paris: le café français opening

© le café français / photography: matthieu salvaing

dare we say that the good life in paris is actually very, very good? there's no shortage of cool places, and the options where to indulge your senses only seem to increase. one of the latest stylish openings in town is that of le café français, the new flagship venture of gilbert and thierry costes. the fraternal duo opened the legendary, philippe starck-designed café costes in 1984, and have since then churned a slew of cool hospitality venues across town. previously the site of two separate cafés, the combined space that is now le café français, is very much a modern and glamourous take on the traditional grand café phenomenon.

partially located on the former premises of the historic bastille, the fortress and prison which played a pivotal role in the french revolution, the art déco-inspired interior by designer india mahdavi and the m/m (paris) agency subtly hints this turbulent past. the two parties created a design that's defined by a bold graphic approach. sure, this is most evident by the black + white inlaid marble flooring, but it's also further extrapolated by the symmetrical lay-out of the two adjacent rooms, and it's in fact also very visible in le café français' overall branding.

balancing the graphic austerity is an overhead ceiling of friendly blue skies. the walls have been boldly lined with copper foil, alternated by strips of mirrors, and the custom-made furniture comes in red and blue - and combined with the white marble on the floor - reference le tricolore, the national flag of france. a glass-encased terrace runs along one side of the façade, followed by an outdoor terrace with daintily striped rattan furniture. while the bar is a stylish meeting spot for just drinks, the restaurant - supervised by chef jean-françois piège - features a menu of classic dishes mixed and matched with french culinary heritage food. location: 3 place de la bastille [bastille].

© le café français / photography: matthieu salvaing