Fine art meets fine dining on the French Riviera from June 1 through to August 15, when guests at the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat can savour the surroundings of the iconic Villa Santo Sospir. The villa was a summer retreat of the poet, writer, artist and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, and a gathering place for luminaries such as Coco Chanel, Marlene Dietrich and Pablo Picasso. It sits high above the Mediterranean and is an ideal venue for a Michelin-starred, entirely bespoke, four-course dinner orchestrated by the hotel’s executive chef Yoric Tièche.
Over the course of several years in the 1950s, Cocteau enlivened the residence of Francine Weisweiller (a patron to both Cocteau and Yves Saint Laurent) with a series of colourful murals, mosaics and frescoes – all of which remain today and make for a unique setting. The fine dining experiences can be arranged for up to six people and begin with a transfer from the Grand-Hôtel to the villa, followed by a tour of the property with long-time estate manager, Eric Marteau. After viewing Cocteau’s immersive masterpiece, guests will retire to the terrace to sip the artist’s favourite aperitif – the bitter La Suze – while watching the sunset.
The real fun, however, begins at dinner (from €4,200 for two, €286 per additional person and €150 per child under 12), a culinary odyssey conceived by chef Tièche and orchestrated by an on-site chef and maître d’ as guests are seated in the intimate sitting room – a spot where Cocteau and his friends once dined.
The menus feature plenty of fresh fish and pay homage to the artist with the inclusion of some of his favourite dishes, such as roasted veal filet with girolle mushrooms and a savoury-sweet peach and almond purée, as well as a fricassée of lobster with black garlic. Appetisers include seasonal vegetable salads and catch-of-the-day tartares, while a verbena-infused apricot with sorbet makes for a refreshing endnote to the meal.