Restaurateur Charles Compagnon and interior designer Gesa Hansen’s new Paris café and restaurant, Café Compagnon, is a cheerful hideaway in the 2nd arrondissement that aims to be an extension of every Parisian’s apartment: a place where visitors can have a cup of coffee over their morning paper, as at all the best coffee shops, before settling down to work on their laptop for the afternoon, and, even better, meeting up with friends for dinner and drinks in the evening (something that, according to Hansen, a number of guests have actually done). 

Paris café and restaurant with a family feel

cafe compagnon gesa hansen paris restaurant

Compagnon and Hansen, who have been married since 2017, very consciously chose to foster a very familial atmosphere in the middle of the busy city.

The creation of the restaurant came after the death of Compagnon’s father, a man whose side of the family he never really knew but from whom he had one treasured memento – a book of sketches made by Charles Compagnon’s grandfather, the sculptor Carlos Ferreira della Torre (1914 – 1990). 

cafe compagnon gesa hansen paris restaurant

Hansen took Ferreira della Torre’s work as a central point of inspiration for Café Compagnon’s design. The sculptor’s drawings inspired the logo, while the work of contemporary sculptor Bianca Lee Vasquez and ceramist Sophia de Moser Leitao adorn the interior.

Ultimately, the space is inviting but elegant, with expressively carved wood furniture and polished concrete floors. Hansen peppered the space with burgundy-hued marble and fabric furnishings in an ode to her and Compagnon’s newly acquired vineyard. 

cafe compagnon gesa hansen paris restaurant

The exceptional wines from this vineyard, know as Charmetemps, are the highlight of Café Compagnon’s drink menu and perfectly complement its ‘new bistro style’ French cuisine.

Highlights include, Norman sirloin steak that is matured for 60 days and marinated in oyster mushrooms with fried panisse; and farm pork loin with grape purée, vadouvan (a French derivative of a masala spice), and porcini mushrooms. 

cafe compagnon gesa hansen paris restaurant

Finish it off with some exceptional cheeses from around France or, Hansen’s own favourite, a chocolate tart made with 65 per cent Venezuelan dark chocolate.

It’s so good that one customer came back to the Paris café three times just to have another slice, within the first few days that Café Compagnon was open. Bon appétit. §