Hotel Thoumieux, Paris
This is Hotel Thoumieux on rue Saint-Dominique. I’ve been lucky enough to stay in hotels big & small, minimalist, designer, boutique & corporate in style, believe me I’ve heard it all, but it’s Thoumiueux that got me hook, line & sinker. Under a shadow of the Eiffel Tower (I could see it from my bedroom window) Thoumieux is set in the perfect spot for a bit of Parisian sightseeing, the 7th. You can stroll along the Seine, wonder on over to the Eiffel Tower or just get lost, as you should in Paris.
It hits you as soon as you walk up the stairs, Thoumieux has it’s own scented candle that to this day I still stock up on every time I’m in town. This tiny little hotel, only 15 rooms & 1 suite sits above a brasserie with the same name & famed chef Jean François Piége has his own Michelin starred restaurant on the 1st floor. It has the most beautiful & picturesque bakery over the road, & the brasserie downstairs? Killer, but more on the food later. Designed by Parisian based Interiors queen India Mahdavi, every inch of this place has been covered with layer upon layer of tesselated print, colour & texture. From the diamond lattice fret work on the walls of the Michelin starred restaurant to the honeycomb pattern on the upholstery of the Julia Marie dining chairs, this is my kind of place. A riot of colour, warm & cosy with the odd nod to kooky. Her use of colour is always drawn on her memories of the US as a child, sandy, golden hues with pops of striking yellows & reds.
A brief insight on Thoumieux’s designer, India Mahdavi originally studied architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the 80s. Her style has been described as being high in impact but low in fuss, comfortable but chic. On a recent talk I attended by Mahdavi she interpreted her style as ethnic & urban mixed together. While I can clearly identify her signature style, Mahdavi explained that she doesn’t intentionally wish for her work style to be repetitive, “if you do the same work, you do not know how to re-new yourself”.
Mahdavi is often known to design entire lines of furniture for a project should she not be able to find something that quite fits a new space. Case in point being the tall Bishop stools found at the reception of Thoumieux, commissioned for a night club in New York (also spotted in the now closed Bungalow8 here in London). She has a distinguished clientele with international projects that include hotels, nightclubs, flagship showrooms as well as the lucky private clients that can afford her studio’s service (and what a studio, I was lucky enough to enter through the magic doorway into a sublime working apartment studio, full of prototypes, samples & mood boards). Some of her more well known projects include Germain, also in Paris, the Coburg Bar in the Connaught hotel in London, Condesa df Hotel in Mexico, Townhouse in Miami & the Monte Carlo Beach Hotel in France.
Back to my stay though, I was taken to our room (an unexpected upgrade to a slighter larger room, a suite) where I found a tin of fresh warm biscuits. That’s another way to my heart, forget a fruit basket (*ahem* Royal Monceau) I’m talking sweet treats. Then I spot a trickle of things that keep me smiling, Aesop treats in the bathroom, a pre-loaded iPad full of Parisian tunes ready to go, a wardrobe full of fluffy slippers & robes, complete with industrial strength coffee pods & machine. With Mahdavi furniture to lounge on, Farrow&Ball wallpaper, Svenskt Tenn curtains to close when the night draws in (if you can pull yourself away from the window staring at the Eiffel Tower, again *ahem*) it really is just the loveliest place in Paris. Tiny, cute, cosy & warm.
This is Brasserie Thoumieux, which sits below the hotel. With a separate entrance on the street, you can also sneak in via a secret door from the hotel. Up until recently where breakfast can now be taken in the restaurant upstairs, this was where I had breakfast in the morning. A giant bread board with meats, cheeses & all the jam & coffee you need in the morning. The key thing I need to tell you about the brasserie is that you must book a table for dinner. Then you must order the pizza soufflé & then the tuna. Those two things on the menu will knock your socks off. You’ll only be jealous if you see someone else with either. I’ve attached a recent menu, take a look for yourself.
I’ve picked out some of my very favourite pieces from Thoumieux, some mirrors, tables, dining chairs, all however, conveniently available at wonder site Discover&Deliver. The varnished rattan wall mirror, a feature in all of the open planned bathrooms, to the Louis Poulsen bedside lamps by Arne Jacobsen, the Joker side table, Bishop stool, the Alpha table lamp (who’s shade I nearly snapped off trying to straighten it before realising that was the design) the Nouvelle Vague sofa & (my favourite) Julia Marie dining chair.
Product shots courtesy of Discover&Deliver
Location shots courtesy of Stéphane de Bourgies : www.bourgies.com