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Hotel Highlights

  • Affordable modern chic
  • Glorious views of St Paul de Vence from terrace and pool
  • A short drive from Nice and Cannes

Overview

This family-run chambre d'hôte on the Côte d'Azur is a tranquil boutique hotel a short drive from the beautiful village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence and the glitz of the Riviera. In the summer months Toile Blanche is famed for its wonderful cuisine, served on the terrace overlooking the beautiful garden and pool.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Toile Blanche with us:

A luxury Leroy Brothers art book; members staying three nights or more will also get half a bottle of wine (the colour of their choice)

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Toile Blanche

10% off two-night stays 3 nights for the price of 2

Facilities

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Toile Blanche Hotel – Cote D'Azur – France

Need To Know

Rooms

Six.

Check–out

12 noon, but flexible suject to availability; there is a luggage store for late-departing guests. Check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $233.85 (€178), excluding tax at 7 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €1.50 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Rates exclude a Continental breakfast of pastries, bread, hams and cheeses, hot drinks and orange juice (€17 each).

Also

In-room Californian massages are available (€100 for an hour). It's best to book a week in advance.

Hotel closed

Open year-round, but the restaurant is closed from mid-September to mid-June.

At the hotel

There is free WiFi in the lounge.

Our favourite rooms

Room 6 is a spacious room with a great private terrace; Room 5 has a small sun room with a day-bed. Room 1 is cosy and decorated in warm shades of aubergine and red, but be aware that it's positioned alongside the road so does get some traffic noise.

Poolside

The solar-heated outdoor pool is set on the terrace, with beautiful views.

Also

The terrace and gardens are sprinkled with sculptures. Pico the parrot lives in the garden and has a penchant for wolf whistling.

Children

The hotel is best suited to adults, but cots (€10 a night) and extra beds (€40 a night) can be added to most rooms.

Food & Drink

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Toile Blanche Hotel – Cote D'Azur – France

Hotel Restaurant

Toile Blanche's restaurant is open from 15 June 2014 to 15 September 2014 and is well known for delicious and creative cuisine. It's best to book ahead for dinner. The seasonal set menu (€55) is small but perfectly formed: try the fresh salad of asparagus, goat cheese, pomelo and mint, or the guinea fowl with chanterelle and summer tuffle.

Hotel Bar

There is no bar, but pre-dinner drinks are served on the terrace.

Last orders

Hotel guests can order salads and light lunches1pm–3.30pm; dinner is served 7.30pm–10pm.

Room service

There is no formal room service at Toile Blanche.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Relaxed Riviera style.

Top table

On the terrace, with views over the garden.

Local Guide

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Toile Blanche Hotel – Cote D'Azur – France
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Nearby Saint Paul de Vence is a picturesque hilltop village, famous for the artists who once trod its cobbled streets. Follow in the footsteps of Picasso, Chagall or Matisse, who gathered by the pétanque pitch at the entrance to the village: the mediaeval streets are easily explored on foot, with vistas over the vine- and olive-studded countryside below. The grounds of the Maeght Foundation (+33 (0)4 93 32 45 96) are dotted with Giacomettis, Braques and Chagalls; it hosts contemporary shows as well as 20th-century retrospectives. You'll find Toile Blanche's resident artsists the Leroy Brothers at the Guy Pieters Gallery (+33 (0)4 93 32 68 04) alongside a roster of international artists working with paint, photography and ceramics.

Local restaurants

The famous Colombe d’Or in Saint-Paul-de-Vence (+33 (0)4 93 32 80 02) has fine food and a stupendous art collection. Michelin-starred Alain Llorca (+33 (0)4 93 32 02 93) dishes up the freshest Mediterranean ingredients from his Mediterranean kitchen in a flamboyant dining room and sun-soaked terrace. On a pretty patio, Le Tilleul (+33 (0)4 93 32 80 36)serves light lunches and more indulgent dinners; the seasonal menus are peppered with French classics, the freshest seafood and intruiging fusion dishes such as tender veal stewed in coconut milk and spices. The pretty village of Haut-de-Cagnes is lovely for an evening stroll and has several excellent restaurants; Le Jimmy's is perfect for pizza (+33 (0)4 92 13 05 93). Michelin-starred Josy-Jo on Place du Planastel (+33 (0)4 93 20 68 76) has a seasonal menu based on local produce.

Local bars

Le Black Cat jazz club (+33 (0)4 92 08 04 69) next to the mediaeval castle in Haut-de-Cagnes is perfect for a late-night drink.

+ Enlarge
Arty enclave of St Paul de Vence

Toile Blanche

826 Chemin de la Pounchounière, 06570, Saint-Paul, Côte D'Azur, France

Toile Blanche is in the peacefull hills surrounding the mediaeval village of Saint Paul de Vence, a five-minute drive away.

Planes

The closest airport is Nice Côte d’Azur, 10km from the hotel. Take the A8 then the D336, following signs to Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Jumping on bus 400 is also an option. A taxi costs around €45.

Trains

The closest train station is Cagnes-sur-Mer, a 15-minute drive from the hotel. To Nice, the journey time is roughly 15 minutes.

Automobiles

Saint-Paul-de-Vence is less than half an hour out of Nice, and connected to the rest of the Côte d’Azur via the A8. Cannes (30 minutes), Antibes (35 minutes), Monaco (40 minutes) and St Tropez (an hour and a half) are all within easy driving distance. There’s parking at the hotel.

Reviews

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Toile Blanche Hotel – Cote D'Azur – France

Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

As we drove towards our destination through the rolling hills above the Côte d'Azur, down tiny tractor-filled country lanes, it was clear that this was to be a weekend for leaving city life far, far behind. Despite being a mere 15 minutes from Nice airport, we managed to get completely lost in the rural landscape; the countryside was so picturesque we were only too happy to take the scenic r…
Read more

Toile Blanche

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

As we drove towards our destination through the rolling hills above the Côte d'Azur, down tiny tractor-filled country lanes, it was clear that this was to be a weekend for leaving city life far, far behind. Despite being a mere 15 minutes from Nice airport, we managed to get completely lost in the rural landscape; the countryside was so picturesque we were only too happy to take the scenic route. Eventually we found what we were looking for – a beautifully restored 300-year-old house, finished in Provence’s signature honey-coloured render. We were greeted at Toile Blanche by the charming Madame Nadine who, like the setting itself, had a calm and gentle air.

The lack of dedicated reception area promotes a relaxed, informal feel. This informality could be said to extend to our room, where Mrs Smith discovered a neat stack of someone else’s smalls in the wardrobe. When we asked if we were in the right room, Madame appeared surprised, and came up to remove the mystery lingerie. Though charmed by the huge bed and gloriously big bath, we wondered whether the lack of TV or minibar was an oversight by the hotel. We found a whimsical note explaining that the absence is quite deliberate in order to create proper downtime. It wasn’t until we sipped an early evening beer on the terrace that the penny dropped...

This isn’t a full-service hotel stuffed with hairdryers and staff poised to pick up your towels. Toile Blanche is a chambre d’hôte – one of those quintessentially French things that doesn’t quite translate into English. It’s a place to stay as a privileged guest in a family home, where hotel facilities and amenities are swapped for the chance to gain an insight into the Riviera way of life. The owners are generally busy getting on with their lives during the day, rather than tending to your each and every need, so consequently they appreciate an easy-going attitude from their guests. At the same time, they value any opportunity to get to know you and truly want you to feel at home.

Yet this is no ordinary home. The rustic house and lavender-filled garden contrast delightfully with a very modern interior. Polished concrete walls are mixed with bold colours, intriguing sculpture and striking artwork. Pristine linen tablecloths and white parasols flap gently in the breeze: this is cutting-edge style in an idyllic rural setting.

When we quizzed one of Nadine’s amiable sons about the vibrant art adorning the walls, it transpired that Leroy+Leroy are not only resident artists, but also his brothers, and Toile Blanche’s talented chefs. Their parents’ love of art has clearly rubbed off – even extending to their own contemporary gallery. Here is a family business par excellence: a private home in the South of France given over to culture, food and laidback living. Perfect for a Smith escape.

Just as the hotel isn’t really a hotel, the restaurant isn’t really a restaurant, but a table d’hôte, albeit a very sophisticated one. Each night in summer a set menu is offered for a very reasonable €40. Fresh local ingredients arrive each day in distinctly un-Sainsbury’s-like wooden trays, and are cooked to perfection with a sense of adventure and fun. We’d advised our hosts that we’re vegetarian, and to our delight found that this didn’t mean missing out – who knew veggie haute cuisine could exist in France? Our love of apricot-hued Provençal rosé was also catered for by a well-chosen wine list.

By the end of the night we agreed that it was one of the best meals we’d ever had on French soil. That is some compliment, and it explains why this restaurant was full of locals and should be booked in advance. (Dinner is only served for three summer months and should not be missed). As our fellow dinners indulged in an incredible array of cheeses, we sloped off to bed, pausing briefly to ask at what time breakfast was served. The answer was a refreshing ‘as late as you like’.

We put this to the test by moseying downstairs from a prolonged lie-in at 11h15 to find one table on the terrace still set for breakfast. We apologised for being the last guests to rise but Madame shrugged, smiling: ‘Someone has to be.’ Breakfast was a splendid mix of fresh fruit, cheeses and patisserie with coffee and just-squeezed orange juice. We were then left to our own devices, which meant sunbathing for Mrs Smith and a splash in the elegant pool for Mr. The tranquillity that dominates the local valley was broken only occasionally by Pico, the 25-year-old feathered member of the family. Mr Smith discovered a new talent for squawking and whistling, to Mrs Smith’s embarrassment. Pico, unembarrassed, responded accordingly.

We decided (a little reluctantly) to go out for dinner the next night, and having already spent the day wandering the ridiculously quaint St-Paul-de-Vence, we headed to Haut-de-Cagnes, an untouristy mediaeval bourg where we climbed the steep alleys followed by a legion of ponderous Basset hounds. In Place du Château we came across a bucolic French scene of a boules match, so we bagged a table at Le Jimmy's and spent the evening debating, over perfect pizza and rosé, whether we could afford a local pied-à-terre.

Toile Blanche has all the essential ingredients for a boutique weekend away. The hills, cobblestone villages, pretty terrace and wolf-whistling parrot made it all the more unforgettable. But what makes Toile Blanche special is the languid pace of French family life and the phenomenal food. This is a hotel (sorry – chambre d’hôte) that could persuade even the most ardent urbanite to adopt a healthy dose of sun-kissed slothfulness.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Toile Blanche's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the tranquility and friendliness of the family running the hotel.

Don’t expect

The dinner menu could be more varied for guests staying longer than a couple of nights.

Rating: 7/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The unalienable truth of Toile Blanche is that it's been an idealic, tranquil retreat for 10 years now and it will continue to be for another 10, 20, 50 or 100 years. As long as it's run by the family Leroy, it cannot fail.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel was a hidden jewel with gorgeous views of the valley while only a five-minute drive to the picturesque town of Saint Paul de Vence. The family owners of the hotel could not have been more friendly and went out of their way to provide us with what we needed, from perfect breakfasts to transporting us to the town of an evening. Caroline was fabulous and we would like to thank her for looking after us during our very special stay.

Don’t expect

We would have loved to dine at the restaurant (which opens mid June) while we were there, but on the plus side we felt like we had the whole place to ourselves sometimes.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

It's just a 15-minute transfer from Nice airport Peaceful, relaxing, beautiful surroundings with understated, chic, arty decor. Fabulous room with glass doors to private terrace. Charming hosts who couldn't have been more helpful without being intrusive; it felt as if you were staying with the family. Great house wine, especially the local rosé.

Don’t expect

The restaurant, unfortunately, was closed, which was a disappointment as we were looking forward to trying it after the reviews that we had read. It is open June–Sept and we hope to plan a return visit to experience it.

Rating: 10/10 stars