When asked to define his most personal project in one word, Joris Bruneel, a hotelier, says, “Senses”. “Babel is a journey for the senses. But it is also a place to enjoy life, a place with meaning, people-focussed and oriented towards the world of tomorrow!” ». This establishment, opened with the chef Clarie Feral-Akram, is more than just another new destination; it’s a declaration of love for Belleville. For its values, its diversity, its commitment. Which is the epitome of what the duo has managed to infuse into this lively “part hotel, part restaurant and part cocktail bar” with a visual identity designed by Daphné Desjeux that evokes thoughts of faraway places. The trio can’t stop talking about this adventure in ‘group organisation’. It’s almost an obsession. They explained to us how important it was for Babel to be part of the community, but above all, how it had to be an active player in the neighbourhood. By collaborating with local associations, by putting its inhabitants first, and by promoting its producers. In fact, in order to “travel through the plate and through the decoration” without losing sight of the surroundings of 3 rue Lemon, every detail has been meticulously thought out. And it leaves no room for comparison with anywhere else! As the interior designer confirms, “With Babel, we are dealing with a format that doesn’t take any notice of trends or other developments. It’s a hotel with a heart and a passion, and its passion is centred on people in all their diversity, their uniqueness and their freedom. And to better reflect this spirit – which you will also find in the kitchen thanks to the many individuals who make up the team there – Atelier Daphné Desjeux has brought together inspirations from the four corners of the earth. Materials, colours, finishes, hangings: everything has been meticulously selected to pay tribute to the different cultures and communities present in this part of the 20th arrondissement. A melting pot that can, naturally, also be found on the plate, influenced by the Silk Road and its myriad spices, and that showcases Iranian, Syrian, Turkish and Indian specialities. A change of scenery, yes, but actually, not really. After all, everything was already there. Right under our noses. Because Babel is “inspired by the ends of the earth and the next street down”
Babel, 3 rue Lemon – 75020 Paris. Hotel, 31 rooms from €120. Reservation on www.babel-hotels.com. Restaurant, open every day except Monday. Opening hours: from 12:00 to 14:30 (15:00 at weekends) and from 19:00 to 22:30 (23:00 at weekends). Sunday brunch. Cocktail bar open every evening (except Monday).
Photography: Louise Conesa – Text: Caroline Balvay @thesocialitefamily
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