From sophisticated new hotels and Michelin-star restaurants run by celebrities, the French capital is welcoming a whole host of new businesses created by French and foreign designers and architects.
There’s no lack of imagination when it comes to the elegantly curated lifestyle goods at Merci, a concept store located at the edge of the Marais district. As you wander through the 19th century building, you’ll feel like you’re in the home of a stylish Parisian – that person wears a vintage parachute skirt with a silk top and looks like she’s just walked off the runway. On each floor, Merci gives visual cues for how to live the seemingly effortless “French girl” style. A rack of one-of-a-kind mohair sweaters sits next to an industrial metal table set with hand-blown glass plates and mismatched flatware. Downstairs, you can catch your breath at the newly-renovated Used Books Café, where you can snack on poached pears with granola and a pulpy cocktail.
111, Boulevard Beaumarchais 75003 Merci-Merci.com
After 16 years of renovations, La Samaritaine – the illustrious Parisian department-store complex that faces the Seine – started welcoming customers beneath its iconic Eiffel-structured glass roof once again in 2021. The magnificent central staircase, covered in 16,000 gold leaves, provides access to seven floors dedicated to fashion, beauty and food. Tucked into the south compound is the luxury hotel Cheval Blanc, which houses 72 guest rooms and boasts one of the finest views in Paris.
9, Rue de la Monnaie, Paris 75001 dfs.com
Long-time antiques dealer and collector Philippe Rapin, who has now joined forces with frequent collaborators Virgile Dumont and Alice Kargar, has moved this well-known Left Bank gallery to its new premises opposite the Pont Neuf. The gallery specializes in Italian furniture from the 1910s to the 1950s, as well as exceptional pieces, such as mirrors and chandeliers by goldsmith Robert Goossens (who worked with both Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent) and “jewellery furniture,” featuring semi-precious stones from the Kam Tin collection (which is designed by Rapin him-self). There are also brand-new collabs, such as an enchanting cabinet adorned with rooster feathers by artist Serkan Cura that required 9,300 hours of work.
7 Quai de Conti, Paris 75006 Maison-rapin.com
When Pierre Branchereau burst onto the florist scene in 2013 with this shop south of Pigalle, he immediately caused a sensation. Inspired by 17th-century Flemish painting and the decorative arts, he is known for his exuberant style, mastering the art of large graphic compositions featuring contrasting colours and combining exotic flowers and dyed carnations. In late 2021 he opened a second establishment just 100m away, dedicated to potted plants and decorative items such as vases, candle holders and plates.
30 Rue Henri Monnier and 19, Rue Victor Massé, Paris 75009 debeaulieu-paris.com
Architect duo Virginie Friedmann and Delphine Versace have dared to take things in a different direction with Bambini, a trendy Italian restaurant nestled in the Palais de Tokyo, Europe’s largest contemporary art centre, by adding warmth and a sense of theatre to the brutalist structure. With Sienese marble countertops, giant suspended weaves, rattan armchairs, wall frescoes and floral prints, the world they have created here is part-Fellini, part-Villa Malaparte and part-1970s glamour. And then there’s the menu: a glorious combination of oven-baked pizzas and tried-and-true Italian classics, such as macaroni with truffles and saltimbocca.
13, Av. du Président Wilson, Paris 75016 Bambini-restaurant.com
MoSuke and Mosugo
Just months after opening his first restaurant, MoSuke, young chef Mory Sacko – a former Top Chef contestant who trained at the Royal Monceau and the Mandarin Oriental – picked up the destination’s first Michelin star. In a back-to-basics setting, he creates high-flying dishes merging African cuisine with Japanese flavours and a touch of French gastronomy. The result? The likes of chicken yassa with grains of paradise, creamed rice and yuzu liqueur or sticky rice with okra and caviar. The chef has also opened Mosugo, a street food outlet specializing in fried chicken, just a few doors away.
Twenty-six-year-old Belgian-born chef Mallory Gabsi chose to open his eponymous gourmet restaurant in a quiet, high-end neighbour-hood that lies in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe. He called upon interior designer Arnaud Behzadi to provide the perfect setting to showcase his vibrant cuisine, which bridges the gap between Brussels and Paris, to its full potential. The result is an intimate setting that incorporates saffron-hued benches, varnished plane tree wood in shades of mahogany and travertine tables set off by elegant hanging lamps. The fully velvet-clad alcove – the ideal spot to sample the four- or seven-course tasting menu – is just one of the great design features of this restaurant.
Hôtel Particulier Montmartre
Tucked away behind a large private gate is Hôtel Particulier Montmartre, an exclusive retreat with just five suites and a lush garden. Each lavish suite is inspired by an historical era (like the Roaring ‘20s) and may feature eclectic design elements like leopard-print wall coverings. Meanwhile, the on-site restaurant, Le Grand Salon, is draped in powdered-velvet fabrics and palm-tree lamps.
23, Avenue Junot, Paris 75018 HotelParticulier.com
The first in a new collection of hotels featuring the aesthetics and lifestyle of ELLE magazine, this 25-room boutique hotel, housed in a 1920s building near the Champs-Élysées, boasts a prime location for a Parisian pied-à-terre. Behind the attractive anthracite frontage and chic black and white awnings lies a custom-designed space created by duo Laurent & Laurence, complete with graphic touches echoing the tweeds, sailor stripes and small checks of a fashionable wardrobe.