Paris tour: must-sees in the French capital this summer
Our ‘Postcard from Paris’ details a Paris tour for the design-savvy traveller, including sophisticated showrooms, pop-up dining, a verdant hotel, chic chocolates and more
With international travel now back in full swing, we introduce our ‘Postcard from’ series, offering a snapshot of a different destination each month, highlighting the best new design, architecture, art, fashion, food and more. For this dispatch, our Paris editor Amy Serafin surveys the French capital, where an exhibition celebrates botanical beauty, an embroiderer and jeweller are elevating haute cuisine, and an Italian luxury brand is leading the way in wellness. Discover these highlights and more in our Paris tour.
Postcard from Paris: must-sees of summer 2022
Laura Gonzalez La Galerie
Interior architect Laura Gonzalez displays her exuberant, anti-minimalist yet sophisticated style at a new Left Bank showroom. She collaborated on the scenography with American fabric company Schumacher, who shares her taste for prints and colour. The eclectic universe includes a dinner table topped with raku marquetry, generously padded ‘Mawu’ chairs with flared oak legs, and a remarkable ‘Lilypad’ chandelier with glass petals.
3 Rue de Lille, Paris 7e, lauragonzalez.fr
The Italian luxury brand’s Paris hotel has a vast spa in Vicenza stone and Burmese teak. Its mosaic-lined pool is reserved for guests and members, but anyone can book a treatment, developed with niche skincare producers such as Augustinus Bader, who created an exclusive Bulgari facial. Take time out from your Paris tour to enjoy the ultimate in pampering – bring a plus-one to the Onyx Spa Suite, a private space with two treatment beds and a green stone Jacuzzi.
30 Avenue George V, Paris 8e, bulgarihotels.com
In 2017, APC France started a programme for clients to bring in their used APC clothing for credit. A selection of returns is reconditioned and sold at a new dedicated boutique. The store also carries prototypes, notably shoes and bags. Recent finds include a silk dress with a graphic floral pattern from the early 2000s (€90), a men’s work jacket with exposed stitching (€130), and an embossed ‘Betty’ bag (€180).
33 Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth, Paris 3e, apc.fr
Dim sum meets design at the third restaurant in the Bao family, opened by Céline Chung and reflecting her Chinese roots and French upbringing. The architecture studio Atelieramo designed the two-storey space to resemble old bourgeois houses of China, with a boudoir-like room upstairs. The affordable menu includes steamed baos, melt-in-your-mouth Dongpo pork, ginger milk pudding, and cocktails inspired by the regions of China.
8 Rue Saint-Lazare, Paris 9e, baofamily.co/bleu-bao
Palais de Tokyo
‘Reclaim the Earth’ is the title and rallying cry of a group exhibition now at the Palais de Tokyo (until 4 September 2022). It looks beyond the Western model to other ways for humans to exist as an integral part of the environment. Half of the artists are Indigenous, such as Yhonnie Scarce, whose Shadow creeper is an installation of blown glass pieces evoking both a radioactive cloud and a waterfall.
13 Avenue du Président Wilson, Paris 16e, palaisdetokyo.com
Alain Passard’s three-star restaurant has long been one of the very best. He shocked the culinary world two decades ago by replacing meat with a vegetable-driven menu. Now he’s brought the garden into his 16th-century basement, inviting two ateliers normally associated with couture, embroiderer Lesage and jeweller Goossens, to work magic on the decor. His signature dishes have been embroidered onto linen wall coverings, hung with gilded vines and butterflies.
84 Rue de Varenne, Paris 7e, alain-passard.com
Designed by Philippe Starck and Triptyque Architecture, Villa M is bursting with greenery. Make time in your Paris tour for a stop at the verdant rooftop bar, which serves original cocktails with a view of the Eiffel Tower. The inviting restaurant has sofas, kilims, and an open kitchen creating simple, delicious cuisine, from sea bream ceviche to a classic cheeseburger. A mixed-use building, Villa M also features a hotel, a wellness centre, a co-working space, even a boxing ring.
24 Boulevard Pasteur, Paris 15e, hotelvillam-paris15.com
Végétal – L’École de la Beauté
Sponsored by the jeweller Chaumet, this exhibition at the Beaux-Arts de Paris (until 4 September 2022) celebrates the plant kingdom as seen in art, science and design over the millennia. Curated by a botanist, it is a wide-ranging walk through forest, pond, fields and seashore, with a variety of treasures including herbariums, Arcimboldo paintings, a Dior dress, a 16th-century tapestry, and a 1920s Chaumet necklace of tiny pearls evoking something left behind by the tide.
13 Quai Malaquais, Paris 6e, beauxartsparis.fr
Alléno & Rivoire Chocolatiers
Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno and his pastry chef, Aurélien Rivoire, have taken chocolate to a new level. Just try to choose among creamy chocolate ‘clovers’ with the subtle flavour of mountain herbs, chocolate sticks with roasted coconut ganache, tablets to pair with Champagne or cognac, or incredibly juicy dried pineapple enrobed in chocolate. All sold in a striking new boutique, designed by artist Laurence Bonnel, Alléno’s wife, with Carrera marble arches.
9 Rue du Champ de Mars, Paris 7e, chocolat-allenorivoire.fr
One of this summer’s hot spots is a pop-up restaurant in the Musée Carnavalet gardens. By day, it offers creative self-serve lunches. At night, a responsibly-sourced, zero-waste menu by Thibaut Spiwack includes dishes such as Normandy beef gravlax with cognac, or small boat mackerel with sage, along with made-to-measure cocktails by mixologist Nico de Soto. Three oversized balloons cast soft light on the classical façade, for a fairytale ambiance.
16 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, Paris 4e, fabula.paris
A version of this article appears in the August 2022 Design for a Better World issue of Wallpaper*, available in print, on the Wallpaper* app on Apple iOS, and to subscribers of Apple News +. Subscribe to Wallpaper* today!