Café Mollien — Paris, France
There’s now another reason to visit the Louvre. Following a one-month closure, Café Mollien has reopened its doors to showcase a new, reimagined interior, designed by Mathieu Lehanneur. Located in the Denon Wing of the city’s most iconic museum, the 150 sq metre café links the Tuileries Gardens and Carrousel with the cultural centre and accordingly features the momentous soaring ceilings, lashings of marble and grandiose one would expect from this space.
Lehanneur’s deft touch comes by way of upholstered wood benches that line a series of high alcove windows, alongside matte white furniture and a ten metre long marble bar. An oversized brushed brass and acrylic lighting fixture takes centre stage, its elongated branches reaching heights of 4.5 metres, punctuated by three pink translucent eggs. These rose accents are the only hints of colour here, aside from the veined marble floor tiles — elsewhere the palette is largely muted, marked by the earthy tones of stone. Just beyond, a show-stopping terrace offers the best view of the money shot — the Louvre Pyramid — amongst a collection of historic statues.
The menu may not be as grand as the surroundings — the quick lunch options on offer include mixed salads, quiches, focaccia and bagels — though the ushering in of famed patissier Philippe Urraca is set to change that. Until then, visitors with have to settle for sandwiches with a side of Mona Lisa.