The equine equivalent of the Eiffel Tower, the ParisLongchamp Hippodrome now boasts an eponymous brasserie to complement its already wide range of high-class events. The brasserie is an integral part of the modernisation of the institution. Rooted firmly in the 21st century since April 2018 thanks to a successful facelift by the architect Dominique Perrault, the hippodrome is now delighted to welcome into its heart this new living space. A lively and welcoming place, dreamed up by Antoine Ricardou and Clémentine Larroumet of the be-poles studio.Through the ParisLongchamp Brasserie, the whole universe of horse-racing and its rich language comes to life. Set around two separate hubs — the garden, and the restaurant area — the 500m² space has been greatly inspired by the huge, colourful brasseries of Lyon, in particular Georges. With this spirit in mind we can appreciate that distinctive convivial atmosphere that can reign during the races, or during the Sunday lunches to which ParisLongchamp tempts us with its special menu. Speaking of which, local and “seasonal” produce takes pride of place on the menu, which features classic dishes with a deliberately rustic twist in keeping with the local environment. Both inside and out, ParisLongchamp has all it needs to make it that special place in West Paris that we want to keep to ourselves.
Brasserie ParisLongchamp, 2 route des Tribunes, 75016 Paris. Opening times: Wednesday-Thursday, 12noon-3pm and 7pm-10pm. Friday, 12noon to 3pm and 6pm to10pm. Saturday, 12noon to11pm. Sunday, 12noon to 6pm. Telephone reservations on 01 44 30 75 52, or e-mail [email protected]
In the tradition of homemade food, the chef offers classics and country and floral creations that reflect the surrounding environment.
Antoine, Clementine, who are you?
We created be-poles with the idea that the brand must be at the centre of everything and that its strength is based on narrative. Clementine has a background in publishing, I’m an architect. We script these stories so that people can enjoy special experiences through brands.
What was the role of be-poles – your design studio – in the renaissance of the ParisLongchamp brasserie?
When the Paris Society team called us, they wanted to create a modular space to host a brasserie and cater for events. Eventually, we decided to divide the project into two parts. On the garden side, to the left of the entrance, there is a multi-purpose area for celebrations, and on the other side a popular dining area for gamblers and racing fans. It faces the presentation ring for the horses.
Why did you say yes to this project? What was so seductive about it?
The 500 m² open space immediately reminded us of the huge brasseries in Lyon. Unpretentious places, furnished with tables and a bar for serving. We had in mind the Brasserie Georges in Lyon, which is, for us, a model of organisation. Here, we needed to create a functional place for fast service. This space was perfect for bringing this approach to life while still preserving its roots.
How did you plan the decoration of this unique place? How did you arrange the areas in the room and their different atmospheres?
Railway station brasserie or racecourse brasserie: they share the same organisational criteria. We needed four different focal points: an entrance lobby where you can read or drink coffee while you are waiting; high tables to lean on and watch the results of the races while also being able to go and see the horses in the parade ring; a bar where you can order quickly before going off to the stands; and finally tables for banquets for punters or just for a lunch between enthusiasts. We pay attention to where we are busiest, to when we need to serve lots of people in a hurry or we have enthusiasts taking their time. Chairs are moved, tables are repositioned.
What were your main inspirations? Why did you choose this particular palette of colours?
The first image in our design notebook was a painting by Jean Béraud painted around 1889. In it, you see a woman sitting at a desk writing in the atmosphere of a large brasserie. Then came the Degas “studies of riders” drawings. These are riding poses. The tones of these drawings led our research. They have it all. The layers, the beiges, the creams, etc. Finally, we explored the world of equestrian saddlery. The inverted leathers placed on the bodies of muscular horses have given our design the rounded edges we needed in this world of straight lines. We also wanted to keep a strong connection with the garden and this famous parade ring. It is all the work of landscape gardener Gwenaëlle Grandjean who has worked on an indoor/outdoor planting so you can enjoy the greenery in both summer and winter. Plants inhabit the hat racks and shelves to create visual breaks in this huge space.
Where do the accessories, paintings and other photographs that fill the spaces come from?
Paris Society gave us access to the archives of France Galop. We were able to display treasures that were tucked away in their archives. Priceless pieces that can be admired at last. Two centuries of horse racing history can finally be admired in ParisLongChamp.
And these large velvet benches, what do they say about the ParisLongchamp brasserie?
The large waiting bench in the middle of the entrance, we wanted it deliberately coloured to echo the jockeys’ outfits and the many colours in this equestrian world. The other colours are found on the menus and menus.
What’s on the menu, what types of products can we enjoy on this massive terrace?
On the plate, the ParisLongchamp brasserie showcases fresh produce through seasonal, local cuisine prepared from 100% organic fruit and vegetables. In the tradition of homemade food, the chef offers classics and country and floral creations that reflect the surrounding environment. Roast chicken, grilled whole sea bass and leg of lamb are there for you to enjoy with friends. There is a generous menu of dishes to share on Sundays (except on race days).
For you, the ParisLongchamp brasserie, who is it for?
We wanted to keep a strong connection with the garden and the famous parade ring. This is all the work of landscape gardener Gwenaëlle Grandjean.
Photography: Eve Campestrini – Text: Caroline Balvay @thesocialitefamily