Café Lapérouse: backed by an Arnault, designed by Cordelia de Castellane
The Arnault family have a new interest in the experiential economy, a thoroughly chic new restaurant, backed by Antoine Arnault and located in Paris' grandest square.
Named Café Lapérouse, it’s located within the Hôtel de la Marine, the extensively renovated former naval ministry situated on the north side of Place de la Concorde.
Jean-François de Galaup, the count of Lapérouse, was a French naval officer and explorer, whose ship disappeared in a shipwreck in the south Pacific in 1788. And the restaurant has a suitably nautical theme – with a beautiful wallpaper mural of tropical fauna drawn by Cordelia de Castellane, the creative director of both Dior kids and the couture house’s home collection and art de la table.
“Lapérouse was an enormously romantic figure and I wanted to capture some of that in our design,” explained de Castellane, a highly talented illustrator, who sketched the restaurant's charming ceramics.
She also elevated the street side of the restaurant allowing guests neat views onto Place de la Concorde, where this week crews were building the stands for the annual Bastille Day parade.
The original Lapérouse – an atmospheric historic haunt where noblemen could dine with ladies of easy virtue in private rooms - is located across the Seine on Quai des Grands Augustins.
Lapérouse is decidedly opulent and posh, yet relaxed. With great ceramic sconces by Atelier Jean Roger and a brilliant seashell display above the bar, illuminated by five vintage Baccarat chandeliers. The new space will be operated in Arnault’s partners in the project, Moma Group, the most dynamic new French restaurant group, which opened 11 new eateries this spring including Tortuga, Créatures and La Fontaine Gaillon in Paris and Noto and Shellona in St Tropez.
Lapérouse Concorde also boasts not one but two terraces: on the south side looking into the square on the northern within an interior courtyard loggia. Adding up to around 180 covers. During the current soft opening, it’s already begun attracting luxury clientele. Chaumet staged their recent gala dinner there.
Though opulent, the menu is not overpriced: at breakfast, avocado toast costs 12 euros; lunch features macaroni crab and cheese at 33 euros or a wagyu beef burger at 39 euros. Eggs can vary in price from 9 euros with chives and butter to an egg with caviar at 45 euros – catering to all tastes, and budgets.
And, at a moment when Europe’s richest man, LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault has begun investing in experiential luxury, his son’s Lapérouse looks like fashion’s must-visit eatery.
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