In a neighbourhood teeming with life but not hotels, the luxurious establishment that is Maison Bréguet seems to be a precursor. A place on the right Bank designed for the East of Paris. A Paris of culture, bistros with friends and artisan shops that you stroll around in wonder. Just a stone’s throw from the Marias, and close to the Bastille and the winding cobbled streets of Roquette, Maison Bréguet is a kind of antechamber to the capital. Opened just a few days ago, the place is designed to be aimed both at foreign travellers passing through the city and at Parisians looking for a friendly place to go. Service that is not only friendly but respectful of French-style etiquette that brings together the cream of the Parisian hospitality and restaurant sectors. At the controls of this very audacious project are the impetuous Brice Errera and Samuel Gelrubin, who are more used to promoting property than hospitality. Supported in the gustative reputation by the versatile David Lanher – already owner of several famous-name brands – and by his right-hand man Marco Marzilli – formerly manager of the band Daft Punk – these boys with a bright future ahead of them are assured of a runaway success. A success of those who are marking and tolling the bells for a new era. At Maison Bréguet, every word is carefully considered. Taken apart with a fine-tooth comb. In order not to impair that of the brand, a great initiative has been undertaken to create a circle of unique influencers, a circle of friends. And not just any friends. From the selection of rare and singular products by Charlotte Balme, to the playlist of films meticulously selected by the journalist Emily Barnett, via a musical and literary programme that’s as eclectic as it is enchanting, everything is designed down to the smallest detail. “Being at home, isn’t a place. It’s a feeling.” as we were told a few years ago by an overpowering advert. When you go to Maison Bréguet, you start to think that the ad wasn’t right after all!
Maison Bréguet , 8 rue Bréguet – 75011 Paris
Brice, Samuel: could you tell us about yourselves?
We are two promoters and investors in real estate, who are 39 years old (for a few more days) who are crazy about fantastic stone and also really good friends. We also aspire to be the good guys!
How did you come up with the idea for Maison Breguet?
When we acquired this former laundry machine factory, even though the building was in very poor condition, it was fully occupied. Then, once the renovations started, the apartments were vacated one by one. It was at that moment that we decided we could envisage a change of use for the premises. And what could be better than a hotel? The mayor of the 11th arrondissement himself pushed us down that route. As we weren’t part of the hotel industry, it meant a lot more to us than just somewhere to provide accommodation for the public. It had to be a place where we could host our friends.
What kind of clientele is the hotel aimed at?
An urban, international clientele, young or perhaps not that young, families, couples and solo travellers in search of a sense of well-being from Parisian authenticity that runs counter to what cookie-cutter hotel chains have to offer.
What is the value added by your property? What makes it stand out?
Quite apart from its location, its relaxation area, the quality of the services on offer, or the decor, the property has a soul that comes from all the people who have worked together to create it. All the furniture is bespoke, all the materials are luxurious, and some fabrics and wallpapers feature original designs. It’s a true piece of craftsmanship in its own right. The property also makes room for reception areas: a large, glass-roofed restaurant where you can indulge yourself while watching the clouds pass by, a bar with custom cocktails, a garden and a plant-covered wall where you can watch the seasons pass by, as well as a wine room – a tribute to Bacchus – which is a venue for private parties. The accommodation options are all about variety: we have a residence with a private garden, which is unique in Paris, as well as suites with terraces for summer evenings and connecting rooms for families. Maison Bréguet also had to serve as a haven of relaxation, to give people a break from the city and its hustle and bustle. We therefore created a concept with a pool (there are only ten five-star hotels with a pool in Paris), a sauna, a steam room, and a gym. Finally, we have a restaurant that offers truly exceptional produce. The chef, Giulian Maiuri, is quite simply fantastic, and is an ardent proponent of fine Parisian bistro cooking.
What was your approach to creating the hotel?
We created it with lots of attention to detail and as a realisation of all our dreams of being hoteliers. A five-star hotel in a neighbourhood full of accessible restaurants, craftspeople, and overlooked fruit and vegetable merchants, or the perfect contrast for strangers passing through Paris in search of authenticity, something genuine. We like to call it “Maison” – the house – built on the foundations of original, innovative and somewhat disruptive. We think that the Maison Bréguet will also serve as a destination for Parisians who want to feel at home, in a venue where comfort and bonhomie are the watchwords, where the service is friendly yet full of attention to detail and typically, respectfully French.
Who were the craftspeople you worked with to create the hotel?
Maison Bréguet is the first property in France to be decorated by the English design studio, Sagrada, who did the Arts Club in London, The Norman in Tel Aviv and La Petite Maison in Miami. Every piece of furniture is an original design by Juan Alvarez. In our view, he’s the most talented designer working at the moment. We also used fabrics by Pierre Frey and designs by Pierre Bonnefille for wall panelling in some of the rooms. We also worked with the mosaicist, Sika Viagbo, who created some exceptional work on the Aubusson tapestry around the kitchen counter.
Who are the friends of Maison Bréguet? Why did you focus on this concept for generating buzz and recommendations?
The friends of Maison Bréguet are your friends during your stay, but it goes beyond that. They’re artists, musicians, and storytellers who are in charge of creating playlists, choosing bedside reading, and coming up with a selection of films that will appeal to our clientele, and will sometimes stick around for an evening to soothe your heart. The first friends are Fabrice Brovelli and Christophe Caurret for the Musical Programme, Charlotte Balme for the Boutique, Emily Barnett for the Cinematographic Collection and Aude Walker for the Literary Selection.
Why did you choose to work with David and Marco?
You can’t imagine a Parisian property without a restaurant that lives up to the rest of the premises. That said, we also knew that running a restaurant is an entirely separate business. For that reason, we needed to find the right team. David had already created a number of Parisian destination restaurants, and we knew and loved his work from having eaten there so much! We got in touch with him and suggested this partnership. With Marco coming on board, these defenders of fine bistro dining accepted the challenge and are now skilfully blending market fresh deliveries with the produce of our artisan suppliers.
David, Marco: how did you come up with the restaurant’s identity?
By respecting the DNA of our other establishments (impeccably sourced cooked products, vegetables always given pride of place) in a dining room with more than 100 covers with a great cocktail bar, a breakfast offering and brunch at the weekend.
What type of cuisine does the chef Giulian Maiuri offer to diners? Why did you choose him to represent your cuisine?
Honest, delicious food with his classics. Besides, he knows our establishments like the back of his hand. Plus, he’s a dynamic guy with a good CV and also has the international experience that we wanted.
Do you have a signature dish or any specialities that you’d recommend?
The “pâté en croute” (with sweetbreads and duck), the chicken with mushrooms, chard and potatoes. The chocolate cream dessert to accompany the coffee from our coffee-roaster Giamaica Caff‘ in Verona and lastly, Nico de Soto’s cocktails.
In a few words, how would you sum up the Maison Bréguet state of mind?
Flooded with omnipresent natural light, the fabulous open kitchen and the central island offer a blend of city house and country house style with the garden terrace for outdoor dining.
Photography: Eve Campestrini / Valerio Geraci – Text: Caroline Balvay – Translation: TextMaster @thesocialitefamily