DIN­ING AMONGST WORK OF ART IN THE FRENCH RIVIERA

Jean Cocteau’s po­etic oa­sis Villa Santo Sospir

World Travel Magazine - - Just In -

The Mediter­ranean’s balmy blue skies and St Jean Cap-fer­rat’s lux­u­ri­ous set­ting could very well be the def­i­ni­tion of par­adise on earth. Miche­lin-starred Ex­ec­u­tive Chef Yoric Tièche at Grand-hô­tel du Cap-fer­rat, A Four Sea­sons Ho­tel el­e­vates the ex­pe­ri­ence with a deca­dent four-course din­ner and cock­tails en­joyed from the ter­race of the leg­endary Villa Santo Sospir, a work of art by Jean Cocteau, adorned with mo­saics, murals & fres­coes and fre­quented by the likes of Mar­lene Di­et­rich, Coco Chanel and Pablo Pi­casso.

This artis­tic evening ac­com­mo­dates six and re­quires a book­ing 20 days in ad­vance. A per­sonal tour of the villa and its art by so­cialite Francine Weisweiller’s for­mer care­taker re­veals sto­ries of lively par­ties, in­spi­ra­tions that lead to the cre­ation of the tat­toos on the walls in char­coal and colour that make this villa ex­cep­tional.

Dur­ing the 1949 film­ing of Jean Cocteau’s Enfants Ter­ri­ble, based on his fa­mous novel, the young film­maker, Jean Pierre Melville met Francine Weisweiller and de­vel­oped a friend­ship at first sight. The fol­low­ing year, Francine in­vited Cocteau to spend a hol­i­day in this house in St Jean Cap-fer­rat, star­ring stun­ning views of Ville­franche-sur-mer. The empty walls of Villa Santo Sospir called to the poet and he be­gan to adorn the home by paint­ing the head of Apollo over the fire­place. This lead to the mas­ter paint­ing fres­cos through­out the sto­ried prop­erty, with the hope his painted tat­toos might af­ford some kind of pro­tec­tion to the villa to ward off the de­struc­tion of the war he’d re­cently wit­nessed.

In­spired by Greek mythol­ogy and the beauty of coastal France, Cocteau would spend a sum­mer paint­ing on lad­ders while var­i­ous as­sis­tants helped him mix the proper colours of paint. Over the years Cocteau en­joyed the villa and found him­self sip­ping his favourite aper­i­tif, the bit­ter La Suze, at sun­set. san­tosospir.com & foursea­sons.com/capfer­rat

From top left, Francine Weisweiller in­vited Jean Cocteau to spend a hol­i­day in this house in St Jean Cap-fer­rat; the empty walls of Villa Santo Sospir called to the poet who be­gan to adorn the home; mo­saics, murals & fres­coes at the villa once...

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