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It’s in a magical enclave in the 9th arrondissement that the sixth Parisian outlet of Rose Bakery took up residence in June. An exceptional site enjoying a central location in the garden of the Musée de la Vie Romantique. It took more than seven years for Jean-Charles Carriani and his wife Rose to finally obtain this ‘holy grail’. This is yet another stage in the collaboration between the couple and Émilie Bonaventure, who breathed new life into the Rose Bakery flagship boutique in rue des Martyrs. Working on this occasion with the landscape designer Thierry Dalcant, the interior designer and scenographer drew on her training as a nineteenth-century art historian to create just a hint of a ‘winter garden’ atmosphere. A place for sharing and for gourmet enjoyment as the seasons unfold. In the glasshouse, which the trio has blended in so well with the surrounding greenery that it has become as one with the garden, the menu of this exceptional Rose Bakery will delight clients seeking a moment suspended in time. It is as if hidden by the lush greenery, something that is often cruelly lacking in town.
Rose Bakery, Musée de la Vie Romantique, 16 rue Chaptal – Paris 75009. Open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10h to 17h30. Telephone : 01 55 31 95 67.
Jean-Charles, could you tell us about Rose Bakery?
Rose Bakery has been a family business since 2002, both in Paris and internationally. From the very beginning, we have been making simple and inventive, organic food.
How did your location inside the Museum of Romantic Life come about?
Rose Bakery waited seven years to obtain the concession, and I had been dreaming of investing there since the first day I was invited into this magical garden.
It’s a new challenge in the collaboration with Rose Bakery. Firstly, because it’s a magical location, set in Paris’s 9th arrondissement, where I live, but also because Jean-Charles had been dreaming of the location for such a long time, and finally because my academic background is in the history of nineteenth century art. So I was delighted to revisit my student experiences again. Once we had responded to the call for tenders from Paris Musées, we were extremely enthusiastic and wanted to convey the message that we could add new meaning to the place, and provide a high-quality offering to the premises, which were important to us.
Obviously, I knew the Museum and its garden very well, and I was very happy to be consulted and asked to take part in a new venture in such a unique setting. The aesthetics of the place, and the spirit that emanates from it are reflected in the project that Émilie and Jean-Charles presented, and really helped to inform my work.
We looked at old pictures of the winter garden as well, because I really wanted to ensure there was interior seating so that the tea room would not just be a seasonal phenomenon.
Émilie, how did you come up with your vision for this unique space? Did you follow the codes that you had defined in the store on the Rue des Martyrs?
I wanted to create a space that would place the greenhouse in a much greener context. We looked at old pictures of the winter garden as well, because I really wanted to ensure there was interior seating so that the tea room would not just be a seasonal phenomenon. It was actually straightforward, because it turned out that Rose Bakery had a very distinctive jade green colour, while the Museum of Romantic Life was also well-known for its building and its green shutters in particular.
It all worked out very well and we were very happy to reach agreement almost instantly.
How did the three of you work together on the project?
It was all very amicable and spontaneous, while remaining very professional. We are all well-rounded people with a shared set of values. We are all very passionately engaged and very forthright in our beliefs (with three very different ways of expressing ourselves) and we all had a lot of respect for each other because we complement each other so well. I know that this is a very meaningful project for us all and we all came together very naturally as a result.
As far as the “landscaping” aspect was concerned, very naturally from my perspective. Once we had worked together to define the intentions for landscaping the greenhouse and the garden, Jean-Charles and Emilie put their complete trust in me and I am very grateful to them for that. In this unique location, which continues to act as an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the aim was to place the greenhouse in a greener setting, firstly to bring out its poetic aspect, and secondly to create an environment to highlight the rockery and introduce plants to the space around the greenhouse. Our approach involved blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor space to allow for more flexibility: to do this, we created a planted border at the base of the greenhouse to make things flow better, with a design that is best summed up by allowing plants to take over once again. Inside, the cut fern leaves are a mirror image of the polystichum and dryopteris plants in the outdoor garden. It also seemed essential to us to respect the picturesque, natural spirit of the premiss, and to achieve this, we focused on using a diverse range of plants with a careful management approach that allows semi-spontaneous growth to flourish. Ground-covering plants surround the base of the ferns, while irises mix with shade grasses and hydrangeas in a deliberately loose framework, reflecting the garden’s poetic setting.
Thierry, which time (either the season or the time of day) is your favourite in the Museum of Romantic Life?
At the end of the day, without a doubt. There are still lots of people around at that time of day, but the light is softer, which helps to make the garden very relaxing. You just have to watch the visitors to see how the garden is such a relaxing space that helps them to decompress.
I’m with Thierry on this; around 5 p.m., when the shadows get longer and start to make their presence felt throughout the greenhouse.
Can you tell us about what you have been doing and what your plans for the future?
We are opening a Rose Bakery in Los Angeles’s Dover Street Market and also in another of Paris’s dream gardens.
I’ve also been working on the new Jacques Lacoste Gallery.
Photography: Valerio Geraci – Text: Caroline Balvay – Translation: TextMaster @thesocialitefamily