dressing. (A play on hollandaise with the velvety smoothness that made the asparagus shine).

  • Fennel, textures declination with Samphire (samphire has a very distinctive and salty taste, it has vibrant stalks just like asparagus and can be used in raw salads). There are 2 types of samphire, marsh and rock. It is more palatable to enjoy the marsh one than the rock one!

  • Carrot, Puffed Quinoa Crust, Sweet Spices Jus. (A dance on the palate).

  • Artichokes, Crunchy Petits Farcis (lightly stuffed) with Pine Needles. (A work of art).

  • Eggplant, Miso Glazed, Mushrooms, Local Herbs Broth. (Unique shape, ever so mild umami).

artichoke-with-petits-farcis
Artichokes, Crunchy Petits Farcis (lightly stuffed) with Pine Needles.
kiran-in-la-chèvre-d'or-kitchen
Voila! I walk in just as production commences on my “Artichokes Petits Farcis”.
kiran-with-la-chèvre-d'or-executive-chef-arnaud-fave
Sometimes some of the most memorable pictures are taken behind the scenes.
The Èze Experience

I was completely in my element the next day when I met with Chef Arnaud over breakfast. We explored vegetarian cuisine, collaborated on a carrot recipe for a new book and chatted about celebrated Chef Jean Georges Vongeritchen and Chef Mauro Colagreco’s new enterprise at The Maybourne Riviera, just a stone’s throw from where we were!

Overall, a magnificent experience in a picturesque resort. From the moment of arrival, till departure, we established new friendships, received exemplary care courtesy of the attentive staff, in the midst of stunning surroundings. I was completely at ease. You would expect as much from a captivating place like Èze.

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